Bad weather meant that this years’ Home Nations Boat Championship had to be restricted to a four hour session afloat on each day of the two days of the Championships from 4th – 7th July in Holyhead, Anglesey, North Wales, but this did not prevent the hosts Wales taking the spoils in Holyhead.
Uptide tactics, dominated the event, and both Wales and Ireland, coped best with these methods leaving a less experienced England team and a revived Scotland team to reflect on the experience of valuable international fishing hours for future sorties. Fish caught were dominated by dogfish, but included whiting, huss, rays, gurnards, dabs, smoothhound, and pouting.Following England’s victory in Weymouth last year, this is now the sixth Home Nations Boat event to go the way of the successive host home nation. Top angler was Tony Santry from Ireland the only angler to score a perfect 200%, whilst England new cap Rob Shattock achieved a creditable sixth place over all at his first attempt and was top amongst the England performers. Scotland will now be anxious to make it seven ‘host victories’ in a row as they prepare for next years’ event.Final result, Wales 873, Ireland 739, England 718 and Scotland 637.The England Team taking part in the event this year consisted of; Steve Clements, Mike Patten, Ian McLean, Rob Shattock, Mark Smith, Kevin Sampson (Reserve) and Ray Ashby (Manager). Shortly before the event one of the senior members of the selected England team Richard Russell had to withdraw which meant the reserve Ian McLean was brought in to fish in Richards place, and one of the other squad members Kevin Sampson came in as reserve and appreciation and thanks go to him. Ray Ashby, England Manager said “This was as difficult two days for all of the teams, but for our three newer team members in particular this was valuable experience to further their international aspirations. Everyone gave 100%, but on the day we played ‘second fiddle’ to two very experienced Welsh and Irish teams who performed consistently better over the two days. Although this was a disappointing result, we can only move forward stronger from this experience.”The Angling Trust and the England Home Nations Boat Team would like to thank sponsors Swifts who supplied Team Sakuma fleeces and tackle and Stainless Steve for supplying disgorgers, for the Team.