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EFSA - European Federation Of Sea Anglers

European Boat & Line Class Championships 2008

The 2008 EFSA Boat & Line Class Championships were held at Cobh, County Cork from the 18th to the 23rd of August.
The check-in for the 180 competitors from 14 countries commenced at The Commodore Hotel on Friday night and continued through to Sunday morning.
The parade of flags was held on Sunday afternoon but was marred by rain, which was unfortunate as the children of Cobh had put on a super show for the competitors. The local vintage car club also participated.

The opening ceremony which had been planned to take place at the bandstand in the town’s park had to be moved indoors to the ballroom of the Commodore Hotel due to the severity of the rain. The ceremony was ably martialled by Claire Cullinane. The flag raising ceremony was witnessed by EFSA President Horst Schneider who then declared the championships open.

The competitors with their friends and families were later in the evening treated to a civic reception hosted by Cobh Town Council and addressed by Town Mayor John Mulvihill.

Line Class Event

Monday morning saw the start of the 2 day Line Class event. Each angler was using the 6kg Ande monofilament line provided. The advantage of choosing Cobh as the venue soon became apparent. The weather was extremely bad with high winds and torrential rain, and the day’s fishing had to be restricted to the harbour where all boats had to remain at anchor.

The 20 charter boats, some of which had come from as far away as Arklow and Union Hall headed out at 8am.

Despite the conditions some reasonably good fishing was recorded. With some of the larger boats divided for zoning purposes there were 33 anglers on 100% at the end of day one, including 3 ladies. Legendary angler John Cronin headed the field.

Day 2 saw better weather and the boats were able to get out to the famous marks off the Cork coast. The fishing was tough in the windy conditions, so much so that at the end of the day there were only 10 anglers with the 200% maximum.

The old adage of ‘When the going gets tough the tough get going’ was certainly proven correct. Twice world champion Jim Pressley from England was in pole position to win his first Line Class crown. Hans Juergen Glaeser from Germany was second and Alastair Forsyth from Scotland completed the medals.

Ireland’s Mary Gavin Hughes took the ladies title. Welsh angler Phil Lustig captured a probable Line Class record Red Gurnard of 1.01 Kgs.

Boat Championships

Wednesday was the start for the all tackle Boat Championships. Weather conditions had improved considerably & all boats were safely at anchor on the prolific conger marks off Cork. At the end of the day local angler Ken Hegarty led the field and once again there were 33 anglers on 100%

Day 2 was also fished in good conditions but the fishing zone was moved to the south westerly marks. Good fishing was reported at the end of the day with some boats recording in excess of a dozen species. There were only 12 anglers now holding the maximum 200%. Ken Hegarty still held pole position followed closely by 2 time winner Heiko Dreier.

Day 3 saw the weather deteriorate, causing some weird fishing conditions. The wind was holding the boats across the tide which gave a distinct advantage to those anglers drawn on the starboard side. Once again the decision to split the boats added a degree of fairness to the days fishing. When lines up was called, amazingly there were only 3 anglers still holding maximum points.

The presentation of prizes took place on Saturday afternoon. An impressive array of fishing rods and reels, and some wonderful Waterford glass trophies were awarded. Main sponsors for the event Grauvell S.A. together with the other sponsors including Dan Lynch of Halfway Angling Centre, Martin Kennedy and Paul Robinson of Shamrock Tackle, Dermot O’Brien of  Wiser Recycling, Deirdre Connolly of Waterford Angling Centre and the many local businesses in Cobh must be wholeheartedly thanked for their contribution to this marvellous event.

Topping the prize list was Heiko Dreier from Killarney winning the Championships for a record 3rd time in succession; he had been victorious in Weymouth, England last year and in Harstad, Norway in 2006. In 2nd place was Mathieu Amato from Italy and 3rd was Joe Gough from Dublin. 4th place was taken by 2 time winner Ray Barron from England while 5th place was taken by EFSA Ireland Secretary Warren Doyle from Bray. A great result for the Irish contingent with 3 in the first 5.

In the ladies event it was a one, two for Mayo with Margaret Sweeney from Achill pipping Mary Gavin Hughes from Newport, 3rd place was taken by Yulia Goncharova from Russia.

The junior section was topped by Erik Taranger from Norway, recording a double after his success in the Light Line event.

The international teams was won by Italy ‘A’ who were also recording a record 3 in a row. The team were Fabio Gieri, Vanni Erani, Claudio Mancini, Domenico Salvatore and Roberto Melandri. England took silver, the team were Mike Smith, Kenneth Smith, Kim Bowden, Ray Barron and Helen Verrall. Ireland ‘A’ took  bronze, the team were Peter McCartin, Tommy Squires, Gordon Darker, Dave Rylands from and Roy Shipway.

The coveted 4 man team section was won by Mick Clarges, Joe Gough both from Dublin, Shay O’Neill, Ballybrack and Warren Doyle, Bray. In this section all scores are counted whereas with the international teams section the worst score each day is dropped.

The pairs was won by Roy Shipway and Ray Barron.

Next years championships will be held at Stromness in Orkney.

Countries competing were;
Belgium, Denmark, England, Germany, Gibraltar, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales.

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