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AVON FEST'S TIMELY BOOST.

Byline: Barry James

A TEAM of 18 sponsors have ensured that one of angling's most enduring events lives on.

The John Smith's Bitter Championship may now be history but its successor, the Wychavon Angling Festival, is expected to be equally successful.

There are key changes to the previous format - 18 qualifying rounds as against 10 is probably the most significant.

Unlike other years, only the winner of each qualifier will make it to the finals weekend, again based at Evesham's Crown Meadow. But anglers finishing second, third or fourth in the preliminaries will get a second chance in the new semi-finals on August 18.

Members of the tackle trade have pledged to support the qualifiers and Wychavon District Council will have an increased hands-on presence, sponsoring two of the August Bank Holiday weekend finals on the River Avon.

Blue riband

The blue riband individual championship will be supported by organiser Dick Derrington's JCD Angling Club.

Ten of the qualifying rounds will be staged at Evesham and there are some newcomers in the remainder including Earlswood Lakes (April 21, foot and mouth permitting), Stafford Moor, Exeter, and Hob Hole Drain, Boston. Bloodworm/joker will be allowed in a fair proportion of the matches.

Mothering Sunday came four days early for senior match anglers Pat Kavanagh and Doreen Putnam.

The pair were finishing the Starlets (Northfield) veterans match at Woodland View and both made it a ladies' day to remember when winning their respective contests.

In the 34-strong field, Pat from Stourbridge hauled in 16lb 3oz of carp from Arles Pool at the same time as Doreen was recording 7-4-0 of silverfish on High Pool.
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Title Annotation:Angling
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Mar 25, 2001
Words:273
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