What a Weekend!!
I have just got my feet back on the ground after a fantastic weekend at the Tweed Angling Fair in Kelso.I had the privelege to witness two "Speycasting Giants" casting the furthest distances ever witnessed in competition,on running water and very Squally conditions.
This was also a first for any Speycasting Competition ever held,Gordon Armstrong set the new World Record of 73.33yards in the Final!!,not in the qualifier!!What an amzing acheivement under pressure.
The Competition was held on the famous junction pool of the River Tweed at Kelso,what a venue it was amazing.
I must congratulate Eoin Fairgreive for running an absolute splendid show,by God that man was under some pressure over the course of the weekend,I am sure he will be trying to relax a bit today after a hectic weekend.
The Casting Competition was held on the Sunday afternoon,qualifying took place in the morning.This Competition turned out to be the most difficult one ever held to get to the final,the lowest qualifying distance of the final 6 was a whopping 65 yards!! the highest73yards!!
There was a great buzz about the casting competition,as the weather in some instances was horrendous,Both Scott and myself got blown off the platform during a gust,at least that was my excuse its maybe an age thing
It was really good to see a healthy entry participation to the competition as well,as spectators could see all their Speycasting heros in the same place at the same time,and get some hints and tips from the best in the world.The qualifying was busy right up to the final took place,with competitors in some cases just looking for that extra yard or two to get them to the final,but as usual in many cases when your 3 minutes comes round the wind picks up to near hurricane force and in your 3 minutes your lucky to get one cast in due to the wind ruining your anchor to get ready for the 30 degree change of direction.I must congratulate every competitor who had a try at qualifying,as your £10.00 entry fee went to a good cause,"Tweedstart" a magnificent cause to introduce the youth and underprivelleged into the sport,Eoin Fairgreive I salute you for your dedication to the cause.
The qualifying scores were as follows
1.Gordon Armstrong 73 yards
2.Scott Mackenzie 71 yards
3.James Chalmers 68.5 yards
4.Gerard Downey 67 yards
5.Ruairi Costello 66.5 yards
6.Knut Syrstad 65 yards
These scores show how difficult it was to qualify,many of the competitors were 60+ some dropped short of qualifying by half a yard.Andrew Toft just did not get the weather conditions to get the extra half yard,there was one competitor,worth a special mention,at 16 years of age Blair Banks has joined the Sixty Yard Club
The final took place in front of a very large crowd and the anticipation was high that the two giants,thats Gordon and Scott were going to throw a big one,but the main thing on the rest of our minds was that it was anybodys final, as the weather was so unpredictable,one lucky break with the wind would have helped you to slow down and concentrate for a split second longer,it was not to be the case as the 3 best casters in the world,gave us a lesson on how to cope with weather,i.e fight it.
I will never forget this day on the Tweed,as it made casting history yet again,with both Scott Mackenzie,an absolute legend and gentleman,beating his own World Record,and Gordon Armstrong beating his previous record,and setting an astonishing new World Record in a final
,Gerard Downey an amazing talent from Ireland being cool as ice during the final,it was great to witness.
A special thanks to Hywell Morgan for keeping the crowds amused with a fabulous commentary.
Results of Sundays Final
1st Gordon Armstrong 73.33 yards New World Record
2nd Scott Mackenzie 71 yards
3rd Gerard Downey 65 yards
4th Ruairi Costello
5th James Chalmers
6th Knut Syrstad
I dont know the final 3 scores as yet,but as you can see it was not enough.
Gordon getting presented with the Roxburghe Trophy
World Record Distance
The Carron Stand,Gwyneth Jack,with Willie Duffer in attendance
It was a brilliant weekend with a great atmosphere and cammeraderie,with some nice social evenings and a few beers everyone seemed to have a great time,it was great to see some of you guys from over the pond at the show.Roll on next year as I am sure it will be an even bigger and better show.