I have just returned home from Derry in N. Ireland from the inaugural Loughs Agency Speycasting competition,what a weekend it turned out to be.
It was great to meet up with friends old and new,the Irish are the finest,they certainly know how to enjoy themselves.
I would like to say a big thank you to the organisers of this event,who put in a lot of hard work to make it happen,especially Lionel Knobbs,Tom Woods,Pat Mulholland,Stevie Munn and Ian Gamble,there obviously was many others involved in erecting and assembling a purpose built casting pond and keeping it leak free over the weekend,well done.
Hywel Morgan treated the crowds to some really entertaining demos and kept everyone amused during the downpours over the weekend.
The weather was not kind over the weekend,with heavy rain showers,this did not seem to dampen the enthusiasm of a very healthy crowd.
The Speycasting competition was very well organised with a measuring system that could measure your casts to the inch.
Qualifying took place on the Saturday and early Sunday, with the top 6 casters getting into Sunday afternoons final.
Top 6 Qualifiers best casts
Gordon Armstrong (206ft 3 inches) 68.75 yards New World Record!!
Gerard Downey (205ft) 68.33 yards
Murray Richardson (203.6ft) 67.86 yards
Ruairi Costello (189ft) 63.00 yards
Andrew Toft (186.5ft) 62.16 yards
James Chalmers (182.5ft) 60.83 yards
I had the privellege of witnessing Alexander Grants record being smashed by Scott Mackenzie at the CLA 2005,and thought that it might never be beaten,but this younger generation of Speycasters seem to be taking Speycasting to a new level.Gordon Armstrong was the 1st caster to beat 68yards,closely followed by Gerard Downey of Ireland,Murray Richardson was very close to it as well just falling short.The way these lads cast is a joy to watch as they make it look so easy.
As soon as the commentator announced that the World record had been beaten,Gordon Armstrongs tackle was taken away by 3 judges to be scrutinised to ensure that it met all the criteria e.g 18 foot max rod length,2.5mm max line diameter,that the line was a floater,this gives credibility to the acheivement that had just taken place.Congratulations Gordon this is what the judges came back with.
The final took place on Sunday afternoon and was very wet and blustery.
Gordon Armstrong receving 1st prize at the Loughs Agency Headquarters
Top 3 receive their prizes from Angling Manager Lionel Knobbs
A special mention to Gerard Downey AKA The Moy Green,a relative newcomer to Speycasting,a truly magnificent spectacle over the weekend,a casting style that is totally unique but very effective well done.
A big thank you to Jimmy and Gwyneth Jack of Carron who were brave enough to let us loose in Derry.