English pairing Adam Wakelin and Rob Wootton broke the Irish stranglehold on the third edition of the Lakelands and Inland Waterways World Pairs Angling Championships, fished on venues throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The duo from the English Midlands used a wealth of knowledge about Irish venues gained during a five week practise schedule in the lead up to the recent World Feeder Championships held in the south of Ireland. The meticulous attention to detail that helped Preston Innovations Team England to the gold medal in that event proved a crucial part of Adam and Rob’s week.
With the pair posting huge weights on each of the first three days, most of the other competitors felt they were out of the race well before the last day. Day one saw Rob beat the whole field with a 28.700kgs net of skimmers from Bunerky Lake. On days two and three, Adam followed up with nets of 25.600kgs of feeder-caught skimmers from Garadice Lake and then 27.900kgs of roach and hybrids from a snaggy swim at Killadeas on Lower Lough Erne.
By the mid-week stage, Adam and Rob had opened up a 40kgs lead over fellow England Feeder Team members, and last-year’s runners-up, Steve and Phil Ringer. It seemed insurmountable, but it is well known that Irish fish can suddenly turn up in huge numbers and massive weights can be caught from anywhere. The last two days became a job of keeping weight accumulating and avoiding any disasters.
The Ringer brothers continued to chip away at the lead and set a blistering pace on the last day with a 32kgs total against the 15kgs of Adam and Rob, but it was too little, too late as Individual Feeder World Champion, Steve and brother Phil once again had to settle for second place.
With two daily wins plus a lake second and lake third placing, Adam Wakelin was also out in front of the Daiwa Cup individual event from early in the week. Long range feeder tactics, long and short pole for small fish, and some long distance waggler work on the final day showed the Mansfield angler’s mastery of many methods.
Adam said: ‘We only decided to enter at the last minute, because we had a good idea of the methods needed after winning the team gold medal in the World Champs on Inniscarra Lake in July.
‘I thought I’d blown it on Wednesday on what I’d been told was a really poor peg at Killadeas. In the first couple of hours of the match, I got snagged and had to tackle up again nine times. Then, suddenly, I got a run of really big roach and my weight began to build. I had to stand on my box to get the fish up over the snaggy ledge but in the last three hours managed to put together my best weight of the whole week and another overall individual win.’
At the Friday night award ceremony, held in the swish Slieve Russell Hotel Golf and Country Club just outside Ballyconnell, there were cheers for Malaysian entrant Tengku Izzudin and the first ever women’s entrant, Fiona Beeby. Daiwa UK General Manager Robin Morley addressed the anglers and dignitaries, and stressed how influential the World Angling Pairs has become in bringing new faces to Irish angling, and renewing the interest of those who used to visit the Emerald Isle.
‘Ireland has some of the best natural waters in Europe,’ he said. ‘Despite the unusually warm and still weather conditions, the fishing was again brilliant and it was great to see an increased entry in 2014.’ Robin went on to praise the work of DECAL and IFI in stewarding the matches and assisting the anglers throughout the event before handing over to World Pairs Organiser, Kevin Locke to hand out the prizes, helped by Norma Herron of Lakelands and Inland Waterways.
The prize fund was a stunning €15,000 from Lakelands and Inland Waterways, topped up with valuable contributions from Fermanagh Council, Leitrim Tourism, Cavan Tourism and key event travel partner, Ireland Travel Plus. This enabled cash prizes to be paid starting with €10,000 to the winners, right down to the 10th place pairing of two-times event champions, Cathal Hughes and Philip Jackson.
Daiwa UK once again provided a handsome array of prizes and cash-value vouchers against their tackle range for the top individuals and the winning pair. Adam Wakelin and Rob Wootton walked away with more than £1,000 worth of Daiwa tackle and there was a further £6,500 worth of vouchers for the individual event. Adam Wakelin received a voucher for £1500 from Daiwa along with the much sought after Daiwa Cup and £1,000 cash for his individual win.
For the first time in the event’s three year history, a bait sponsor came on board. Bait-Tech provided bags of Pro Natural groundbait for each of the 138 competitors as well as tee-shirts and caps for selected achievements during the contest.
Section 1 Lough Erne, Crom Estate (A) and Airport/Killadeas (B), County Fermanagh
Section 2 Garadice Lake, Haughton’s Shore (A) and Kiltybarden Lake/Lough Scur (B), County Leitrim
Section 3 Horse Island, Lower Lough Erne (A) and Ross Lough (B), County Fermanagh
Section 4 Brackley Lake (A) and Bunerky Lake (B), County Cavan
Section 5 Garadice Lake, Church (A) and Connolly’s (B) Shores, County Leitrim
1: Rob Wootton, Dynamite Baits/Shimano, 28.700kgs, peg 12, section 4B
2: Carl Blurton, Maver, 28.630kgs, peg 13, section 4B
3: Rory Dunne, Sensas Ireland, 24.340kgs, peg 5, section 1A
1: Adam Wakelin, Preston Innovations, 25.600kgs, peg 2, section 5A
2: Richie Hull, Garbolino, 24.600kgs, peg 14, section 5B
3: Stefan Gent, Maver NW, 21.860kgs, peg 9, section 1B
1: Adam Wakelin, Preston Innovations, 27.900kgs, peg 7, section 1B
2: Arnoldas Liaukevicus, Tubertini, 18.990, peg 14 section 5A
3: Darren Davies, Drennan, 18.150kgs, peg 2, section 1B
1: Leigh Giles, Browning, 22.400kgs, peg 2, section 1B
2: Rod Scott, Vale Royal Angling, 20.990kgs, peg 1, section 5A
3: Dean Barlow, Drennan/Bait Tech, 18.930kgs, peg 10, section 4A
1: Cameron Hughes, Nathan’s of Derby, 23.900kgs, peg 3, section 1B
2: Richie Hull, Garbolino, 19.290kgs, peg 6, section 3A
3: Philip Jackson, Daiwa/Bait-Tech, 18.950kgs, peg 4, section 1B
1: Adam Wakelin & Rob Wootton, 160.630kgs
2: Steve Ringer & Phil Ringer, 137.020kgs
3: Grant Albutt & James Hawkins, 127.820kgs
4: Rod Scott & Michael Buchwalder, 124.940kgs
5: Bob Nudd & Darren Davies, 121.790kgs
1: Adam Wakelin (Preston Innovations/Sonubaits) 93.510kgs
2: Steve Ringer (Daiwa/Guru) 79.860kgs
3: Rod Scott (Vale Royal Angling) 78.210kgs
4: Grant Albutt (Bait Tech/BMW/Matrix) 77.950kgs
5: Cameron Hughes (Nathan’s of Derby) 77.880kgs