European Shore Championships
Well here we are 4.30 am Heathrow airport , most of the team members and their wives are here there seems to be a nervous twitch after the last foray but as they say nothing ventured nothing gained !!
We arrive Gibraltar to a clear blue sky and 75f. it’s brilliant , Once we clear customs we all met outside the airport and book mpv taxi cabs 15 minutes later we arrive at our hotel and championship HQ the Caleta which is built on the side of the ” Rock ” overlooking the sea and private beach.
Colin Sargeant actually cast’s off his balcony and fished from his room.
For two days some of the anglers practice some tour around the Island some just laze around the pool topping up their sun tans.
This is a very busy day 8.30 am meet and bus down to the city square in full dress uniform for the flag parade with Richard Cleal our reining European champion doing the honours by carrying our colours and very eloquent he looked too !!
10.00 am and off to the opening ceremony at the governors residence with the Minister of sport giving an excellent speech ( some of our Members of Parliament should take note ) after the speeches the waiters arrive with smoked salmon and various other canapés , buck’s fizz and large gin and tonics this is how fishing should be !!!!!
All back to the hotel and down to the proper business of fishing which is a little bit different to 6oz leads, gales and power casting with light spinning and float rods, bread and cheese for bait , blue sky’s, 90 degrees and sun tan lotion.
Several members of the English section get off to fliers with Helen Verral winning her zone beating Charlie Carreras one of the hot favourites! Paul Curtice and Janet Sargeant 2nd and 3rd in zone D with several other members 4th and 5th in their zones .
Same bait , same weather lots of strange looking fish with Spanish mackerel screaming of the clutch on the light tackle. Another good day for us with Reg Clough, Dave Lovelock and Brian Allum 3rd in their zones with Helen Verral and Jerry Knight 4th.
Well this is it , it is still to close to call with 3rd. place up for grabs as Gibraltar A and B are leading by a street. What every angler needs today is a bonus fish and do they oblige with monstrous garfish up to 2.5 lbs jumping out of the sea like baby sailfish, you only need one as they are worth double points but Dave Lovelock gets a double shot !!!!! I’ve never seen nothing like it they even jump in different directions . Both teams get good points with Dave another 3rd, Paul Curtice and Richard Cleal 4th in their sections.
7 pm and it is time for the results and the prize giving , as we arrive the Ladies are presented with a bouquet and the Gentlemen a cigar.
Best European angler – Dave Lovelock 11th overall.
Best Lady angler – Helen Verral 15th.
Best specimen – Janet Sargeant 30th.
Paul Curtice 17th.
Reg Clough 21st.
Richard Cleal 22nd.
Brian Allum 23rd.
Jerry Knight 25th.
Anthony Porrit 33rd.
Dave Clark 34th.
Peter Hoad 35th.
Budge Booker 39th.
Colin Sargeant 40th.
Gibraltar A 1st.
Gibraltar B 2nd.
Ireland A 3rd.
Teams of Four
Colin Sargeant and Richard Cleal – Gold medal
Teams of Two
Paul Curtice – Bronze medal
After all the excitement of the prize giving we move on to the Gala Diner and for once it lives up to its title the food , wine, service and camaraderie were exceptional.
Once the diner is over the band starts up for those whom still have some energy left to dance , the gentlemen sit back and take stock of the European Championships it is without doubt the best championship we have ever had the pleasure to be invited too. With a unanimous proposal to John Gonzalez to host the European Championships every year !!