Sean Ashby, Drennan Team England takes the Individual World Championship title at the 59th Nations World Championship on the River Morava, Czech Republic with a fantastic performance of bleak fishing at the World Championships to record a perfect two point score.

This was always going to be a difficult event for Team England as early reports intimated that bleak would dominate. So it turned out as the river’s big fish all but disappeared.  Practising was good, but it soon became apparent that bleak and small fish would be the major point scorers, but the Bolo and slider was catching some big fish in some of the sections, but that all changed.The Drennan Team England consisted of; Sean Ashby, Des Shipp, Alan Scotthorne, Will Raison, Steve Gardener, Stuart Conroy, Mark Downes and Mark Addy (Joint England Managers), and Dick Clegg (Delegate).On the Wednesday night the area was hit by torrential rain and the river rose, coloured up and started to push through at 10 times the flow in which the team had been practising.   Conditions were so bad only 6 of the 37 teams practised on the Thursday.   By Friday the river began to drop, but the Bolo and Slider lines were lost forcing a different approach it was pole only.Day 1 – Alan Scotthorne was reserve for the first day of the Championship, and the river fished as expected, 80% of the section points being won with small fish mainly Bleak.  Sean Ashby ran home an easy section winner with 550 fish for over 6 Kilo, a full kilo clear in his section.   The rest of the team backed him up well with a second from Steve Gardener and a 5th from Will Raison.  Stuart Conroy struggled on Section A and was substituted by Alan for Day 2.Day 2 –  It was clear that the England team had to score low so estimated 15 points.   Ending day one on 29 points was 5 points off the bronze medal but with 6 teams all within a point it was going to be close.  Sean drew A37 top of his section and a good peg,  Steve drew the adjacent peg to his day 1 draw and Will was just 3 pegs away from his day 1 peg, All in all the team thought they had a good draw.As the match progressed it was obvious that the rivers big shoals of bleak weren’t so spread and many teams, including Drennan Team England found the going tough, but with no big fish to be caught it was getting more difficult by the minute.Sean meanwhile was going well, he was behind the Polish angler on fish count, but was catching bigger bleak on the bottom at 8 meters.  He eventually went on to win his section again a full kilo clear with a perfect 2 points and the Gold individual winner.Poland ran out easy winners scoring just 13 points on day two, nearly all bleak, closely followed by host’s the Czech Republic and small fish specialists France in third.Mark Downes, Joint Drennan Team England Manager said  “This was a difficult event for us  and I feel with our limited experience on the finer points of bleak fishing we did reasonably ok finishing 6th  just 14 points of a medal. Tactically we got it slightly wrong, I felt a bronze was a possibility. ““Next year we go to Poznan in Poland, the winners will be defending their title on home soil,  and on a similar river with similar species .  It will be tough again,  but with the experience gained this year we will get a lot closer and we could even win.”Mark Addy,  Joint Drennan Team England Manager stated “After the first three day’s of practice we had sort of formalised a team plan for the weekend,  but unfortunately the adverse weather conditions obviously changed the format.  It was going to be very difficult for us to compete with the other countries whose small fish tactics are better than ours but we were delighted to finish 6th after our disappointing first day.”Dick Clegg, OBE, International Events Manager stated “ It was good to see our sponsor Peter Drennan attending the World Championships for the first time in several years. I am sure he was impressed by the professional way the team approached the event.  The changing river levels were a nightmare for England and for  the other home countries, but I was privileged to be bank runner for Sean Ashby’s 1st day section win and was tremendously impressed with his small fish approach.  Although 6th place was not such a good result for Drennan team England the Italians who are normally masters of catching bleak finished in 10th position and lost their number one ranking to, guess who, ENGLAND.”Drennan Team England and the Angling Trust would like to express their appreciation and thanks to their sponsor Peter Drennan of Drennan International.
Team Results:1st Poland 32 points2nd Czech Republic 44 points3rd France 47 points4th Serbia 47 points5th Germany 52 points6th England 61 pointsIndividual Results:1st Sean Ashby, Drennan Team England2nd Sergey Fedorov, Russia3rd Stephane Pottelet, France4th Mario Litschl, Austria5th Vladimir Danilovic, Serbia6th Gunter Horler, GermanyDrennan Team England positions:1st Sean Ashby34th Will Raison61st Des Shipp64th Steve Gardener168th Alan Scotthorne (Fished 1 day only)187th Stuart Conroy (Fished 1 day only)