casting and driving

casting and driving

Tracy&James | Thursday, 8 June 2017

Last weekend Tracy and I visited two venues for upcoming casting competitions; Hatfield House in Hertfordshire where the BFCC will be running the casting competitions (alongside Peter Watson who is running the Spey side of things) and Port Haverigg in Cumbria where Lee Cummings is organising the world fly casting championships to be held next year.

At Hatfield the BFCC intend to run a #7 weight trout distance event, a ST27 event and a 55g salmon overhead event – the latter two replicating world championship rules as far as we can (some allowances will have to be made for shared tackle). For the #7 and 55g we intend to have daily winners for juniors, women and men plus ‘championship’ qualifying for the same 3 categories in readiness for the finals on Sunday. We’re anticipating that the ‘known’ distance casters (you know who you are) will restrict themselves to entering the championships only, leaving the daily prizes for the less experienced entrants. For the ST27 we’ll just be running qualifying for the final.

The venue for the fly casting competitions is quite nice, being slightly away from the main fair on a wide stretch of the River Lea.  Directly downstream (the flow is very slow) is also the direction of the prevailing wind, so the plans are obviously being drawn to cast that way, however the winds are notoriously fickle inland in the south of England during July, so don’t bank on having anything helpful.  The set-up for the Spey court is a bit more problematic owing to the width of the river being insufficient to allow for casters to fire across it, as such they may end up casting upstream – I hope the markers are on the ball for them. There will be daily spey competitions for amateurs (male and female) with daily qualification for the final on the Sunday.

On our visit we noted that there were quite a few carp cruising around the casting areas, whether they remain there after being bombarded with lines all day remains to be seen.  I’m sure some of us will be trying to catch them in the evenings before the serious drinking kicks off.

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There’s at least four people organising the casting competitions for the game fair, which gives an indication of how much work there is to do.  This puts into perspective Lee’s task in bringing the fly casting world championships to the UK, he’s pretty much doing this by himself.  Having now cast at the venue, and with my shoulder still aching from over-doing it, I can say it’s a great place for a casting competition (and Tracy thinks so too).  There’s absolutely loads of space for practicing, great places for spectating and really nice facilities on site.  Also, if the wind is anything like what we had for our weekend (and Lee said it was normal) there are going to be some big distances hit – I managed over 69m in practice for the 55g event and still got beaten.

I’m really looking forward to meeting some Sexyloopers there next year, I’m sure they’re going to love the place.

All the best, James.

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