The biggest prize in UK match fishing history, a £100,000 winner-takes-all showdown, is to be launched next year by tackle giant Maver.
Twenty-four finalists will head to Larford Lakes in August 2011 for the televised grand final of ‘Match This’, the name given to the new competition.
Speaking exclusively to Angling Times, company boss Phil Briscoe is guaranteeing that the event will go ahead, despite proposed big-money matches from other firms falling by the wayside in recent times.
Match This will cost £50 per qualifier to enter, with the winner of each 120-peg match progressing to the main event on the Match Lake at the Stourport, Worcestershire complex. The runner-up in each round will also go through to a smaller stand alone £5,000 event.
Phil spoke of his plans to bring in grandstands, encompass demos from celebrity anglers and invite some other manufacturers to display their gear.
“Levels of prize money in fishing haven’t increased over the years and some competitions have become static in my opinion. This is not a cash pig for Maver and it’s not cheap or easy to organise, but we’re putting up the richest prize in the sport’s history, to bring it up to a par with tennis and golf. It’s going to be life changing for somebody and will set a new benchmark for match fishing in the UK,” he said.
Maver’s Phil Briscoe has personally guaranteed a prize fund of at least £50,000, but is hoping to be able to hand over a cheque for £100,000 if the event sells out. A website for the competition is being set up to purchase tickets through when it opens on June 1, 2010. Tickets will be fully transferable and anglers can apply for as many qualifiers as they want.
The site will even use a countdown feature, so applicants can see how many tickets are left and Phil is to enter talks with television broadcasters to cover the event and produce a DVD of the action.
“I’ve looked at the grumbles associated with existing competitions and tried to address them, for example there’s no special lists or loyalty clubs. Two opposite banks of the rectangular Match Lake will be used for the final, but next to each end peg I’ll put one of my local anglers. They’ll fish a mini four-peg match themselves, to create blockers and remove any end peg advantage of the finalists. The competition will be extensively marketed through the press, Maver distributors and the fisheries involved. Support it fully, and we will be handing a giant £100,000 cheque to the winner!” said Phil.
Fifteen of the UK’s best fisheries have confirmed qualifiers for Match This, with some venues hosting two. Anglers are urged to get in quickly to secure their place as entries will be done on a first come, first served basis.