This year’s European Shore Championships was held in Weymouth, Dorset during 24th-27th October. Sixty-one anglers from six countries converged to complete for the prestigious pins and for some pride in the name of their country. Sunday evening saw the opening ceremony at the Rembrandt Hotel, with EFSA banners aloft and with all the anglers dressed for the occasion, you knew this was going to be an enjoyable few days. With Neil Bryant providing an excellent running commentary of the proceedings for the days ahead, a few beers were sunk and information exchanged.
Day one saw strong winds coming from the southwest making fishing at the planned venue impossible so we made to the reserve venue Preston beach. Here the sea was flat and quite clear so Garfish were the order of the day. This proved the right approach for most with anglers catching one or two. Some managed to bag other fish to gain valuable points and zone wins.
Day two and the wind dropped which allowed the day’s venue, West Bexington, to be fished. This time the sea was coloured and looking very fishy. Andy Selby and his gang of stewards helped dispatch bait then using a four-wheel drive vehicle took tackle to the distant pegs. What a lovely day – tee-shirts and shades. On the whistle, baits headed out to sea and within minutes fish were appearing all along the beach. Reg Clough showed his local knowledge by producing some nice Sole. Ian Hopper bagged up well and in my zone, nearest the car park, finding the bottom was proving a problem!
Back at the HQ later that evening the score sheet proved just how even this competition was with any of the top six teams in with a shout of the title. With everything to fish for on the final day, only one thing was on everyone’s mind, the weather.
Day three. As predicted the storm force winds were battering the south coast, so another switch of venue was arranged – this time Chesil Cove, tucked under the lee of Portland. The sea state was OK – not too coloured and fishable, but the side wind making bite detection very hard. This proved to a hard match to fish, with a lot of anglers failing to catch. A big hand to those who did, especially Eddie Painter who worked hard to win the day, and to Dave Lovelock for reading the water well and catching a Garfish on the float.
With everyone now dry and in uniform, the closing Presentation got underway. All were enjoying the hot buffet, and Ben Assirati enjoying his own cake-eating contest. Neil Bryant again putting his heart and soul into the proceedings. After this the results were read out with England A winning overall position and Gold and Silver going to Richard Cleal and Dave Lovelock.
1st England A 121 Points
2nd Wales A 110 Points
3rd Holland A 100 Points
4th England B 99 Points
Points Fish Final Position
R.Cleal 36 16 1
D. Lovelock 35 11 2
P.Parsons 35 9 3
A big thank you must go out to Andy Selby and his gang of stewards for organising bait, transport and 101 other things behind the scenes. Without you this would have been a nightmare to organise. To YYS International for presenting us with a fantastic prize table, its always hard finding sponsors, so thank you very much. To the Rembrandt Hotel – an excellent choice, great food, lovely facilities and a very friendly bunch. To Neil Bryant, for all his hard work in front of the show.
And finally, to all of you who took part, thanks for making this happen.