European Boat and Line September 2016, Cobh, Ireland
Sunday 18th September and the opening parade for the 2016 EFSA European Boat and Line Championship was due to take place along the harbour side at Cobh but due to the weather being a little soft, ( that is Irish speak for rain) the opening ceremony was moved inside the Commodore Hotel. After the Section country flags of the 16 nations taking part were paraded into the room the Championship was declared officially open by our Chairman Horst Schneider. We were then entertained by an Irish marching band though seated on this occasion! Then there was a performance on this the 100th anniversary year of the Irish Uprising by an animation group who in costume told the story of the lives of some of the women involved in the events of the 1916 Uprising. There was then time for a drink and to catch up with the other anglers many who had not seen each other since last year’s event but still greeted as best friends.
Anglers had registered today or the previous day so were aware of their boat draw and who they were fishing with.
Monday morning all anglers mustered on the local Kennedy Pier ready to board one of the 12 boats in the Championship. After a meeting for the boat Stewards and Captains to discuss any detail that needed clarifying it was time to load the boats. With fair weather the boats headed out of the harbour, first targeting fresh mackerel to go with the frozen mackerel and rag worm which was the supplied bait. Then the boats spread out ready for the 0930 start time. Most boats started on the drift either on the rocky marks for pollock and wrasse or the sand for whiting, gurnard and codling. Some drifted all day while others spent some time at anchor to give the anglers more chance on conger eel and ling. Other fish species caught were gurnard, coalfish, pouting and cuckoo wrasse.
At the end of day 1 it was local knowledge that proved helpful with 2 Irish anglers in top place, with Barrie Senior, Pete Bailey and Andy Smith from England all in the top 10 out of the 100 anglers taking part. The national team of 5 Ireland A were in first place followed by Norway A with England A in 3rd place.
Tuesday and the format was the same as previous day with most people being on a different boat and many looking for an improvement to their catch and to move up the results table.
At the end of the day 2 there were 5 anglers with 200% and still 2 English in top 10. National team Ireland were still in front but England moved up to second.
Day 3 and it was totally different due to the strong wind and heavy rain so fishing went ahead but limited to the harbour so plenty of area to fish as Cobh harbour is said to be the second largest harbour in the world. Some boats started at the harbour entrance where there were rocky areas to fish for pollock and coalfish. Where I was on the boat I was unable to fish for those species but did manage ballan wrasse, cod and dab. As the tide got up against the wind the boats moved back into the harbour where the sea state was better but still hard to fish with the wind and at one time very heavy rain. There were still fish to be caught though we just had whiting and mackerel. One boat managed to anchor where the anglers boated 68 thornback ray in just over 1 hour.
At the end of day 3 there was only Heiko Dreier of Ireland with the perfect score of 300%. Barrie Senior was in 6th place and Pete Bailey in 8th so still near the top. National team England moved to top swapping places with Ireland who were now second.
Day 4 and the weather eased so it was similar to the first 2 days with grey gurnard in reasonable numbers on the sand plus the other species. Fishing again was not easy and over the 4 days there were not many score sheets to reach the limit of 10 of a species for full points, other fish scored only 1 point after the first 10.
This was the last day of the Boat Championship and Heiko won his boat again for a perfect overall score of 400% and so winning the gold pin. In second place and silver pin was Peter Skudal of Norway with 393.09% and third was Dan Lynch of Ireland with 388.39%. It was hard luck for Pete Bailey who finished 4th with 382.94%.
Ken Smith was in second place in the senior category.
National teams and with a slightly reduced lead in Gold medal position was the England A team of Kim Bowden, Pete Bailey, Ken Smith, Barrie Senior and Vernon Allen. Ireland were in Silver and France A in Bronze.
There were also medals for the longest of nominated species over the Boat Championship and Wednesday in the harbour Smithy (Dave Smith) from England caught a plaice of 38cm to lead the best flatfish, This looked good to win that medal but the Irish count rays as flat fish so a ray over 40cm took best flat fish.
Friday the Line Class championship was fished with all anglers using the same 6kg Ande line with fish needing to be a minimum of 50cm to score. Unfortunately the weather again was strong winds so fishing limited to the harbour where all fishing had to be done at anchor. And again some boats started at the harbour entrance before conditions worsened and while some did not manage very much other boats found a few conger eels and pollock, species that it was unlikely to find in the inner harbour. Other species in the harbour to make the 50cm were bullhuss, dogfish and thornback rays. So as today was a single day Championship it was a bit of a lottery to be on the right boat in the right place. From England the only one to be up there was Jim Phillipson who came 6th overall and was top of the seniors.
4th Pete Bailey 382.94%
10th Barrie Senior 370.77%
15th Kim Bowden 356.55%
24th Vernon Allen 320.1%
25th Ken Smith 317.76%
30th Andy Smith 310.42%
45th Richard Russell 277.79%
78th Jim Phillipson 188.58%
85th Dave Smith 161.22%
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