England stars win World Pairs Champs in Ireland

Lakeland & Inland Waterways World Irish Pairs 2014 (70 pairs)

It’s been a hell of a summer for Rob Wootton and Adam Wakelin, the pair of Leicester lads winning World Feeder Championships gold for England back in July and then Rob taking the UK Champs crown just weeks ago and the two boys rounded off their campaign with this big money title in emphatic style, following in the footsteps of Cathal Hughes and Phil Jackson to win Ireland’s richest festival and earn their place in the history books.

In fact, it could be argued that it was all over bar the shouting from the midway point when Rob and Adam had opened up a massive lead over the chasing pack thanks to three brilliant opening days that saw them win each overall match between them with 20 kilo-plus weights, scoring that couldn’t be matched and with gave them enough of a cushion to hold off contenders if disaster struck in the final few days.

Not that it did though as the two men put into action a steady approach for Thursday and Friday, designed to ignore winning overall and increasing the lead, more to keep hold of what they had and keep all four hands firmly on the trophy.

It worked a treat too as the champions finished with almost 23 kilos in hand over last year’s runners-up Steve and Phil Ringer, who were quick to acknowledge how much damage had been done in those first few days and how the mountain facing them would ultimately prove too much to climb.

“We made the commitment to fish the pairs having spent so much time over here practising for the Feeder Champs,” Adam said. “The fishing was brilliant and Rob fished the pairs last year with Nick Speed and told me what an unforgettable week it was so I was in pretty quickly! I wouldn’t say we fancied winning it but we felt we knew how to judge the venues in terms of the tactics to be on and the species to go for at certain times, which was very similar to Iniscarra on the World Champs.”

Winning over 12,000 Euros including the 10,000 Euro top prize, Rob and Adam got off to a flier on day one with Shimano/Dynamite Baits-backed new UK Champion Rob winning the match with over 28 kilos of hybrids and skimmers from Bunerky Lake fishing the feeder with bunches of red maggot. Then Adam took over.

“I was on Church Shore at Garadice but conditions were so bright and calm that you never think you can catch a big weight of roach and hybrids as the weather is so un-Irish!” he said. “I fished much the same way as Rob and had 25 kilos of roach, hybrids and skimmers to win the match and then did the same with 27 kilos from Killydeas the next day! By that point we had a massive lead and I think partly felt we’d got it sewn up so long as we had no disasters and some massive weights weren’t taken. You can never say never on a weight only festival but we were bursting with confidence.”

Friday was forecast to be more Irish with wind and rain and both Rob and Adam had one eye on this, fearing some out of the blue bream weights to upset the applecart but the forecasters got it wrong, sun and light winds prevailed and the big weights never appeared to leave them the champions!

“Fishing over in Ireland in the build up to the World Champs helped us massively without a doubt,” Adam added. “There were times when you had to work out when to change to fishing for skimmers of bigger hybrids, just like on Inniscarra. Those fish may only feed in your peg for half an hour but you had to be on the button to make the change and cash in. Sitting and waiting for them all day didn’t allow you to catch the roach and small hybrids before and after the big fish turned up and if you ignored them altogether, you just couldn’t have any sort of weight to challenge with.”

Despite ending up second for the second year in succession, brothers Steve and Phil Ringer were still more than happy with their week’s work, earning them over 7,000 Euros and rounding off a summer that saw Steve crowned World Feeder Champion and Phil earn a team gold on Inniscarra Reservoir.

And in all truth, both thought any chance of catching winners Rob and Adam had gone by midway through the week with 40 kilos of catching up to day and the draw rotation not putting them on sections with any form for big weights, which would have helped them claw back the gap.

“Adam and Rob were so far ahead that it would have been miraculous to reel them in,” Phil said. “With two days to go we had our own battle on our hands to finish second as Grant Albutt and Jamie Hawkins and Bob Nudd and Darren Davies weren’t behind. It all boiled down the final day when they were in the same sections as us and in was a straight shoot out to keep our advantage that we’d built up and to keep them at arm’s length.”

“I think we also missed out when we were on the big weight areas,” Phil added. “We caught well but with 15 kilos against Adam and Rob catching 25 kilos and 28 kilos, you can see where the advantage was opened up so quickly. They had a mega first few days and I think that blew a lot of the competition out of the water but it was a weight only festival and it can change on the final day, which we were hoping for but deep down, I think we’d settled for second!”

Pairs result: 1 R Wootton, Shimano/Dynamite Baits and A Wakelin, Preston Innovations, 160-630; 2 S Ringer, Daiwa/Guru and P Ringer, Ringer Baits, 137-020; 3 G Albutt, Matrix/Bait-Tech and J Hawkins, Guru, 127-820; 4 R Scott, Vale Royal Angling Centre and M Buchwalder, Preston Innovations, 124-940; 5 B Nudd, Browning/Van Den Eynde and D Davies, Drennan, 121-790; 6 C Hughes, Kamasan Starlets and N Hughes, Nathan’s of Derby, 115-090.

A by-product of winning the event overall in normally success in the Daiwa Cup too, this individual event running alongside the pairs and seeing the angler with the highest weight aggregate over the week lifting the glass trophy and winning the handsome cash prize plus vouchers for Daiwa Tackle – and Adam Wakelin was the man to get his name on the cup for 2014 with a comfortable victory on 93-510, almost 14 kilos clear of Steve Ringer.

“I can’t deny that we had a brilliant start to the week and on day one I was at Brackley Lake where I had 17 kilos of roach and hybrids on pole and caster for a brilliant day’s fishing and then it stepped up several gears and I just couldn’t believe how good the fishing was,” Adam revealed. “I had 25 kilos of roach and hybrids on the feeder from Glass House to win the whole day and then did the same at Killydeas on Wednesday with 27 kilos on the tip.”

“Lough Scur was next on Thursday and after the two previous days, I guess it was always going to be a bit of a come down but 14 kilos of roach and hybrids on the short pole with worm and caster was a lovely day’s fishing and did my bit for the pairs cause too,” Adam explained. “Friday was perhaps my worst day but hand on heart I wasn’t that bothered. I had around 9 kilos of hybrids and roach on the waggler from Lough Ross. To win the Cup is a great little bonus on top of the Pairs!”

Daiwa Cup result: 1 A Wakelin, Preston Innovations, 93-510; 2 S Ringer, Daiwa/Guru, 79-860; 3 R Scott, Vale Royal Angling Centre, 78-210; 4 G Albutt, Matrix/Bait-Tech, 777-950; 5 C Hughes, Kamasan Starlets, 77-880; 6 C Blurton, Ted Carter Preston, 75-190.

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