The 6th running of the Species Championship was awarded to Section Belgium who chose the port of Oostende as the venue. With a total entry of 83 anglers competing from 10 Sections this was a Championship completely in the spirit of an EFSA event; friends and family gathered to celebrate another Championship and much socialising supported the serious side of the angling.
Most of the competitors stayed either in or near to the excellent H.Q. Europa Hotel in Bredene A/Zee. Due to extensive roadwork’s and limited parking a coach was provided to take anglers to and from the boats at the Royal Yacht Club of Oostende (RYCO), and a formal Civic reception in the Oostende Town Hall on the Saturday evening. All competitors appreciated the coach transport meaning anglers could park for free in Bredene and would not need their cars again until departing for home. Fifteen boats were used all proudly flying the EFSA burgees, and providing the competitors with a good insight into the professionalism of the boat Skippers and their extensive knowledge of the fishing grounds.
Many members had arrived earlier in the week and fished the Friendship cup on the Thursday where the weather had been wet and cold with the winning angler recording 28 fish. From registration on Friday until most competitors left on the Monday, the weather could not have been nicer with flat calm seas and high temperatures making the event a really pleasant experience. Bait provision was naturally the same for all anglers and consisted of large quantities of fresh Ragworm, Blow Lugworm and gutted Black Lugworm.
Day 1 saw the boats heading well out to sea where lots of Whiting and Dabs kept everyone busy until lines up. The catches were numerous although the Flatfish were generally small with many failing to make the required size limits. Catches were efficiently recorded at the RYCO and results were promptly displayed both there and at the H.Q. Hotel.
Prior to selecting the area for angling on day 2 the Organisers and Skippers got together to consider the options and made the decision to return to areas much closer to shore for the Sunday, this proved absolutely spot on with far bigger fish.
Day 2 and the battle was on to see who would emerge as Champion, 15 boat winners from Saturday started as joint favourites knowing they needed another boat win and a good catch to win in a likely countback. When the day was finished 5 anglers had managed to win their boat on both days; 3 from England , Kim Bowden , Gary Galbraith and Mike Smith and 2 from Belgium , Andre Machiels and Ronny Cleyman.
At the prize ceremony the EFSA Flag and Species banner provided a fine backdrop for the photographs of all the competitors. Willy Van Renterghem, Chairman, Section Belgium and Hamish Holmes , General Secretary, EFSA H.Q. presented the prizes and Pins. The individual prize table stretched down to 34 th place at the suggestion of Willy Van Renterghem so every competitor in the top half of the results received a prize and all competitors were in addition presented with commemorative embroidered polo shirts.
Gold Pin; Gary Galbraith, England
Silver Pin; Kim Bowden , England
Bronze Pin; Andre Machiels, Belgium
Gold Medal; Belgium A
Andre Machiels, Dennis Cooreman, Luc Morreel, Henri Jungers, Ronny Cleyman.
Silver Medal; England A
Richard Russell, Gary Galbraith, Colin Searles, Mike Smith, Ray Barron
Bronze Medal; England B
Helen Verrall , David Clark, Brian Moss, Matt Osborne, Kim Bowden
Four Man Team:
Martin Bobbett, England , Gary Galbraith, England , Mike Smith, England , Matt Osborne, England .
Two Man Team:
Gary Galbraith, England , Mike Smith, England .
Day 1 Winner:
Henri Jungers, Belgium
Day 2 Winner:
Kim Bowden , England
Sigridur Kjartansdottir , Iceland
Jokull Skarphedinsson , Iceland
Gary Galbraith, England
Jos Cooreman , Belgium , Plaice 1.47kg.
John O’Connor, Wales , 0.44kg.
Jos Cooreman , Belgium , 0.38kg.
Kim Bowden , England , 0.58kg.
Jos Cooreman , Belgium , 1.47kg.
EFSA Section Belgium, wish to thank all the sponsors for their generosity and most importantly all the anglers and their families for contributing to such a friendly and successful event.
English Section members final placing:
1st Gary Galbraith 200%
2nd Kim Bowden 200%
5th Mike Smith 200%
14th Billy Cann 177.89%
16th Matt Osborne 171.63%
19th Richard Russell 170.67%
22nd Brian Moss 161.7%
23rd Dave Clark 161.19%
25th Martin Bobbett 156.77%
27th Ashley Curie 151.1%
28th Andy Smith 148.45%
29th Chris Pucher 148.29%
33rd Rob Quinn 140.23%
35th Colin Searles 138.54%
38th Tony Hudson 132.63%
40th Neil Cottington 130.83%
45th Ray Barron 122.5%
48th Neil Bryant 120.11%
49th Rolf Marschalek 116.9%
50th David Styles 116.45%
68th Marcus Weust 89.37%
74th Helen Verrall 70.8%
79th Jim Phillipson 56.58%
82nd Keith Scaggs 38.3%