Englishmen Keith Turner and Clive Hicks claimed victory at the 2005 World Carp Classic after contemplating withdrawing on the eve of the event.

The night before the event started, Turner, 54, was told his mother had suffered a heart attack, but was persuaded by his brother – and news of her gradual recovery – to stay on at the event at Lac Amance, in the Champagne region on France.

Turner said: “I nearly went home the night before when I found out.

“I was phoning home every two hours and heard she was coming round just before the draw was done, so stayed on.”

Other competitors must have been wishing he hadn’t after Turner and Hicks took first place in the four-day endurance event with a haul of three fish weighing a combined 35.4kg.

If that were not enough for Turner it turned out to be a day for double celebrations.

He explained: “While we were up on stage collecting our prize my daughter was giving birth to my granddaughter. It’s been quite a week.”

The duo were something of a surprise package in the event, coming from outside of the big-name teams and being relative newcomers to the sport – both of them have been carp fishing for less than five years.

Hicks said “Keith’s fished the World Carp Classic twice before, and I have once, and we’d never had a bite!

“Our ambition when we came here was to get a fish because it’s quite a hard water.”

“I may have caught all three of our fish but Keith is technically superior to me by far – I just bring the luck.”

Turner, who runs carpbookshop.com, added: “We had the help of a good draw.

“Last year we put a lot of effort in but had a bad draw. This year we did everything right again and it paid off.”

When asked what exactly it was they had done right, Turner laughed: “I can’t tell you that or everyone would start doing it. People would pay a lot of money to know that.

“One thing about me and Clive is that we’re both prepared to try something different; that’s almost become a little motto of ours – I know nobody else there was doing what we were.

“I’ve read so many carp books that I’m a mine of information, which I think helps with this approach.”

Hicks added: “When you’re competing against 140 people all fishing the same water everybody’s got a chance, so you don’t want to be doing exactly the same thing.”

Turner wasn’t the only person to have numerous reasons to celebrate: Mavis Unwin took the prize for biggest fish with a 17.4 kg carp and this one fish was also enough for her to win the best lady angler prize.

Her success didn’t end there – she was also part of the triumphant GB Baits team which scooped the best team prize with a 31.6kg haul.

In the ball pellet throwing competitions, sponsored by carpEshop, Graham Copland and Mark Parry triumphed in the anglers and marshals’ events respectively both winning a one week trip for two to Bounty Lakes, Le Mans, courtesy of Bounty Carp & Cats.

The 2005 World Carp Classic attracted 140 anglers from 15 different countries to compete for the £25,000 prize table.

Organisers were delighted with the event and believe it will only go from strength to strength.

Founder Ross Honey said: “This is our seventh event and it just gets better and I think this is reflected in the fact that people come back year after year.

“Everyone had a great time from the pre-event barbecue to the prizegiving ceremony.

“I’m delighted with how it’s gone and I’m already looking forward to next year’s event at the magnificent Lac d’Orient which will be bigger and better than ever.”