England suffered a heavy defeat at this year’s World Carp Angling Championships, but the team says the odds were stacked against them due to questionable Romanian tactics.The world of competitive angling might not sound especially cut-throat, but a defeated England team has protested that something fishy was going on in a recent world contest.
The Korda England Carp team came a disappointing 18th in this year’s World Carp Angling Championships, held at Lac Corbu in Romania.
But victory was never likely to be theirs, they say, as the host nation had employed tactics that England suggests were morally dubious and perhaps not “in the spirit of fair play.”
A match report on the Angling Trust website says the competition, held between September 27 and 30, was “marred” by the use of a venue where the fish had been fed on a single soluble bait for five months.
Only a few of the competing countries were aware of this and so those teams had a “very significant advantage”, it was claimed.
Romania dominated the event, comfortably winning the competition, while neighbouring Bulgaria finished second and another next-door country, Serbia, came third.
Ian Huntington, Korda England Carp Team manager said: “Despite putting in a tremendous amount of work this year leading up to the event, the outcome turned out to be never in any doubt from the host nation’s point of view.
“The key to the match, and what we did not know, was the carp had been fed with one single type of soluble bait since they were stocked into Lac Corbu in May 2012. “Consequently countries that had been and practised a number of times at the venue were aware of this and managed to get local bait to enable them to compete.
“The neighbouring Bulgarians commissioned their own bait based on what had been fed to the fish. Portugal and Serbia had contacts in Romania who provided bait.
“We only discovered after the match that the fish were fed daily throughout the summer by boat on the Romanian bait from fixed lines parallel with the bank.”
It was obvious, he said, that any team fishing with the right type of bait would do well while the rest would “really struggle to get a bite”.
Mr Huntington added: “Within two hours of the match starting we were asking ourselves questions about the bait.”
South Africa and France had also been unaware of the bait issue, and the defeated teams together wasted some £10,000 worth of bait, or “boilies”.
The Romanians’ tactic was not against the rules, but this was of little comfort to the England team.
Mr Huntington said: “Hard lessons have been learnt and it has been a very difficult experience to pick the team and ourselves up after this event.
“We are extremely disappointed that the water was fed with a single bait. While this is not strictly against the rules, and the Romanians freely admitted to doing it, we feel that there is a moral issue here, and question whether this practice is in the spirit of fair play.”
If other host nations followed suit in future events, the result could be a break up of the competition, he warned.
Dick Clegg, international events manager for the Angling Trust, said: “It is obvious from the information that I have received that questions need to be asked about certain aspects of the event.
“I will certainly require an explanation about a number of problems arising from this Championship.”
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