One of the biggest events on the match fishing calendar has been given a major lift after a pair of water companies agreed to boost the prize pot by £4,000.
Bosses from the Angling Trust had been locked in talks with officials at Thames Water and Severn Trent Water and an agreement has now been reached to help increase the overall pay-out for the final of the inaugural RiverFest to at least £24,000.
Both companies have received numerous fines in recent years for pollution incidents but have now signalled their intent on working closely with the angling community and have got the ball rolling by agreeing to the forward-thinking sponsorship deal.
The big final will see 60 anglers battle it out on the River Wye on November 16 and 17 for the top prize of £10,000, and chief organiser Dave Harrell is delighted with the latest development. “Considering this is the first year, the response from anglers has been brilliant and proves that anglers want a big money natural fishing competition,” he explained.
“The additional funding is extremely welcome and not only bridges the shortfall on a few of the qualifiers that haven't sold out, but it also means the prize money is guaranteed and could even go as high as £26,000 if the remaining heats are booked up.”
Thames Water Angling Development Manager Will Barnard was involved in the negotiations and said: “We value our involvement with the angling community and are pleased to support RiverFest which has one of its qualifiers on the River Thames.
“It’s very important to us that this waterway - which provides the majority of the water we supply to our customers and receives treated effluent from many of our sewage treatment works - is also a productive venue for this exciting new competition.”