EFSA EUROPEAN SHORE CHAMPIONSHIP 2016
This years EFSA European Shore championships was hosted by EFSA Ireland. The competition headquarters was the complex known to most as Sean OGs in Kilmuckridge, County Wexford with the fishing taking place on the local beaches. 10 English section members made their way across the water arriving on the days proceeding the official registration day 11th May. This gave some of the anglers the chance to sample some of the fishing on similar beaches to those that we would be fishing on in County Wexford.
On the evening of Wednesday 11th May the opening ceremony for the 2016 EFSA European Shore Championship took place. With a parade of flags into the room the Championship was officially opened with a welcome extended to the 63 anglers representing 6 Section countries. After a few words on the format for the next 3 days fishing the draw for zones for each angler for the 3 days then took place; peg draw would take place each day on the beach.
Day 1, Thursday 12th May and the Championships got under way.
After bait distribution at HQ it was join a convoy hopefully with a person in front that knew how to get to venue! Today’s venue was Clones Sands, the furthest one to travel to. Once we were parked up it was a stroll in the afternoon sun to peg 1 of your zone where all in that zone mustered to draw their peg number for their fishing position for the secession.
Whiting were quick to make a show to most anglers with double or triple shots though not necessarily all over the minimum size of 18cm to score. After a couple of slow hours on Whiting it slowed more for most competitors. Other species caught in smaller numbers were dogfish, smoothound, ray codling, dab and flounder. It was as expected your quality of fishing depended on your draw with the winner of the top zone having 3 times the amount of fish as 3 of the other zone winners.
So after the results were gathered the best showing by England anglers were Tony Porritt in 15th and Allan Jones in 17th with the rest of us a little further down the ranking! In first place honours to home section member Shay O’Neil.
Day 2 and the venue moved to Ballinoulart Beach with fishing times as yesterday 4 till 9.
The wind was still strong and the fine sand was blowing along the beach making patterns as in was deflected by tackle boxes and beach brollies, besides which it found its way into all the tackle including boxes even with lid closed. Fishing again was largely luck of the draw and finding where in front of you the fish may be and a lot of us left the beach with 1 scoring fish or none to score.
Fish species very similar to yesterday and again catching was all very well but many were under the 18cm size to score.
Saying that it was down to the draw, the top 6 at the end of day 2 managed to finish in the top 4 out of 13 in the zone on each of the days so they must have known on how to make the best of the fishing.
England’s top angler was now Stuart Jones in 20th position.
Day 3 and in was fishing 1100 to 1600hrs so the results could be worked out in time for the presentation this evening. Today we fished Ballinesker beach with similar conditions to the last 2 days, a strong wind but at least again we did not get any rain. Again species similar though some managed flounder and bass big enough to be positive that you had a fish while others of us at sight of the fish thought is it worth a measure as maybe this one is big enough to score!
So at end of day 3 it was the half mile or more walk back to the car park and exchange tales of the highs and lows of the day and where and when it all went wrong
Personally my best day was the one before the Championship when 3 of us went for a bit of a practice; I caught more in couple of hours than in any of the 5 hour days of competition.
With the results in it was Andres Burkhardt in first place followed by Volker Claus both of Germany and this went a way to giving Germany A the International Gold. Third place went to Roberto Loi of Italy. Our top man was still Stuart Jones who after winning his zone moved up to 7th position in the individuals.
The presentation was held at the Sean Og’s Hotel where most of us stayed and were looked after well all week. After a very enjoyable 3 course meal, the presentation of awards was held.
In the International teams category Germany A were in the Gold position, with Ireland A taking silver and Italy B in the Bronze position. England B managed 5th place just ahead of England A.
After the presentation we were entertained by an excellent folk band, and young people giving a fantastic display of Irish dancing. Afterwards it the bar stayed open to ensure there was time to have plenty of Guinness and swop stories of woe or achievement in the past few days! All in all, results apart, once again the Irish Section ran an excellent competition and we now look to when next we get together at the European Shore Championship at Domburg, in the Netherlands.
English Individual Results
7th Stuart Jones
14th Allan Jones
24th Dave Lovelock
25th Nick Rush
44th Paul Hart
46th Tony Porritt
47th Kim Bowden
51st Jerry Knight
54th Paull Curtice
60th Reg Clough
Report compiled by Kim Bowden