European Shore Championships
7th to 14th November
This year’s Championships were held on the shores of Langeland one of the large islands that make up Denmark . Germany were the hosts for this year’s event and had organised the 3 day competition with an additional practice day for those willing to brave the weather!
Four young spritely English Section members (combined age approx 250+) met up on a bright Friday morning and started on the long journey to Denmark . This would be via Harwich, 18 hours on the ferry and then across 2 islands before arriving at Rudkobing in Langeland, 36 hours after leaving Hythe in Hampshire. The journey was straight forward and some entertainment was provided by Reg, Dave and Budge all eating a full English breakfast in a French roll! Amazing feat. The DFDS ferry was spotlessly clean, comfortable and served excellent food and beers which were much appreciated by us all.
We arrived at the Championship Hotel Rudkobing Skudehavn with everything in darkness and a very “closed look” about the complex. The bleak grey weather didn’t help but we did find some life eventually and booked into our very comfortable flat. After some rearranging of the beds, putting a respectable distance between the twins (must have thought we were boat anglers) we set out to explore Rudkobing on Saturday night. Well needless to say it was closed with just a couple of restaurants open and a garage that had a shop. It was also raining – hope that clears up before the championships!
As the ferries only run every 2 days we arrived a day early and had the whole of the Sunday to look around the island. We spent our time, in between the rain showers, inspecting the beaches listed in our guide. Not much could be gleaned other than the locations and parking areas. Later in the evening we all made our way to the main complex of the Skudehavn to book in to the championships. This was a strangely muted affair partly because the weather was so poor and partly because the bar was some distance away. However this is my 3 rd attendance to a Shore Championships hosted by the Germans and this was by far the best organised. There was of course plenty of bureaucracy to keep a “Deutsch Meister” happy but the organisation of zones, pegs etc. was conducted very efficiently. The only worry was that angling was being split across 2 geographic locations which did give us a few nervous moments but as we were to find later our fears were unfounded and our displaced anglers were transported under the arrangements of the committee, Reg and Dave were impressed with their lift in a Porsche Cayenne and Budge Booker even got chatted up by one of the German Lady anglers a young 70 year old!
A casual practice day was organised on the Monday which was held on a beach which was typical of the areas we were to fish. All of us caught a variety of fish which were predominantly undersize with only yours truly catching a decent quality flounder. This did not bode well! It rained on and off all day!
Day 1 and we were ready to show these Euro anglers how to catch fish. Well almost! Reg and I were in D and E zones which proved to be shoaled up with undersize codling. Hours passed and it was becoming obvious to us that a single fish could take the zone. Luckily I did manage to find a couple of sizeable fish which won me the zone and Reg managed to pull one out near the end to earn some team points. Budge and Dave were in zones A and C on the west coast of the Island . There seemed to be a lot more sizable flatfish there and they had both managed to weigh in. At the end of the evening it was back to the hotel for the hot soup and bread laid on by our hosts, which was fantastic. We had the usual match post mortem and realised this was not going to be an easy competition with sizable fish hard to find. Should have mentioned that it had also rained on and off all night.
Day 2 saw more rain and much the same type of fishing with Dave winning his zone but with Reg not able to find anything sizable to land and Budge and me just keeping in contact by catching a few sizeable flatfish. Again the soup was great and was the best part of the evening! Still raining when we eventually got back to the flat.
Day 3 and as a team we were lying last and it was still raining – hard!!! Not happy with our overall position but we were more hopeful that we could pull up a few places as the decision had been made to put everyone on the same stretch of beach that had produced sizeable fish. Dave managed a 2 nd zone win to go with the 2 nd place on day 1 so was guaranteed a good finishing position. The rest of us all caught fish so we looked forward to the prize giving ceremony on the Friday night to see how we fared.
The Championship meal was excellent and the organisation was like clockwork.
The results were:
1st Gold Pin winner – Jan Gorissen ( Holland )
2nd Silver Pin winner – Frank van der Zande ( Holland )
3rd Bronze Pin winner – Dave Lovelock ( England )
1st Holland A
2nd Germany A
3rd Germany B
5th Holland B
F.van der Zande & H Bergsson
J Gorisson & F Stork
T Reinhardt & J O’Connor
Life Member: Helgi Bergsson
Senior citizen: Budge Booker
Ladies winner: Clarinda van der Zande
In the end our efforts didn’t quite get our team into a medal position but for a 4 man team we came close and left to rue what we could have done with another team member. Dave’s result was brilliant and we basked in his glory all the way home! That was the Saturday of gale force winds and you guessed it torrential rain.
The Championship was well organised and Marcus Wuest and the committee did their best to keep everything on an even keel in sometimes difficult circumstances. The weather was horrible and the fishing was poor but Budges breakfasts were great, the humour was ever present and as usual a poor weeks fishing was better than a good week at work!