Some sections had chosen to arrive a few days early to get in a couple of practice sessions before the main event some of whom had never visited English shores before and some of whom had returned after 2011.
Sunday the 7th September and the Championship was formerly opened at the HQ hotel, the Rivera Hotel in Weymouth, and the EFSA flag was raised on the flagpole outside the hotel where it proudly fluttered in the variable wind through the week.
Monday the 8th and the Boat Championship got under way. 135 hopeful anglers from 16 sections mustered on the quay ready to board the boats. All boats were quickly loaded and they made their way out of Weymouth harbour where upon the boat skippers headed for their first mark of the day and the Boat Championship began.
East to north east winds restricted the fishing but the Weymouth skippers have vast experience fishing such events in these conditions thus ensuring that competitors enjoyed some great sport over the four day boat championships, with many catching species such as Plaice, Undulate Ray, Black Bream and Scad for the 1st time whilst others topped their personal best for such species.
The two hook event saw the organisers supplying bait each day with ragworm from Topsy Baits and frozen mackerel and squid from Ammo being provided.
As is the norm at this Championship the event was closely fought right to the final day with only three anglers having the maximum 300% percentage points after Wednesday and all of the top ten being in with a chance of a medal. In the end it was Anthony Giacomini from Italy who maintained his unbeaten record to score 400% and lift the gold medal and coveted EFSA pin. England’s Rob Shattock finished only 1.3 points behind in second place with fellow country man Colin Searles taking the bronze medal on 395.24 points
Anthony teamed up with Mauro Salvatori to take first place in the pair’s event followed by the English pairing of Rob Shattock and Matt Osborne. The bronze for third place went to former champion Ray Barron and Neil Bryant, also from the host nation
The four person team event was won by the English / Irish / French combo of Colin Searles, Mark Smith, Heiko Dreier and Francis Couzinet. Silver medal went to Perry Dack, Neil Bryant, Ray Barron and Marcus Wuest with Pete Bailey, Cliff Newbold, Rob Shattock and Matt Osborne taking the bronze.
The Ladies event was won by Katharina Schleiff from Germany ahead of far travelled South African angler Madelein Brown with Iceland’s Asta Knutsdottir taking bronze.
Although EFSA is an organisation for individual members each Championship has an International team event and this year the gold medal went to England ‘A’. Italy ‘A’ took the silver medal with England ‘B’ securing third spot.
Comments from our overseas visitors
It was a great pleasure for all the team members of EFSA France to participate in this event, it was for us (Jack, David, Tanguy and Jean-Pierre) our first or second (Francis) EFSA experience and at the end a great success even if we didn’t reach the top 3 (sorry Francis!).
We learnt a lot through the relationship developed during the week, on the boat, outside, as all the anglers were really open minded, a very important point, for example, it was our first drifting experience on flat fish and bream also. Even if it was a competition, it was really friendly/funny, people shared a lot their experience.
The organization was perfect, very efficient, top boats and skippers, a strong support from Andy as usual….and EFSA England. The hotel was pretty good, nice room, good location…..food globally ok (for the French it is very important!).In summary, one word, THANKS and Congratulation to EFSA team for this great and efficient international event.
The EFSA French team will come-back in order to reach the gold medal!
What an awesome experience!
Most of our team were visiting England for the 1st time and were not used to fishing large boats with 8-10 anglers on-board or using heavy leads in strong tides to catch species that we had only ever read about.The English hospitality was of the best with the competition run as smooth as clockwork.
Thank you England, thank you Weymouth, thank you EFSA, we will be back Team; Republic of South Africa.
First of all THANKS for an excellent championship.
We the Norwegian team arrived Thursday before the championship started to check out the fishing banks outside Weymouth. We booked Andy Adams as skipper and had three beautiful days fishing, everything from big congers to small Pollack so when the Boat Championship started on Monday we were ready.It was easy to locate the boarding points for each boat, the fishing captains/stewards guided us to the boat we were fishing from that day. Everything went smooth and very well organized. At the boat the draw also went smooth and the anglers found there position very fast so we got good time to prepare for the angling. The skipper informed us what type of fish we could aspect so it was easy to prepare. The skippers did that every time we moved from one fishing ground to the next, Excellent! The steward on board did also a very good job, filling in the score card, serving tea or coffee and helping the anglers to net the fish, well done. Even if the weather was a little windy some days we thought that safety and the comfort for the anglers was taking care of in a very professional way. Back to shore after a great day’s fishing, we got together at the dock and got beer, vin, hot dog etc. and discussing result and tackles we used that day. Every day went like this on the Boat Championship. Perfect.
Sorry, I forgot to mention the nice set up from Andy/Charlotte and Weymouth Angling Centre, very helpful and Andy´s crew was doing a great job to help and advise us.
The Line Championship started on Friday. Everything went just like on the Boat Championship, perfect.
We would like to give the organizing committee of EFSA England a great Thanks, and also all the people helping out. We would also want to thank all the anglers participating in the championship for making the week in Weymouth to a fantastic event for us Norwegians.
On behalf of the Norwegian Team Tom Unsgaard EFSA Norway
Our views are the week went very well, great venue, great hotel with their staff being very welcoming and helpful in the extreme, as were all the English organizers for which we thank them. It was well organized, good value, very enjoyable, very friendly with good and varied fishing aboard spacious boats captained by the cream of English Charter Skippers. It was obvious a lot of work was put in by a good number of EFSA England members and it paid off with it being one of the best European Championships that we have attended, all helped by the good weather. Well done to you all.
Germany team view
First of all we want to spare a thought to our fellow angler Hans-Dieter Nold whose misfortune with his injured leg has left him hospitalised in Dorchester County Hospital since the 3rd day of the competition.
Most of us arrived early in the week before the championships to get some practise sessions under our belts. Already then we enjoyed cracking sessions with plenty of fish in the sunshine. We shared this experience with anglers from Gibraltar, Russia and Sweden. One of the catches, a 51cm plaice, was prepared as dinner by the head chef at the Riviera Hotel.Saturday saw the start of the official EFSA meetings but most importantly the registration. Also Sunday was busy with meetings. Main event was the opening ceremony and the raffle: the main price, a big, heavy replica of a dinosaur head went to Marcus. First trophy of the competition going to Germany!
Finally on Monday the fishing started. Most of us used the containers and bus transfer to and from the hotel for our convenience. Nice breakfast and burgers with cold drinks were waiting for us by the boats. Thanks to Andy we could fill up on hooks and leads lost during the fishing between the rocks. All of this combined with the fantastic weather – despite the easterly breeze throughout the whole week – made fishing easy for us visitors. Plenty of nice and big fish, also some smaller ones, were caught during the main event.
Whilst as a national team we defended the 9th place from day one we have a European Champion title to celebrate as our Katharina Schleiff managed to defend her title from 2013. Well done Katharina! This brilliant result was complemented by a 4th place in the Line Class event by Marcus Wuest.
All in all we enjoyed the banter during the fishing, during dinner at the Riviera Hotel and pubs in Weymouth. When the South African anglers invited all sections of EFSA to the ice bucket challenge Matti and Marcus stood up to it.
As always the prize giving and especially the gala dinner marked the closing of the event. We left with very positive memories of the event and camaraderie amongst EFSA members. When will EFSA England host the next European Boat and Line Class championships again? We promise to return!
Please see separate sheets for the full results
Line class championship (4kg)
The Friday saw the wind dropping off and the sun breaking through as the anglers headed off to fish the one day Line Class event. All the anglers would be using 4kg Ande Tournament line on their reels provided by the sponsor. This was a single hook competition and flatfish only would count. The boats would spend half the day on the Shambles targeting turbot and brill before steaming to the nearby mussel beds to target the spotted plaice. Bait again was supplied with prawns replacing the squid and most boats stopped in the tide on the Shambles to feather for mackerel and sand eels at the start of the day and these were equally shared on the boats
Top fish of the day was a prospective new line class record brill of 1.895kg landed by England’s Richard Russell. Subject to ratification Richard’s fish will fill the vacant 4kg line class record spot in both the European and World record lists.
The turbot and brill failed to show in any great numbers but the recent plaice form of Weymouth continued with several nice specimens landed during a day where the anglers relaxed and had fun after the rigors of the main event. Again the event was fished to the percentage system to ensure a spread of prizes and the boat winners were separated on fish points where a turbot was worth 30, brill 20 and plaice 10 points
EFSA Iceland – A short personal account of an enjoyable fishing day at sea off Weymouth.
When coming from a faraway Nordic country to the hot South England were everything is different than the visitor knows from his/her home country you cannot but notice the stunning surrounding in were the European Boat & Line Championships took place.
On an unforgettable day, the last fishing day in the Championships (the Line Championships) the weather was superb, calm sea, misty and comfortable warm. There were nine of us anglers from five Sections on the boat Supernova II and almost all of us knew each other and had fished together in some other championships. After about one hour sailing from Weymouth harbour we fished for Sand-Eel to use as bait and then next to the fishing banks were the Turbot and the Brill was supposed to be. Finally we stopped and the skipper yelled: „let it go guys, start fishing“. We all started fishing trying to get these interesting fish species. Everybody was calm and at the start didn´t speak to each other, only concentrating fishing and trying to get that precious Turbot or a Brill. After a while two of us got a Turbot, Tom the Norwegian and a French guy next to me. The other guys (Liv Tom´s wife included) didn´t get a bite. After two hours fishing: “Lines up” yelled the captain.
Then off we went to the sand banks near the bell buoy fishing for Plaice. The special tackle for Plaice in the water (a string of lots of green and black beans and worms attached to the hook). Then the fun started…. A fish on and it was a Plaice. All of us got a fish, we started smiling and the excitement was high. Marc Duncan, Neil Bryant and others constantly cracking jokes, the Steward busy handling the net and the captain on deck urging the crew to keep on going catching more Plaice. Each time someone got a Plaice all the crew yelled “hurray” to celebrate the catch. Someone also yelled “Lets drink to that”, but we didn´t have anything to drink (i.e. something stronger than water!) but anyway we got intoxicated with excitement. …Then I knew and felt that it would be a splendid day. Suddenly a strong bite on my hook! “Ups, Thorir take it easy do not rush at it”, I talked to myself. Very slowly I started winding in, inch for an inch and finally after so many minutes …I do not know how many… a wonderful fish appeared at the surface. “Net please, net please” I yelled and the Steward came rushing toward me, netted the fish and gave it to me. What a fish! A big Plaice weighing 5.1 lbs. (about 2.5 kg.) and the length of it was 54 cm. It was the biggest Plaice on the boat that day and my personal best. That´s how fishing should be, joyful, happy with everyone getting a fish, what a very successful fishing day. I think almost everybody in the Line Championships that day could share similar experience as mine.
Thank you EFSA England!
29 September 2014
Thorir Sveinsson, EFSA Iceland.
Isle of Wight angler Richard Wheeler took the gold medal with 110 points just 10 ahead of England’s Ray Barron. South African competitor Brett Wienham lifted the bronze medal with a turbot, a brill and three plaice for 80 points. The Ladies event was won by Tina Lustig of Wales, South Africa’s Anita Gower took the silver and Liv Unsgaard from Norway the bronze.
Richard paired up with Simon Norman to finish runaway winners in the teams of two, twenty percentage points ahead of second placed Mike Smith and Gary Galbraith. Third place went to Marcus Wuest and Perry Dack. Perry and Marcus teamed up with Ray Barron and Neil Bryant to win the fours event. Second place went to Tina Lustig, John O’Conner, Ray Ashby and Neil Cottington with Andy Selby, Billy Short, Brett Wienham and Madeline Brown in third.
Please see separate sheets for the full results
Report by Martin Bobbett with input from Scotland, Wales, South Africa, France, Germany, Iceland & Norway.
Results EFSA European Boat Championships Weymouth 2014