A unique international fishing competition will be launched this July on England’s south coast, tying together environmental clean-ups and research, education, business and conservation while encouraging the next generation of anglers. The ATA has been involved from the beginning.
The Sea Angling Classic will start in style from July 23rd to 25th on the south coast with a major media event, which will introduce the full competition set to take place in 2022, reeling in 400 boats and an estimated 1,200 anglers in the diverse and prolific Solent.
With the largest and most valuable prize table ever offered in recreation boat angling in the UK , it will be a dynamic and high-profile event that has already captured the imagination of supporters and sponsors alike.
It is being run by Angling Spirit, the organisation behind the hugely successful World Carp Classic, World Predator Classic and World Street Fishing competitions, which are followed all over the world via TV programmes and a live Leaderboard app.
It will initially run out of Chichester, Langston, and Portsmouth Harbours, with the event headquarters based at the Angling Spirit head offices and marine training facilities in Emsworth and Northney Marina.
More than just another fishing event
But the initiative is much more than simply a sea fishing competition. Throughout the three days of the launch, there will be a major emphasis on conservation and the environment, with daily beach clean-ups and a focus on importance of the Solent’s flora and fauna, including its native seagrass.
The Angling Trust will be bringing newcomers into the sport with a special children’s fishing academy running each day.
With support from the HampshireChamber of Commerce, the Local Enterprise Partnership and businesses in the region, the Sea Angling Classic is one all-encompassing venture with multiple benefits.
The fun commences at Northney Marina on Friday, July 23rd with a launch reception coupled with event partner introductions and displays, a complimentary gin bar courtesy of Mermaid Gin and a hog roast.
The following two days will see a boat parade up Chichester Harbour to the start line for a televised invitational competition involving 150 media, guests and anglers, alongside the shore clean-ups and children’s fishing academy before an evening prizegiving on Sunday, July 25th.
Angling Spirit and Sea Angling Classic founder Ross Honey explained: “This will be an event like no other, encompassing a vast spectrum of elements and initiatives covering conservation and the environment, vital marine research, education, business networking and a boost to the local economy as well as the welfare of the wide range of fish species in the Solent.
“We are now formally inviting media and friends as our guests to attend the launch function and be part of history in the making, competing for great prizes while also experiencing the thrills and excitement of what will be in store for those at the full competition in summer 2022.
“The Sea Angling Classic is also the flagship, boat-based sea fishing initiative of the Angling Trust, The Angling Trades Association, The European Fishing Tackle Trade Association and the Chamber of Commerce, involving The Harbour conservancy, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the coastguard and MDL Marinas – the largest marina group in Europe – among many others.”
Aside from the conservation and educational benefits, the Sea angling Classic will also be a major boost to the local economy.
Ross McNally from Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, which has already pledged its full support, said: “There is a lot of enthusiasm about this from the business communities. It actually sits squarely with the aims and objectives of businesses right across the Solent. This is so much more than just the event itself. When we see how we can engage with schools, the young people and the next generation, how it’s about supporting the environment and clean growth, these are what businesses are picking up on and being really enthusiastic about.
“This is the kind of global event we want to attract to this area. It really is placing the Solent and our beautiful coastal environment on the map. “Next year’s competition will attract a large audience, which is very good for tourism, for the values of the communities and the values of the places themselves.”