23 August 2011

With the four day-only British Young Carpers Angling Championships (BYCAC) qualifiers completed everyone was set for the 48 hour final to be contested between 32 young anglers aged 17 or younger. The draw as ever was a tense affair with four of fancied anglers to take the 2011 title, including last year’s champion Jake Taylor, 2010 runner-up Callum Kletta and Brad Greening coming out in the last four in the draw!
Brasenose 2 had already proved itself during the week to be an incredibly fair venue with the action spread evenly around the 34-acre gravel pit and once again during the final this was exactly the case. By 5pm on day one eleven anglers had made it onto the leader board with the anglers drawn in the 20’s on the end of the wind seeing the most action. One angler in particular had caught people’s attention at this early stage was Oscar Thornton in peg 28. Thornton had held off on baiting heavily from the start to deliberately win the fastest fish prize of four Nash Siren R-S bite alarms and he did just that! By 8pm Oscar had managed to put himself into the lead with a 20lb gap between second-placed John Harvey. By 2pm on the Saturday 22 lads had made the leader board which spoke volumes for the venue with Oscar still had his nose in front with 80lb 6oz. Quietly doing his thing further down the leader board was Benedict Fowler. Young Benedict is only 12 years old and had received some one-to-one tuition prior to the championships from former BYCAC champion Jake Wildbore and it was showing with his impressive display of accurate spodding and solid bag fishing. By 5.30pm Thornton was still leading, but down in one of the unfancied areas 2010 runner-up Callum Kletta ‘s patience was being rewarded and he had jumped straight up into second place only 25lb behind the leader. These changes in the chasing pack were so common during the duration of the final, so-much-so it meant no one was ever out of contention and it added to the tense and exciting nature of the final. By 9pm on the Saturday the event had yet again a new leader. Young Benedict Fowler angled brilliantly in the late-evening session to push on a head the leader board with 8 fish for 113lb 6oz, only 10lb ahead of Thornton. With less than 12 hours of the event remaining all the marshalling staff and event organisers knew that it was still anyone’s event and it would be the last night and morning of the competition that would eventually decide the winner. By 8.30am on the final day Thornton had regained the lead and 2010 champ Jake Taylor put in an incredible overnight performance from a totally unfancied swim including the capture of two 20’s to push himself into third place. In fourth place, last out of the bag Brad Greening was gaining some momentum and with three decent doubles landed overnight the man who had come out of the draw last was in serious contention.
As we entered the final hour of the competition Thornton was still in the lead, Taylor’s swim had died a death and Greening had landed a further two fish to put him into second place. With just minutes of the competition remaining news came through that Greening had hooked another fish and that he was only 10lb 4oz behind the leader. Greening landed his fish only moments before the hooter sounded and silence descended on the control tent as we didn’t know who had won the event. A massive cheer came up from Greening’s swim – his carp weighed 10lb 10oz and he had pipped Thornton by just 6oz to become the 2011 Korda British Young Carpers Angling Champion. What an event! Many thanks to the event organisers, marshals and all of the competitors who made this a year to truly remember.

Jerry Bridger (Crafty Carper).