Team England Veterans retain their World Championship title for the second year after a fantastic win in the 9th FIPSed World Championships from 3rd – 4th June 2016. 14 nations arrived in Pardubice, Czech Republic to fish the Labe River with the aim of beating England’s 2015 winners.

England’s new team manager Joe Roberts had been to this years venue in the Czech Republic several times in the past and England’s hopes of returning with a medal were high.   The Veterans proved how strong they were collectively and individually as they retained the Team Championship title and team members Harry Billing, who replaced Joe Roberts in the squad from last year went on to win Individual gold and team mate Mark Downes secured individual bronze.

The team benefitted from heading to the venue a week earlier to practice, a decision that was instrumental in the teams success. Temperatures in Pardubice were hot and humid throughout the week and a number of thunderstorms resulted in a rising river carrying colour, conditions which suited England’s anglers.

Team England Veterans squad;
Joe Roberts (manager)
Steve Sanders
Danny Sixsmith
Roger Marlow
Mark Downes
Harry Billing

Martin Halford, Kevin  Folwell and Dicky Carr (Helpers)

The team targeted bream, vimba bream and caught the odd carp and cat fish.  They needed to experiment with groundbaits and fished a 20 litre limit of which 8 litres was soil and the rest was made up of Sensas heavy groundbaits.  The team was allowed 2 ½ litres of other baits, castors, dead maggots, red worm and bloodworm and joker.  They used 3-5 gram floats and 4-6 gram flat floats tied to 0.17 line with a hook length of 0.14 and a size 14 hook.

Overall England had three section wins and a third on both days totalling 6 points each day, with a total weight of 196.008 kgs which averaged 24 kilos per man for both days, with all four of the team making the top individual results.

Roger Marlow was the unlucky team member to miss out on selection as the management chose to retain days one’s successful team but Roger proved to be a key member of the squad with the support offered to the team.

Joe Roberts, England Team Manager said “Both days went like clockwork and I had good help on the bank which is important in a World Championship.  After the first day I never felt we could be beaten as a team.  It is Harry Billings first year and the first two days he had to practice hard, but he got better and better to have the top weight in the match on both days taking 60.720 kgs in total.  Mark Downes also had a fantastic 2 points, but was Gabor Timar of Hungary who also had 2 points.

I have to offer my appreciation and thanks over the years to Dick Clegg who I’ve learnt so much from and everyone that knows him has got the upmost respect for him.  Dick has handed the reigns over to me last year to manage the Veterans team and I won’t let him down, but he will be sadly missed.  I wish him all the best in the future and I’m sure he will stay onboard in an advisory role for the team if he is ever needed.”

Overall top 6 Team Results;
Gold medal – England 12 points 196.008 kg
Silver medal – France 29 points 146.935 kg
Bronze medal – Hungary 30 points 162.359 kg
4th Italy 36 points 140.942 kg
5th Netherlands 37 points 133.343 kg
6th Czech Republic 60.5 points 98.574 kg

Overall top 6 Individual Results;
Gold medal – Harry Billing, England 2 points 60.720 kg
Silver medal – Gabor Timar, Hungary 2 points 53.220 kg
Bronze medal – Mark Downes, England 2 points 46.246 kg
4th Danny Sixsmith, England 4 points 46.044 kg
5th Steve Sanders, England 4 points 42.998 kg
6th Francois Bergault, France 4 points 38.138kg

The Angling Trust would like to offer their congratulations to the England Veterans Team for such a superb result in the World Championships this year and for all their dedication and hard work.

The Veterans Team and the Angling Trust would like to thank Sensas for providing the groundbait and all the companies who donated prices for the raffles who supported their fund raising activities, without which it would be extremely difficult to compete in these championships.