Drennan Team England's Under 23s and Sensas Team England’s Under 18s ran riot in the Youth World Championships along the River Villaine in Rieux, Brittany, France taking 8 of the 12 medals up for grabs in the World Championships from 27th – 28th July 2013.
Despite huge thunderstorms and lightening that saw 3 stoppages to the two matches over the weekend England's tactics were no match for the other 20 competing nations.
The deep wide river lent itself to slider and bolognaise fishing with skimmer, bream, and mullet the target fish.
The teams used a mix of Black River, Gross Gardon, Carp Fine and Terre de Riviere laced with bloodworm, casters and a little chopped worm feeding aggressively with three or four balls at a time using a full 20 litres of bait in the match.
It was the U18’s that totally dominated their event with 3 section wins and a second each day that saw them score a record breaking 10 points and a full 27 points ahead of home favourites France. The team also filled the top 4 places with Sam Hughes taking the Individual Championship Gold medal win with a perfect 2 points, followed by team mates Bradley Gibbons 2 points and Joe Kent on 3 points, and Matt Barnet filled fourth spot again with 3 points.
On Day One, England scored 5 points, France scored 13 points and Portugal were 3rd on 22 with Italy 4th with 23 points. England had a fantastic 3 section wins for Sam Hughes, Bradley Gibbons and Joe Kent and a 2nd for Matt Barnett giving the unbelievable first day score of 5 points.
The second day’s match started on time, but an enormous storm in the middle of the match caused a 55 minute stoppage. On the resumption, the river had speeded up to twice its original pace and very few fish were caught after this time. During the first hour and 15 minutes of the match the England boys had already done the damage and ended up with another unbelievable score of 5 points with a section win for Sam Hughes, Bradley Gibbons, Matt Barnett and a second place for Joe Kent.
The Czech Republic came second on Day 2 with a score of 19 points and Spain were third on Day 2 with 24 points, equal with France on 24 points.
The key to England's success was an early visit to the venue to watch the French Youth Championships just three weeks before by Sensas England U18’s Manager, Steve Sanders. Steve said "It was evident this was going to be a good match, but the key was aggressive feeding, and we got it dead right. Our tactics worked like a dream, and I am so proud of the team, they worked so hard and fished brilliantly, and this is probably the best performance I have ever seen from any team at a Youth World Championships.”
FIPSed U18s Team Results
1st England 10 points
2nd France 37 points
3rd Czech Republic 51 points
The overall Individual results saw England take the top 4 places in the competition
1st Sam Hughes 2 points (13,613 Kg)
2nd Bradley Gibbons 2 points (11,885 Kg)
3rd Joe Kent 3 points (12,215 Kg)
4th Matt Barnett 3 points (9.983 Kg)
Thomas Moretti the England reserve unfortunately did not get to fish, but he was a great asset to the team.
Drennan Team England U23s had to pull back from a poor draw on day one which saw them on 26 points behind the German team on 14 points, Hungary 19 points and France on 21 points, but an outstanding 11 points on day 2 almost turned the match on its head and they finished just 2 points behind defending U23s Champions Hungary on 37 points for a silver medal.
Rory Jones took the bronze individual with 4 points (3+1) behind polish angler Szymon Ciesielski on 3 points.
The U23s team consisted of; Matt Godfrey, Matt Derry, James Dent, Oliver Scotthorne, Alex Clements, and Rory Jones.
Mark Downes, Drennan Team England U23 Manager added, "We had a great result, but at U23 level the opposition are so tough, these teams fish CIPS International rules all of the time. Hungary are the team to beat at the moment, they have won it for the last two years, but our second day performance was incredible, and to get back to within 2 points was fantastic. It was also a great result for our youngest team man Rory Jones, this lad is a real natural and he only fishes rivers, not many commercials and this showed in his natural watercraft and bait presentation."
"Hungary, France and Italy have a great youth policy all fielding U14, U18 and U23s. Our U23s are brilliantly served by the U18s, we now need an England U14 team to give full continuity for our youth policy. What better experience can there be for a youngster who comes into International Fishing at the age of 12 as they have a whole career in front of them. Our U18s and U23s have already produced England full Internationals with Callum Dicks and Lee Kerry fishing for the European team this year."
Marks aim for next year is to have a full compliment of teams for Holland, that means raising some money to send an England U14 team alongside the U18s and U23s.
Dick Clegg, OBE, International Events Manager of the Angling Trust stated “ The Sensas sponsored U18's team performance is nothing short of miraculous. In all my years of involvement in World Championships no other team has recorded such an emphatic victory in any division of FIPSed competitions. I have nothing but praise for the whole squad and indeed the management who got the tactics spot on.”
“The Drennan U23's were also fantastic in making a comeback on the second day to take silver only losing out by 2 points from gold. As Mark Downes states we do need to look at the possibility of competing in the U14's Championships, but before that we must create a youth academy that teaches the youngsters international rules. It's necessary to have a number of coaching sessions that involve all the age groups, but that takes up a lot of time and indeed a lot of expense.”
FIPSed U23s Team Results
1st Hungary 35 points
2nd England 37 points
3rd Germany 41 points
FIPSed U23s Individual Results
1st Szymon Ciesielski, Poland 3 points (15.542 kg)
2nd Sjors Milder, Netherland 3 points (14.528 kg)
3rd Rory Jones, England 4 points (14.094 kg)
The Angling Trust and the England Youth teams would like to thank their sponsors, Sensas and Drennan International for all their continued help and support.