The Angling Trust Team England Veterans went into the World Angling Championships this year 2nd/3rd September 2011 as top seeds having won 2 silver and 1 bronze medal in the three previous Internationals.
The river Arno in Florence was the scene of the first ever Nations win for England in 1985, but this time the England Veterans team missed out on the medals to finish in 6th place out of the 11 teams that had participated in the World Championship event. The team this year consisted of Don Slaymaker, Dicky Carr, Stan Binge, Roger Marlow, Terry Lancaster, Dick Clegg (Manager), and Brian Gibson (Assistant Manager).
During practice Italy, France and Portugal fished only for bleak which put England in a dilemma. Catching 150 plus of tiny 2 to 3 gram fish in one hour was always going to be difficult for team England and a different line of attack was needed.
Team tactics was to catch larger fish, and spiny catfish, small carrasio and carp were the target species. Unfortunately the team had not been able to practice in section A which was less than half the depth of the rest of the match length and it was this section which possibly cost England a medal.
With 20 points out of a maximum of 22 points over two days in this section totally scuppered the teams chances and they could only manage 6th overall despite Terry Lancaster and Dicky Carr winning their sections on day two.
The teams targeting bleak finished in three of the top four places with Belgium taking the silver medal and also providing the individual winner. Belgium used tactics similar to those employed by England with a chopped worm, maggot and sweet corn approach hoping for larger fish.
1st Italy 19 points
2nd Belgium 34 points
3rd France 37 points
4th Portugal 37 points
5th Hungary 43 points
6th England 47 points