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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucester hosts top fishing competition

Gloucester canal is the venue this weekend (March 23 and 24) for the UK qualifier for an international angling competition.

The Europe-wide Sensas Challenge final will be held in France in the autumn.

This weekend, teams from all over the UK, including teams from Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Channel Islands, an Armed Forces team and the top French team, Sensas 28, will come together aiming for a top three place and the chance to fish the grand final in France.

Around 130 to 150 anglers, including three teams from Gloucester and two from Stroud, as well as top international competitors, are expected on the banks of the canal this weekend. The competition begins at 11:30am and ends at 3:30pm on both days.

Each angler's fish is weighed and recorded individually. At the end of the competition, all the weights for the individuals and the different teams are collated to find the top individual and top team.

Speaking on today's Business Breakfast Briefers show with editor, Mark Owen, Nigel Phillips, secretary of Stroud Angling Club, said: "It's absolutely massive, everybody's interested. All these guys come down and stay locally, which is good for local businesses, because they do have a night out while they're down here.

"It's not big money. Some competitions are £20,000 to £40,000 for the winner. This is nothing like that, it's just the prestige. It is such an important European competition."

Teams have been visiting Gloucester to practise for the event since Christmas, using specialised techniques which are used in the World Championships.

Team members, as well as marshals, will mainly stay in the local area for the weekend, giving a much-needed boost to pubs, hotels and restaurants in the city.

Nigel Phillips continued: "Some of the big competitions in Gloucester in recent years have seen up to 500 competitors. They've all got to stay locally. It's a huge business that nobody knows about!"

Angling is a big participation sport in Gloucestershire, with teams from both Gloucester and Stroud in Division One.

Team Gloucester won the national team club qualifier to represent England in Portugal this year, beating all the top teams in the country.

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