An amazing turnaround gives England a hard fought Bronze medal at the European Angling Championships in Normandy, France. The event lasted for two days over the 24th and 25th of June and brought together the best European angling nations to compete in Rieux.
The reigning World Champions, England went into the championships as one of the favourites to win the title. The England team had been practising hard to find the best methods to catch the fish. With the venue being a very wide and deep river with the main species up for grabs being Cat Fish and Mullet it was decided that the approach should be of Waggler and Slider.
Heavy ground baiting at the start produced good catches, and as the week of practising progressed England cemented themselves as one of the favourites. However, it was the hosts France that dominated the first day beating the rest of the competition with 16 points. They went ahead of an unlucky Belgian team who scored 32, but had an incredible 21 points from one angler. Although not a disastrous results England scored 48 points, a full 11 behind a bronze medal position.
England manager Mark Downes said after day one “we caught exactly what we wanted to catch today but we underestimated the effect big Bream and big Mullet would have on the overall result”.
After a few changes to feeding patterns England bounced back superbly on day two finishing 2nd with 31 points on the day. The England team were led by a super second in his section Steven Hemingray with 9 kilo 320 grams and leapfrogged over a full 6 teams to steal the bronze medal ahead of Poland and Germany. Belgium although 16 points behind after day one overpowered France to take gold who slumped badly on day 2 with 48 points.
Individually once again it was the incredible Belgium, Guido Nullens with two section wins who took his third individual European title. This led the way for a Belgium one, two and three with Eric Diventi taking Silver with a perfect 2 points, and Luc Vercannen again with perfect two points Bronze.
England top runners were the ever consistent Will Raison with two fourths and 10th overall, and Steve Hemingray put in a good performance with 8 points for a 12th position overall.
Mark Addy, Joint Manager said afterwards “it was a great performance on day two and realistically Bronze medal was our only hope after day one. I was particularly pleased with the relatively new additions to the group, Steve Hemingray and Darren Cox. Steve looks a real find and should soon make a step up to a full world team place, while Darren Cox was 6th in his section on day two with an excellent result.
We now move to Portugal in September for the World Championships to defend our title at what looks to be a difficult one with very few fish. However, England thrives on very difficult venues so hopefully we will retain the world title we won last year in Finland.
1st Belgium 58 points
2nd France 64 points
3rd England 79 points
4th Poland 85 points
5th Germany 89 points
6th Ireland 93 points