Thursday's Gallery
Elastics: Why not just use a heavier grade elastic rather than stand on your box?
When you are fishing at a high level of competition, you need to maximise every fish in your swim, that's assuming you have not decided to sit it out for big fish!
Many anglers know that to upgrade your elastic weight too much can have a dramatic effect on their final weight because you will simply keep 'bumping' fish off. It is of course important that you keep the elastics in your pole top sections as new as possible as well otherwise old elastic frays and snaps... so no skimping on cost here!
So, for many top internationals, the solution is to keep the elastic as light as possible for the small fish and play out any big fish which comes their way. Each angler has his own preference of elastic, some even double up lighter elastics to give that extra insurance. Some are using the special 'Pull bungs' (like Steve Gardener) which really give you close in control of the fish. Some, like Will Raison, use the incredibly versatile Daiwa Blue Hydro, which has a unique 'pump' facility because of its liquid filling. It's also extremely tough and it takes something quite big to snap it!
Below we have a prime example of how an angler (Englands Sean Ashby) handles a large fish on light elastics. It is important to ensure your seatbox legs are tightened thoroughly and that your box will handle you standing on it, before attempting this technique! It's also a good idea to have an extra long landing net handle as well.

South Africa
don't really figure in many people's idea of a top angling team. But times are changing and many of the 'lesser' nations are now 'upping' their game. A prime example this year was South Africa's apparent 'explosion' into angling's international limelight. Although they finished the tournament well down in 27th place, that's not the true picture of their tournament. Going back to Belgium 2004 they were 34th of 36 teams, Finland 2005 28th of 30 teams, Portugal 29th of 32 teams and last year, their best result previous to these champs, 35th of 40 teams in Hungary.

This year saw 37 teams compete and SA finished in 27th place... they were actually in 9th place after day one, tieing on points with Italy of all teams... and had a section winner, Jaco Goodwin! Just look at some of the teams they beat over the two days... Serbia, Bosnia & Herzogovinia, Croatia, Luxembourg and USA!

They really are starting to move up the 'pecking' order. Normally, the world's press take few pictures of the lesser competing teams from far away, at we try to include as many of these teams as possible because without them, we don't have a truly World Championship. So here is our pictorial appreciation to the team, which this year, travelled the furthest distance to compete. Our subject is Werner Lubbe practicing during Thursday and he was ultimately SA's highest points scorer with 22pts.



England's Thursday practice session: here's some snapshots of them along with a couple of other internationals who happened to be close by!