12:15 BST.  Monday 17th May 2010
We NOW have the official confirmation from FIPSed, of an eleventh hour change of venue to this year's World Championships in Spain, we can only wonder at how well this revised alternative venue will cope with the last minute adjustments, with so little time left on the clock to get everything in place! This has obviously been taken into account by the governing body and is a decision which, undoubtadely, has not been taken lightly.

The reason... abnormally high levels of water on Lake Vicario which, not only created insurmountable problems for the logistics of accommodating hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators alike, but also the fact that the fish stocks seem to have completely vanished into the lakes vast depths! These dramatic increases in levels, saw the lakes' specially created platform areas submerged under several metres of water, as well as numerous trees and bushes, which effectively pushed the anglers seating area back, almost to the top of the viewing and access roads. The situation had been known for several months and the hope was, quite reasonably, that the waters would recede back down to their normal level. This has not happened. It has not been caused by any FIPS or Spanish mis-management, but by a global one!

The decision to move from one venue to another in such a short space of time could not have been an easy one, for both FIPSed and the Spanish Federation in charge of Ciudad Real. The main considerations must have been the management of the competition and fish stock availability, but others facing FIPSed was the many flights already pre-booked into Spain, by hundreds, if not thousands of people and to some extent, that of accommodation facilities booked in the Ciudad Real area. While cars and hotels may be un-booked with more ease, flights, especially those with budget carriers, have no such facility and would therefore could cause competitors, officials, general public and press, countless thousands of pounds/euros over any switch. Therefore, the view was to keep any venue chosen, as close to the central and existing point of entry... Madrid.

We hear the new venue chosen is the Guadiana River at Merida, just east of the famous historical area of Badajoz, which is a few kilometres away from the Portuguese border. The region has strong historic links dating back to the Peninsular Wars with the French and the Duke of Wellington, some 200 years ago. There are many English regiments with battle honours
immortalised from places such as Badajoz and Talavera, and in the 'Sharp' TV series and books. The river itself has an excellent reputation for many species and looks the perfect replacement with barbel, carp, roach, catfish and millions of bleak on offer!

We know the enormity of the task facing FIPSed and the new venues organisers, and wish them both every success in their unenviable endeavours. Matchangler.com hopes to bring you further details of the new venue as soon as possible. We shall also be on the bank in force during the Championships, with our extensive and extended coverage of the main event. So make sure you have registered access in order that you do not miss this incredible and stunning showpiece of angling.

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Our thanks go to our Spanish web partners, Clubpescabutarque.com, for pictures and information supplied.

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