The second round of Korda Carp Team England trials took place last weekend on Wyre Lake at the renowned Wyreside Lakes, near Lancaster.
Of the eight pairs who went forward from the previous trial, none had previously fished the venue, which was exactly why the England management duo of Ian Huntington and Pete Holehouse had picked a syndicate lake for this trial.
Ian told us, “We wanted the trial to be as fair as possible, hence setting it at a venue that none of the anglers had fished. I can honestly say that the results were less important in the prevailing conditions and that’s why we relaxed the FIPSed rules on this occasion– Pete and I really wanted to spend some time with the lads and get to know them a lot better.
There were solid performances throughout the field and we learned a lot more from this trial about the individual pairs than we did at Drayton. Some of the noted performances consisted of more than just catching the most fish; to scratch a few fish from an unfancied swim in the prevailing conditions was also an impressive effort.”
The pairs who went forward to the trial were Barry and Ben O’Connor, Jake and Dan Wildbore, Mark Bartlett and Kev Hewitt, Tom and Andy Maker, Tim Fromant and Cliff Kemp, Billy Flowers and Jamie Londors, Kia Sanger and Jack Stamp and Rob Sutton and Harry Charrington.
The nature of the trial was completely different to the Drayton event, as Ian explained; “Wyre Lake is full of really nice old fish that have seen the lot over the years. It’s a privilege to be granted permission to fish there and the quiet nature of the syndicate meant that we could spend time in the lad’s swims, watching how they approached this more technical challenge for larger fish.”
After the match, Ian sprung a surprise when he announced that all eight pairs would proceed to the final trial. Because five pairs couldn’t make the Drayton trial, effectively counting themselves out of the process, Ian and Pete were under no pressure to eliminate any more pairs at this stage.
Explaining the thinking behind their selection policy, Ian explained the selection policy, saying, “We decided from the start of this process back in January that it would be no good just simply taking the best individual anglers – we need a team who are going to work well together. Individuals don’t win the blue ribbon team event. We’d rather take people with the angling skills who will also share information and fight for each other in a team situation. With this in mind, the final trial will be designed to replicate a FIPSed rules team competition, with the eight pairs split into two teams of four. “After this trial we now have a good idea who to pair within those two teams for the final,” Ian told us, “All the pairs are very capable when put in front of fish, but those lads who prove that they can work together to help scratch fish out and potentially contribute valuable points to a team effort, will undoubtedly be assets in the final team. The pairs will be split into the Green team and the Blue team, and the way the individual pairs perform and conduct themselves within their respective teams will contribute significantly to their chances of final selection to represent Korda Carp Team England at the World Champs in Romania.”