As I drove onto the seafront at Withernsea, East Yorkshire, it didn’t feel right, the sea was calm, the sky clear of cloud and conditions looked perfect …. I must have the wrong date I thought. I remembered the previous year, stood in the same spot watching mountainous seas pound the beach as the sand was being whipped up by gale force winds. It had to be cancelled then, but no chance of that this time.
The Daiwa Junior Championship is one of my favourite events and I look forward to wandering up and down the beach watching the juniors doing their best to get amongst the fish. This year there were 26 juniors taking part (24 boys and two girls) with ages from 3yrs old to fifteen in the draw. The match was from 10-00 a.m. till 2-00 p.m. on a rising tide and I had been assured that prospects were good as I stood on the prom watching everyone busy getting tackled up for the start.
The four hours passed all too quickly and I was kept busy with the camera, as a steady flow of whiting, two small cod, the odd small bass, flounder, dab and rockling were brought to the stewards for measuring and adding to the record sheets. The range of expertise was obviously linked to some extent to the ages of those competing but what was common across all those taking part was the enthusiasm. This is why I like attending this event, it’s brilliant to see so many youngsters on the beach, enjoying the atmosphere, concentrating on the rod tops, waiting for that rattle of a fish on. It’s also worth mentioning the support from parents and coaches as well, as most of the youngsters had helpers on hand to encourage, feed and generally cheer on.
After the match it was back to a packed Northfield Club for the results.
1st Place with 321 cms Leon Hope
2nd Place with 227 cms Taylor Fisk
3rd Place and under 11 winner with 86cms Oscar Wiepke
Biggest fish award went to Taylor Fisk with a 38 cm whiting.
I was asked to say a few words and I congratulated all those for taking part and those who supported the event particularly the organisers led by Paul Jefferson, Rob Neale and their team of stewards.
This has to be what junior events are all about, plenty of enthusiasm, plenty of fish and a lot of enjoyment in the fresh air, well done to all those involved and thanks for the invite.