Welcome to the 2014 European Championship
Contents page

from Pommeroeul/Bernissart, Belgium

We begin with our daily Video Diaries via this link... CLICK

Saturday 5th July: I expect to have a full summary of the Championships later next week with assessments of individual teams and how they coped with the venue. Also we'll look at just how fortunate some teams were...or were not!

Monday 30th June 4pm: Having arrived back in England, I'm now able to keep my promise and begin uploading the recent Diary files, to which, unsurprisingly I'm having no trouble uploading at all!!!

 A Tale of Two Teams - Part 1 

A Tale of Two Teams - Part 2

I have a link here for you all to download the Saturday and Final Results sheets from the Champs with all the sections included...

Saturday Result Sheets      Sundays Final Results Sheets

We can also now include a link to the Video Diaries page, and we shall be putting more up each evening this week... VIDEO DIARIES

Reports from Belgium below:
With still a block on outgoing uploads from our hotel in Belgium, we continue to give a brief report on the day's final match. 

Sunday Report: When the final day of the Championships dawned, it seemed all England had to do was catch a bream in every section! With half an hour left of the match, that task looked beyond them. But they are not ranked the best team in the world for nothing. William would have been  With both Sean Ashby and Will Raison 'breamless' it looked all over, but then the proverbial miracle happened. William was first to break his bream duck... 20 minutes from the end, but then Sean left it until 11 minutes before depositing that 'golden bream' in the net. That sealed what proved to be a remarkable comeback.

Without these fish England would have been some 12pts+ worse off, placing them alongside Holland on 71pts...but they would have been beaten on weight and finished in 4th place, with the Dutchmen taking the bronze. They themselves were victims of the foul-fish rule, which saw Jo Adriola have a large bream disqualified for crossing into his neighbours area and fouling his line. That would have also elevated Holland into a much higher silver medal slot... but such is the nature of championship fishing and fishing in general!

Anglers, spectators, officials and photographers were treated to a downpour of biblical proportions with just 40 minutes of time left. Perhaps this had something to do with England's late comeback?

Overall, it proved a disappointing end for several teams, not least of which saw the Czech Republic and France fall from likely podium positions into an abyss! While the Czechs second day 58pts seemed an unblieveable return, considering their day one 27pts, Frances' 78.5pts score beggared belief. One can only assume that the 'fish-gods' where not of Gallic origin!

Congratulations to Luxembourgs Mike Thinnes who posted 3pts and a remarkable 28,294 kilo total to take the gold individual. One consolation for France was their Diego Da Silva, who scored 4pts and salvaged some pride for the country. The Czechs also salvaged an element of pride with a bronze medal for Roman Pokorny jr.

While the fishing was erratic and the weather worsened for the final day, congratulations and respect must be given to the Belgian organising committee, headed by Roland Marcq. Many of you may remember that back in 2006, MA.com organised a competition (Euromeet) on this very venue and we were also greeted with a day of biblical rain. These Championships where an improvement though and some of the poor returns cannot be unfairly attributed to a poor venue. Access was great, organisation and facilities equaled that. But the final test, as always is the fishing. Stocking had taken place to the tune of 11,000 kilos, but when fish don't want to feed, there's little anyone can do about it.

The one thing I did notice is how the fish are treated during weighing in. Bream are very tempremental and susceptible to mis-handling and consequence damage and I would go so far as to say that many countries have yet to learn how to weigh in correctly in order to preserve stocks, not damage them. Lets have some form of disciplined procedure when it comes to placing fish in the weigh sling and then back in the keepnets before release. If it can be done in the UK, then what's the problem on the continent?

Once back in England, we shall have quite a few videos on show, so comeback later to view these.

Saturday Report: After heavy overnight rain, the venue seemed to have a slightly increased color content, but this was very very marginal. The week's's practice sessions where mixed for many with the early boxes producing the most fish (bream). This was due to the close proximity of the large basin at the top of the venue, which was full of weed and spawning fish!

England had been having some reasonable returns, as were the French, Dutch and Belgians. What we did not see was the Czech Republic creeping up on everyone, as Saturday's dramatic result showed.

The main tactic was the slider, but the more unfortunate ended up having to fish with short and long poles for small (tiny...tiny) perch, popes or bullheads. We saw a situation on Saturday where one peg would produce 16 kilos while next door only saw 1,2kgs weighed. This was not an isolated case and between different class competitors, but something that happened throughout the match length... "if you where on them, you caught them".

With further rain falling after the match and more forecast for Sunday, we may see some turnaround in Saturdays result.

From a relative impartial observation, I would expect any of the top seven teams from Saturday to lift the coveted European Championship trophy. If, on the other hand, we see a repeat of the Saturday returns and the irregular distribution of bream, then anything could happen between all those teams.

From their first day showing, France looked impressive, and seem to have laid their past indiscretions to rest. Performances from three of their highly rated players have given them a sound platform to go better than last years fourth place. If the Czech's hold it together on the final day, then they must surely take some form of podium position. Italy, although not managing to take any place higher than a 4th in section, produce a highly creditable third place, only 7pts behind the leaders and could still figure tomorrow. Holland and England tied on 4th place points, with the Dutch taking a weight advantage into the final day. Tactics were hastily arranged for England with a couple of hours left, which helped them tuck in behind the Orangemen. Unfortunate Lee Kerry was the recipient of the above mentioned bream imbalance and was in no way a reflection of this up and coming young and highly talented anglers ability. A future podium contender in my humble opinion. Both Russia and home side Belgium are still within striking range, if any in front falter. In fact, it would be rather irrational to discount any of these two quality teams.

As for the rest, it seems highly unlikely that any below Belgium will get a sniff of the podium! But who can really tell...fish swim and bream can be the most infuriating of species to catch!

I hope to bring you a further written report tomorrow evening after the presentation ceremony, in some way to make up for the lack of video diaries. These will at least be upload at a later date, so don't miss out on them next week.

Saturday points: Czech Rep., 27pts, France 29pts, Italy 35pts, Netherlands 36pts (higher weight), England 36pts, Russia 39pts (higher weight), Belgium 39pts, Luxembourg 47pts, Belarus 51pts, Hungary 54pts.

See all the results from the downloadable file link above.