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EUROPEAN LINE CLASS & BOAT CHAMPIONSHIPS WEYMOUTH SEPTEMBER 2007

Summer in England started at the end of March and finished at the end of April and so the prospects of having fine weather in September did not look good. We need not have worried though as high pressure built over Ireland a week before the Championships and extended to cover the UK for the next three weeks. The only problem was the easterly airflow that came with it and the knowledge that fishing is generally not as good in an easterly.


Copyright of all images remains with the photographer © Beatrice Dolpita 2007
There were a total of 174 entries from 15 Sections, many of who had not fished English waters before. Twenty charter boats were booked for the event from Weymouth and the surrounding areas and many of these are seen as being amongst the best in the country with regards to boat and skipper quality. Unfortunately, there were a couple who didn’t enter into the spirit of the Championships – but this did not make any appreciable difference overall. The practice days were well booked up in advance and many took advantage of the fine weather to venture offshore for the wrecks. Little did they know that this would not figure in the Championships.

The organisers made a conscious decision to try to keep an even playing field for all and to keep all restrictions to a minimum so as to give the boat skippers the opportunity to give the anglers best value. With 20 boats, it made wreck fishing difficult, especially for the slower boats, as there were not enough quality wrecks to go round within the designated fishing areas. So, in order to keep things fair, wrecks were off-limits.

Day one of Line Class is always a stressful time for the Organisation Team as it tests their preparation to the limits and shows up any flaws or omissions. It is difficult for the anglers too as they need to get into the routine for the following five days. The weather was not good with a strong easterly blowing but not so strong that would prevent the boats getting round Portland Bill and into shelter. Due to the conditions, it was decided that all boats would fish in the same area off Chesil. The fishing was generally poor and many anglers blanked. It had been hoped that the banks and deep holes would be fished for conger, huss and rays. The points system was devised to reward large fish but the weather put a stop to that – one of the problems with holding Line Class events in European waters. It was difficult to catch sizeable fish in the area chosen but Steve Souter of Scotland won the day, closely followed by Jose Fabian of Portugal, Gordan Darker of Scotland and Colin Searles of England.

Day two of Line Class saw better weather and the area restrictions were lifted. This was a much better day for fishing and most competitors managed to trouble the scorers. The day was won by Colin Searles with Ray Ashby (England) second  and Claudio Mancini (Italy) in third. Winning this event called for consistency, especially as so many had blanked on day 1. Colin Searles did just this and took the Gold Pin – after winning Silver at the previous two Championships. The same consistency was seen from Claudio Mancini who took the Silver Pin and from Eivind Johanessen (Norway) who won the Bronze. The unlucky angler on this occasion was Metteo La Bella of Italy who had the same points as the Bronze Pin position but lost place on count back.


Copyright of all images remains with the photographer © Beatrice Dolpita 2007
By this time the anglers had got into the swing of things with regards to loading and unloading in the mornings and everyone, including the transport team, had got into their routine for the week. There was no problem with the weather with warm sunshine and blue skies, although Friday was forecast as being a bit windier – but not sufficient to spoil things.

Day 1 of the Boat Championship brought in all the anglers who had arrived but not fished the previous two days and all 174 available boat places were filled – on paper at least. The fishing was not as frenetic as anticipated but there were no blank scores. Whether the reduced catch was due to the high pressure and easterly wind, we’ll never know, but scores over 100 fish points were expected. Only one managed to achieve this on day 1 and this was Mike Smith of England with 106 points who won the day. The other 19 boat winners on the day were the only ones who could be considered as eventual winners as history has shown that a triple boat winner usually takes first place.

Day two was very similar in its outcome with relatively low scores but some decent fish had been recorded with pollack, plaice, blonde rays and many black bream which were being landed just about everywhere. Scott Gibson (Scotland) won the day with Stephen Quinn (Ireland) in second and Fabio Gieri (Italy) in third. At the end of day two there were eight double boat winners going into the final day some of whom were drawn against one another.

Friday saw an increase in the wind but nothing that warranted any area restrictions. Glen Milligan of England won the day with a good total of 125 points. Dominico Salvatori of Italy also had a 100 plus score to take second and Ray Barron of England was third on the day.

However, the EFSA European Champion and winner of the Gold Pin was won by the most consistent angler yet again and congratulations go to Heiko Dreier of Ireland who defended his title won in Norway in 2006. Claudio Mancini and Ashley Currier were equally consistent and took Silver and Bronze Pins respectively.


Copyright of all images remains with the photographer © Beatrice Dolpita 2007
During the Championships there were some notable fish recorded. One such fish was the best pollack at 88cm taken by Ria van Ranst of Belgium just a few metres from the end of Portland Bill in relatively shallow waters. The prize for the best flatfish was fiercely contested throughout the Championship but was eventually won by Warren Doyle of Ireland with a superb plaice of 61cm. The best ray went to Billy Short of England but a fine bass taken by Rod Adamson of Wales went unawarded, as there was no category for this species.

The overall consistency of the Italian A and B Teams ensured they took the Gold and Bronze Medals in the International event with the England A Team splitting them to take Silver.

The Championships proved to be successful and enjoyable. The HQ at Littlesea Holiday Centre ensured that the majority could enjoy one another’s company after the fishing was over and the Weymouth and Portland Council made everyone welcome and gave great support. Thanks must go to everyone who participated and assisted in making all the hard work worthwhile.

Line Class

individuals

  1. COLIN SEARLES  England  90 Points
  2. CLAUDIO MANCINI  Italy  76 Points
  3. EIVIND JOHANESSEN  Norway  72  Points

Ladies

  1. MARY GAVIN-HUGHES Ireland  46 Points
  2. HELEN VERRALL  England  40 Points
  3. MARGARET SWEENEY  Ireland  30 Points

Juniors

  1. RUBEN SANDVOLL  Norway  32 Points
  2. BEN PEACH  England 28 Points
  3. ERIK TARANGER  Norway  4 Points

Life

  1. COLIN SEARLES   England  90 Points 
  2. PAUL HART   England  66 Points
  3. DAVE FRANCIS   England  66 Points

Senior

  1. JOE DENT  Scotland  44 Points
  2. JIM HENDERSON  Scotland  32 Points
  3. JIM WHIPPY   England  26 Points

Two Man Team

  1. GLEN MILLIGAN, COLIN SEARLES 154 Points
  2. JOSE FABIAN, CARLOS OLIVEIRA 114 Points
  3. U. FONTEMAGGI, MATTEO LA BELLA 110 Points

Four Man Team

  1. GLEN MILLIGAN, RAY BARRON, NEIL BRYANT, COLIN SEARLES   176 Pts
  2. MATTEO LA BELLA, U.FONTEMAGGI, RINO SCARZO, SALVATORE MESSINA 176 Pts
  3. LUIS BORGES, JOSE FABIAN, JACINTO AFONSO, CARLOS OLIVEIRA 172 Pts

BOAT CHAMPIONSHIPS

Individuals

  1. HEIKO DREIER   Ireland  300 points 246 Fish points
  2. CLAUDIO MANCINI Italy  300 points 216 Fish points
  3. ASHLEY CURRIER England  300 points 204 Fish points
  4. WYNN PARRY  300 points 201 Fish points
  5. DEREK YULLE Scotland  300 points 195 Fish points
  6. SALVATORE MESSINA Italy 297.67 points

Ladies

  1. MARY GAVIN-HUGHES  Ireland  274.29 Points
  2. HELEN VERRALL  England  244.3 Points
  3. RIA VAN RANST  Belgium  198.41 Points

Juniors

  1. BEN PEACH  England  232.97 Points
  2. RUBEN SANDVOLL Norway  119.55 Points
  3. ERIK TARANGER  Norway  109.33 Points

Life

  1. HEIKO DREIER  Ireland 300 points
  2. STEVE CLEMENTS  England  290.46 points
  3. PETER McCARTIN  Ireland  285.88 points

Senior

  1. JIM WHIPPY   England  189.97 points
  2. TOM REDMOND  Ireland  172.12 points
  3. JOE DENT  Scotland  170.11  points

Two Man Open

  1. BRYN ROBERTS, ASHLEY CURRIER  585.56 points
  2. ALAN REID, WYNN PARRY  559.14 points
  3. RAY BARRON, NEIL BRYANT  559.04 points

Four Man Open

  1. GARY GALBRAITH, MIKE SMITH, ASHLEY CURRIER, BRYN ROBERTS  1100.34 pts
  2. GLEN MILLIGAN, RAY BARRON, COLIN SEARLES, NEIL BRYANT   1081.65 pts
  3. STEVE CLEMENTS, RAY EVANS, BILLY SHORT, ANDY SELBY  1010.89 pts

Four Man Executive

  1. RICHARD RUSSELL, HEIKO DREIER, U. FONTEMAGGI, DAVE FRANCIS
  2. ERIK AMBERNTSSON, RONNY CLAYMANS, STEVE SOUTER, VANNI ERANI
  3. KEN SMITH, KEIRAN RICE, STEVE CLEMENTS, BEN PEACH

National Teams

  1. ITALY A - FABIO GIERI,  VANNI ERANI, CLAUDIO MANCINI, D. SALVATORI, ROBERTO MELANDRI 1125.41 pts
  2. ENGLAND A - RICHARD RUSSELL, GARY GALBRAITH, MIKE SMITH, RAY BARRON, COLIN SEARLES 1119.37 pts
  3. ITALY B - MATTEO LA BELLA, SALVATORE MESSINA, G. DEL POPOLO, U. FONTEMAGGI, RINO SCARZO 1091.25 pts

 

 
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