Sunday 2nd August and the opening ceremony took place with a parade through Stromness led by a pipe band to culminating at the front of the HQ, The Stromness Hotel. Here on the lawn the speeches were made and the EFSA chairman Mr Horst Schneider declared the Championship open and the EFSA flag was raised. The country flags were then taken to the quay where they where they stayed for the week of the fishing, most of the time to fly very straight due to the strength of the wind during the week.
Monday’s fishing was in doubt on Sunday due to the forecast but it was decided ok to fish in the near gale force wind as the direction meant that if all boats fished close to the cliffs (which ran just outside the harbour down to the Old Man of Hoy) there should be enough shelter. So on the way out boats stopped to fish for fresh mackerel which was the favoured bait and which proved to be plentiful all week. At 0930 the Championship got under way with strong wind and driving rain. All fishing was on the drift which was rapid due to the wind so reasonable amount of lead needed to keep in contact with the sea bed, a lot of which is rock so tackle losses were inevitable. Main species to target were cod, haddock and ling with all being caught in reasonable numbers. Also in some areas pollack and coalfish which counted as the same species. The fishing conditions improved a little by midday when the rain eased but still the strong wind persisted. It soon become apparent that it was cod and haddock which would make up most of the bag,
At the end of the day the scores for the boat winners varying, the average being about 35 scoring fish, England were among the 8 boat winners with Paul Hart and Barrie Senior off to a good start,
Tuesday ended up a sightseeing day for most as the wind was stronger than Monday and the direction had changed so the decision was to cancel the day.
Wednesday, and with lighter wind, the Championship was again under way. Today the boats could fish where they wanted so some went similar to Monday but able to push on further or to go north where the better fishing was just offshore from the Kitchener’s monument which could be seen on the cliff top. North there were good numbers of haddock as well as cod and ling, and on some of the cleaner ground there were smaller numbers of gurnard both grey and red, whiting, dab and a few plaice plus the occasional spurdog.
At the end of the second day and it was all change at the top, with only one person with 2 day wins. So with 200% it was Scott Gibson of Scotland.
Thursday was the final day of the Boat Championship, the weather was again reasonable and as most days it was not a case of if it will rain but when! So after gathering the fresh mackerel all anglers prepared for the last chance to improve their position on the overall results. Fishing again was varied with all getting used to what species to target and with easier conditions the fishing was possibly the best of the 3 days. The scores for the boat winners varying with one boat winner with 20 fish to the best boat winner with 62 scoring fish, Again there were half the boats won by anglers with their first boat win of the Championship but only one angler with a perfect 300% score and that was Scott Gibson from Scotland. Our own Colin Searles a close run 4th, the same position he achieved at the last Championship held here in 2009.
Friday was the day for the Line Class Championship where all anglers were fishing with the same 8kg ANDE line. The same species were targeted but this time all had to be measured and it was total length that decided the winner of each boat and also today, with light wind and no rain, it was a great day to conclude the weeks fishing. England’s Cliff Newbold achieved the best boat win of the day with a length of 1889 cm so became the 2015 Line Class Champion.
Saturday afternoon and the presentation was held at The Stromness Academy where the awards were presented and the pins awarded, details at the bottom of this report. There was a good prize table with the usual array of fishing tackle plus, as you would expect, many bottles of the locally distilled Highland Park whiskey. The presentation was concluded with the final words from our Chairman Horst who’s final duty was to hand over the EFSA flag to Warren Doyle who accepted it on behalf of Section Ireland who are hosting the 2016 European Boat and Line Championship at Cobh on 16th to 23rd of September.
There were then a couple of hours to relax before the Gala dinner at the same venue. On arrival there was piper to play us in before sitting down to the meal. All had made their choices from the menu prior and the meal was soon underway with a glass or two of wine to wash it down, After the meal there was Ceilidh band to provide some music and most people mingled and had a last catch up with the many friends from the sections that had attended the event before a fond farewell and talk of when we are likely to meet up again.
Top 3 Boat Championships
Gold pin Scott Gibson Scotland
Silver pin Steve Souter Scotland
Bronze pin Peter Skudal Norway
Top 3 Line Class Championships
Gold pin Cliff Newbold England
Silver pin Jerry Svensen Sweden
Bronze pin Daniel Moller Sweden
England, Boat Championship Individual position
4th Colin Searles
10th Paul Hart
11th Matt Osborne
16th Richard Russell
17th Barrie Senior
19th Pete Bailey
33rd Andy Smith
34th Mark Smith
47th Kim Bowden
50th Ken Smith
51st Cliff Newbold
75th Jim Philipson
Other English Achievements
Senior Gold = Ken Smith (plus taking the Hamish Holmes memorial trophy)
Silver = Richard Russell
Pairs Gold = Richard Russell & Kim Bowden
Bronze = Pete Bailey & Cliff Newbold
Senior Silver = Richard Russell
National team Bronze = England B;
Richard Russell, Kim Bowden, Barrie Senior, Colin Searles and Pete Bailey
Report by Kim Bowden