England’s old guard win gold in Veterans World Championships

Veterans side crowned the winners in Slovenia – and there was medals on the individual front too!

England’s old guard win gold in Veterans World Championships

by Angling Times |

There was finally a gold medal to celebrate in 2021 for an England team at World Champs level as the Veterans side were crowned the winners in Slovenia – and there was double delight as more medals came their way on the individual front too!

England Men’s boss Mark Downes won his second Veterans title with three points from team mate Roger Marlow in silver on four points. The side of Mark and Roger plus former England co-manager Steve Sanders and four-times World Champ Bob Nudd tallyied 25 points over the weekend to win ahead of Italy on 30 and Hungary on 37.

The team, with manager Dickie Carr holding the trophy, celebrate their world win
The team, with manager Dickie Carr holding the trophy, celebrate their world win

Day one served up 18 points, but it was Sunday’s match where England blew the competition away, scoring a stunning seven points courtesy of section wins for Steve and Mark, a second for Bob and a third for Roger. That saw the champs fly past their rivals to finish five points clear and head home with the golds around their necks.

“The first day did catch us out a bit as the river was coloured and more fish were caught short,” said manager Dickie Carr.

“That’s how Roger fished to win the match, but we knew on day two that on a river that had returned to normal we’d need to stick to our main 11m line.

“Feeding constantly was the key, throwing in small balls of groundbait and soil to make some noise. Fishing just off the feed seemed to catch the bigger fish too. Stickymag was another important feed that Mark and Steve worked out. It calmed the fish down.”

The individual race went down to the wire, Mark winning thanks to a 6oz vimba netted with just seconds of Sunday’s match remaining. Added to more vimba, plus a welcome 1kg-plus barbel, it gave the Sensas UK boss 6-694 and a section win.

Day one had seen Mark score a second in section with 3-220, Roger winning the match on day one with 3-969 and then scoring a third in section on 6-100 to give him silver.

England Men’s boss Mark Downes won his second Veterans title
England Men’s boss Mark Downes won his second Veterans title

“In six years of fishing the Veterans I’ve won five team medals and two individual golds, so I’m catching Alan Scotthorne and Bob Nudd up slowly!” joked Mark.

“We were caught out a bit on day one as the river coloured up from 36 hours of rain in the practice week.

“On day two most teams thought the short line would be key again, but when we got to the river the colour had gone and so had a lot of the pace, so we stuck to fishing our main 11m line and cashed in. By the time other teams twigged, we’d done the damage.

“I was happy enough with second on day one but struggled on day two after a good start catching vimba. The peg went dead with 10 minutes to go, and I felt a big fish was about, so went on the flat float with three maggots and three bloodworm on the hook and caught the barbel immediately.

“With two minutes to go I said to Dickie Carr that I had time for another fish, went back out and caught the vimba that I netted with seconds to spare. It’s always very fine margins at this level.”

Mark Downes won individual gold in Slovenia
Mark Downes won individual gold in Slovenia
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