The 2011 EFSA European Shore Championship was organised and hosted by the Irish Section with beaches on the West coast of Ireland, North of Wexford providing the fishing. The Headquarters for the competition was within Sean OG’s Hotel and holiday home complex at Kilmuckridge. This is a fantastic facility which enabled the Irish Section to be able to offer very favourable rates and high quality of accommodation for all participating anglers and their families.
The dates of the competition were the 20th – 23rd April 2011 however many anglers had taken advantage of the very good deal being offered to arrive early and in some cases National teams had spent up to a week enjoying the local fishing venues. English Section members travelled over a day early which meant a more relaxed approach to the competition and an opportunity to view all of the potential venues.
A warm welcome was extended by the EFSA Ireland Chairman George McCullough to all competitors and the competition booking in evening was well managed and painless. Our hosts had laid on a feast of a “finger” buffet that consisted of sausages, nuggets, onion rings and chips. This had some of us rueing the fact that we had eaten earlier but still managed to fill a space – no one can resist sausage and chips! 57 Anglers had made their way to the competition and it was great to see juniors attending and competing within the competition.
The Irish Section had made some changes leading up to the competition to try and ensure that the best could be made of the low catches coming from local beaches. These included lowering size limits within the measure and return system and changing the start and finish times of the 1st and 2nd day to ensure some fishing in dusk and darkness. There were also some necessary changes to accommodate double peg draws for junior anglers who needed to be accompanied on the beach.
The changes made seemed to work well as the first days fishing saw plenty of entries on angler’s cards. The catches were made up of predominantly flatfish with flounders and dabs being fairly well distributed. Some other species did appear though with Bass, Dogfish, Eel, Scorpion Fish, and Smoothounds all making appearances.
Day 1 at Clones Strand saw mixed fortunes in the English camp with Budge Booker doing very well coming 2nd in his zone, Reg Clough 3rd in his zone and Gerry Knight managed to find both largest round and flatfish to make sure he could pay for his dinner! The results were posted on the wall in the Sean OG’s Bar and the English Section team sitting in 4th place well behind both Wales A & B teams and Ireland A.
Day 2 at Tinnebearna Strand. Fish were less plentiful and anglers had to contend with a blustery side wind but despite this still enough fish around to keep anglers busy. English anglers did better with John Campbell and Dave Lovelock winning their zones, Reg Clough with a 2nd in zone and the rest of the team managing good placings in the top order of their zones. After a few pints of the black stuff the results were posted and our anglers had moved up the ladder and we had 3 of our number in the top 10. The team had also moved up to 3rd place tying on points with 2nd placed Wales A but knocked back on fish count. This was a big lift for the forecasted arduous last day!
Day 3 arrived and the weather held dry and for the most part sunny with a daylight match on the notoriously “peggy” at Ballinoulart Beach (or Morris Castle North Beach). Despite these far from ideal conditions each of the English Section anglers was upbeat and looking forward to the challenge. There were fish around but not as well distributed as the previous 2 days and many anglers blanked. This included the Championship leader Steve Davis from Wales, who had 2 zone wins under his belt coming into the last day. As we made our way off the beach we were upbeat with Paull Curtice, Dave Clark, Gerry Knight all with zone wins along with high placed finishes from Reg Clough, John Campbell and Dave Lovelock gave us hope of an upset,
The presentation evening was held in the main hotel function room which was a perfect setting for a lovely meal. Once cleared away the speeches and prize giving began. It soon became apparent that the English Section table would be pretty full of prizes with its occupiers well “gonged”! The 2 Icelandic anglers could only look on with anticipation of showing us how they do it next year!
At the end of the competition our contingent had a number of successes and prizes awarded as follows:
Reg Clough – Overall 2nd Place individual and Silver Pin
John Campbell – Overall 4th Place (missing out on Bronze place by 1 point!)
Drawn pairs 2nd.
Paull Curtice – Overall 7th Place individual
Drawn pairs 2nd
Drawn 3 man team 1st
Gerry Knight – Overall 9th Place individual
Flatfish and Longfish pools winner on day 1
Flatfish pools winner on day 2
Dave Lovelock – Overall 13th Place individual
Dave Clark – Overall 29th Place individual
Budge Booker – Overall 30th Place individual
The overall individual Championship results were:Championship winner awarded Gold Pin – Kenny Gainsforth (Wales)
Championship 2nd place awarded Silver Pin – Reg Clough (England)
Championship 3rd place awarded Bronze Pin – Alan Cheswick (Wales)
Gold – England
Silver – Ireland A
Bronze – Wales A
1st Scott Brunton
2nd Jake Forsythe
3rd Dylan Kearns
1st Clarinda van der Zande
2nd Annette Poehier
3rd Mary O’Callahan
2 Man Team.
1st Paull Curtice (England) & Paul Tyndall (Ireland)
2nd David (Jack) Keegan (Ireland) & Shaun Tucker (Wales)
3rd Alan Cheswick (Wales) & Jonathan Costello (Ireland)
3 Man Team.
1st John Campbell (England), Paull Curtice (England), Shaun Tucker (Wales)
2nd Theo Rijnberg (Holland), Rob Collins (Wales), Steve Tucker (Wales)
3rd Ian Knight (Ireland), Jan Gorrissen (Holland), Annette Poehler (Germany)
4 Man Team.
1st Kenny Gainfort (Wales), Jonathan Costello (Ireland), Arno Vermeiren (Holland), Reg Clough (England)
2nd Alan Cheswick (Wales), Paull Curtice (England), Matthew Lustig (Wales), Klaus Friedmann (Germany)
3rd Alan O’Dowling (Ireland), Paul Tyndall (Ireland), Kieran Rice (Ireland), Rob Collins (Wales)
1st John Campbell (England)
Hanging to the wreckage or OAPs
1st Reg Clough
2nd Dave Clark
3rd Brian (Budge) Booker
Best Round Fish: Harry McKee (Ireland). Gold Medal.
Best Flat Fish: Gerry Knight (England). Gold Medal.
Most Fish: Steve Lewis (Wales), 24 fish. Gold Medal.
Another well organised and very friendly competition organised by the Irish Section. The weather was dry and sunny throughout and the hospitality from everyone concerned both hotel and bar staff to the guys organising the competition was faultless. It’s a shame that the fishing deserved by the effort that went in was not forthcoming but even so the Section did their best to make it an interesting competition. I know that everyone attending from the English Section thoroughly enjoyed themselves and will be looking forward to returning to the Emerald Isle.
If only we had a Sean OG’s next to Chesil beach!!