European Boat and Line Class Championships
Stromness on the Orkney Islands
1st to 8th August
On the 2nd of August the opening ceremony for the 2009 Boat and Line Class Championships took place with a pipe band leading the parade of participating nations through the streets of Stromness on the Orkney Islands. The speeches were made and the Championships formally opened by our EFSA Chairman, Horst Schneider.
The Boat Championship got under way on the Monday on an assortment of 16 boats ranging from fast modern charter boats to classic wooden trawlers and a couple of sailing boats one of which, The Swan, was built in 1905. This was the first year for the change of format to 4 days Boat and 1 day for the Line Class.
The week started with a stiff breeze, which thankfully, decreased as the week went on. The fishing was not as those who fished the last Championship in 2003 remember it with boats moving around to find sizable fish to count. All fishing was done on the drift with much cursing as another rig was claimed by the rocky areas we were drifting for Ling and Pollack. On some of the cleaner ground there were Gurnard, Dogfish, Dab and Cod and later in the week good numbers of Spur Dog were caught by some boats. Several other species were recorded during the week though not in any numbers to affect the points.
After the 4 days the points were totalled. This time round commiserations go to Colin Searles who with a perfect 300% after 3 days on day 4 added 79.2% to finish in 4th place. Closely followed by Ray Barron in 4th with 370.4%, while mentioning Ray he did collect the award for Most Fish caught during the Championships. Honours went to Alister Robertson of Scotland with a score of 389.7% taking Gold pin, Tommy Squires of Ireland on 387.1% the Silver pin and Heiko Drier of Ireland with 386% the Bronze pin.
The England A Team of Neil Bryant, Ray Barron, Colin Searles, Mike Smith and Richard Russell came out in 1st place in the International Team results, with Ireland 2nd and home team of Scotland in 3rd, England B managed 5th place.
Line Class on the Friday was the best weather of the week with light winds and sun. All anglers used the same 6kg Ande line with a single hook. As this was scored by measuring the length of each fish most boats headed North in the hope of finding the Spur dogs again in order get a winning length. The fishing was slower than the previous day with most boats finding spurs, ling, dogfish, 3 varieties of gurnard and cod. The greatest length of the day by a long way was our own Richard Russell with 1391cm taking the Gold pin, well ahead of the second place total of 1055cm.
On the Saturday the presentation was held in the afternoon with a good prize table, which the Irish section took the majority of the Honours. Nobody left empty handed as one of the sponsors gave everyone a miniature of 18-year-old Highland Park whisky, which went down well!
The Gala dinner was held in the evening with good food and wine, followed by a ceilidh band providing the music. The dancing was led by the Scottish section who knew the moves, then in an attempt to get others dancing they moved amongst the other sections inviting them to partner them on the dace floor. Whilst the dancing would not win many prizes on the TV a good time was had by all, a fitting end to a good week.
Full list of results and photographs of parade and presentation can be found at:
Boat Class English results:
4th 379.2% Colin Searles
5th 370.4% Ray Barron
7th 359.7% Richard Russell
11th 348% Gary Gailbraith
24th 313.8% Ken Smith
29th 303.4% Mark Smith
33rd 294.3% Mike Smith
36th 288.5% Neil Bryant
39th 275.3% Matt Osborne
44th 261% Paul Hart
60th 239.2% Nigel Hearn
66th 225.2% Kim Bowden
70th 218% David Styles
114th 113.8% Jim Phillipson
Report by Kim Bowden.