Ladies World Angling Championships 2014

The Angling Trust’s England Ladies World Championship coarse fishing team went into this year’s 21st FIPsed Ladies World Angling Championship on the River Sorria, Coruche, Portugal (23rd – 24th August) as reigning champions after a tremendous win in Slovenia last year, but sadly this time just failed to make the podium after finishing in 4th place.

The venue was fairly well known to English anglers after hosting a number of senior and junior events over the last few years, but this time the fishing had changed dramatically.  

Bleak and carrassio absent in the past suddenly made an appearance resulting in a huge tactical rethink for the English management team. Small barbel and mullet were still there, but the downstream sections produced a big head of carrassio with Italian dual world champion Simona Pollastri winning A section with 10.501 kilos.

The daily temperature never dropped below 33 degrees which made the fishing conditions harder for all the competitors in the Championship.

Fishing up to 20 gram wagglers at distance during practice the England ladies caught a few small barbel using 22/24 hooks to an 0.10 or 0.12 hook length with single or double maggot as bait.  

Bleak were a nuisance at times even at 40 yards, but by changing to short lining with a 6 metre pole the team could target this species and combined with the waggler a reasonable weight could be achieved.

As it turned out bleak became very important in the team results as 3 out of the top 4 teams targeted them at some stage in the match. Eventual winners Italy fished for them in most sections for the first hour before changing to 6 metre or 11.5 metre pole later in the match.

The waggler approach did continue to produce a few fish in some areas, but it was not a method that produced good points in every section. On the pole some groundbait was used but sticky maggot became the most important bait to feed on both waggler and pole.

The odd mullet made an appearance but it was impossible to target this species yet they became a great bonus weight builder because their average size was much bigger than that of the barbel.The draw on day one did not do any favours for team England which saw 3 of their anglers in unfancied areas, but Italy powered their way to an impressive 14 point tally leaving all the other countries floundering in their wake.  

England Team Day one results.
Section A  Julie Abbott 10 points
Section B  Helen Dagnall 3 points
Section C Jeanette Halliday 8 points
Section D Wendy Locker 8 points
Section E Samantha Sim 4 points

Reserve Abbi Kendall

Day One Team Results:
1st Italy 14 points
2nd France 24 points
3rd Portugal 26 points
7th England 33 points

With only 13 teams in this year’s competition it was going to be difficult to make the podium after the disappointment of finishing in 7th place on day one, but after last year’s comeback from 8th to being crowned winners the team knew that anything was possible.  

A better draw was needed on day 2 and in a couple of sections they had just that.  Making her England début, 20 year old Abbi Kendall enhanced her future international career by winning section E to help the team to 3rd place on the day and 4th overall.  

It was a great second day performance that nearly got the Ladies on the podium, but with Italy winning the day and France maintaining 2nd it was too big a mountain to climb to get past Portugal in 3rd and England had to settle for 4th spot. 

With Italy so dominant over the two days it was surprising that they did not finish higher than third in the individual stakes, but a fantastic performance by the wife of 2 times Nations World Champion Thomas Walter and a tremendous bleak catching exhibition from France’s Valerie Nadin pushed Italian angler Silvina Torrini into bronze position.

England Team Day two results
Section A. Samantha Sim 3 points
Section B. Helen Dagnall 2 points
Section C. Wendy Locker 5 points
Section D. Jeanette Halliday 8 points
Section E. Abbi Kendall 1 point

Day Two Team Results:
1st Italy 12 points
2nd France 16 points
3rd England 19 points

Overall Team Results:
1st Italy 26 points
2nd France 40 points
3rd Portugal 45 points
4th England 52 points

Overall Individual results:
1st Barna Walter. Hungary. 3 points  8.167
2nd Valerie Nadan. France. 3 points  6.151
3rd Silvina Torrini. Italy. 4 points
6th Helen Dagnall 5 points

Team manager Dave Brooks said, “I am extremely pleased with our second days performance and given a better draw on day one we would surely have made the podium. I am also delighted for Abbi Kendall who made an excellent début in winning section E on the second day and I am sure it will have given her a great confidence boost for the future.  I would also like to thank all the people and companies who contributed to our fundraising as without them it would have made competing extremely difficult. It also goes without saying that without the help of  Joe Roberts, Jason Kirk and Rob Wright things would have been even more difficult.”

Dick Clegg OBE, Angling Trust International Events Manager stated: “Once more the Ladies team worked together tremendously well and their approach to everything was excellent. In very difficult weather conditions that are rarely if ever seen in England the whole squad practised and fished in temperatures well into the mid-thirties.I would like to thank all the team and squad members for representing England and the Angling Trust in such a professional manner and I know that a podium place awaits in Belgium next year.”