EFSA European Boats and Line Class Championships Harstad, Norway 7th to 15th July 2006
EFSA Norway can look back on a successful championship in the Line Class and Boat events in Harstad from the 10th to the 15th of July. A total of 135 anglers from 15 countries had sent in their entry forms and were ready for tight lines in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
For the first time Russia was represented at the Championships. A great welcome to Russia!
The South-African team had travelled 5,000 kilometres to participate. Well done to them.
However, before the anglers could get their lines in water, some of them experienced a problem with the flight operator, SAS, who failed to get baggage on the same plane as the travellers, causing some problems. Luckily enough, the baggage arrived in due course and all anglers were ready to go fishing.
Line Class Championship
Monday morning gave the organising club, Harstad Havfiskeklubb, or Artic Sea Angling Club, an unexpected blow, - one boat for 8 anglers was banned from leaving the harbour by the Harbour Authorities due lack of an approved lifeboat. This was tackled by taking on spare boats.
One more blow to the organisers on weighing-in. One of the scales was just not good enough. One scale and 110 anglers in the line class was not a good mix, but thanks to friendly anglers the catches were weighed-in in the end. I call that good sportsmanship.
Tuesday was much better and the competion between Valeri Balban of Gibraltar and Kjærsti Blomsø Kristiansen from Norway went in favour of Kjærsti with Valeri in 2nd and Margaret Sweeny from Ireland in 3rd.
In the overall competion the victory went to Ronald MacDonald from South Africa with Jerry Svensson from Sweden in 2nd place and Rino Scalxo from Italy in 3rd place. All 3 anglers won their boats both days, so it was the number of species and weight of the catch that separated them.
Two men team victory went to Ireland, represented by Michael Clarges and Joseph Byrnes.
However, the biggest fish caught in the line class event was a cod of 20,5 kilos caught by the 18 year old Darragh Rice from Ireland. This is new European Record in the 12 lbs (6 kilo line) class. Well done Darragh.
Wednesday morning was cold and windy, but 126 anglers were ready for the Boat Championship event.
In the ladies class the competion between Valeri Balban and Kjærsti Blomsø Kristiansen was intense. However, Valeri was the winner in this event. She won her boat all three days, even with her husband Jesus Balban on the same boat.
The overall event was very close, but at the end of three days fishing Heiko Dreier from Ireland was the best. However, we had to go into sorting the species and weight to decide the winner. 2nd was Matteo La Bella from Italy with another Italian, Claudio Mancini 3rd.
The team competitions produced the following results. The Italian national team A won ahead of Norway A and Ireland B.
4-men team was won by a team with Colin Searles, Nigel Hearn, Paul Hart,all from England and Geir Solland from Norway.
Executive team winners were the following anglers: Joe Gough IRL, Vanni Erani ITL, Jerry Svensson SWE and Kjærsti Blomsøe Kristiansen NOR.
Best 2-man team was Colin Searles and Nigel Hearn from England.
Best Senior John Davidson GIB. Best Life member Heiko Dreier IRL.
For the first time the EFSA bronze pin for the Boat Class event went to a female angler. Congratulation to Valeri Balban!
The gold was awarded to Heiko Dreier from Ireland and the silver pin to Matteo La Bella from Italy.
In the Line Class event the gold pin went to Ronald MacDonald from South-Africa, the silver pin to Jerry Svensson from Sweden and the bronze pin to Rino Scalxo from Italy.
Prize-giving ceremony and Gala Dinner.
The prize-giving ceremony took place at the Grand Nordic Hall and at the end of the ceremony King Neptune entered the scene. The winners of both Line Class and Boat Class were called forward to be knighted by the “ruler of the Seas”, King Neptune. Both Ronald MacDonald and Heiko Dreier had to kneel down before the King to receive their tokens. A ceremony highly acclaimed by the rest of attendees.
The Russian delegation honoured Trond-Roger Larsen (Artic Sea Angling Club) with a huge pirk for arranging a memorable championship in Harstad.
At the Gala Dinner, the industry and commerce advisor from the city authorities, Helge Schjølberg, presented gifts to Horst Schneider, Trond-Roger Larsen (chairman Artic Sea Angling Club) and John-Erik Roth, EFSA Norway.
In the evening it was time to relax at the Gala Dinner and dance into the small hours of night.
As EFSA Norway sees it, the championships were successful and in some of the reports coming back from participating sections, they would like to come back to Harstad in a few years time.
Local press coverage was good, with daily reports. NRK, the state owned broadcasting company had a short news story on TV locally as well nationwide on Friday.
EFSA Norway will like to thank all participants for showing good sportsmanship and eagerness to fish in the “high north” and wishes EFSA England good luck and tight lines in their 2007 championships.
John-Erik Roth, Chairman EFSA Norway
Results Line Class Championship
2. Man team
Results Boat Championships
Open 2 Man Team
Open 4-Man Team
Most Unusual Fish
Highest Number of Fish
Single day best catch male
single day best catch female
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