Hartley student James Slater wins medals at world angling championship
PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 October 2019
Hartley schoolboy James Slater has just returned triumphant from a major angling championship.
The 16-year-old was in Italy with his dad Mark for the 2019 World Shore Angling Championships.
James had been selected to fish for the five-man England Junior squad and travelled out to Italy for a 10-day trip that included practice days as well as a gruelling four-day competition.
Nations from across the globe took part and the England Junior team fished superbly to come third overall and take home bronze medals.
"They were narrowly pipped to the post by France and Italy," said Mark.
He added: "James also managed to pick up a silver medal individually coming second overall, narrowly missing out on the top spot by just one fish."
The competition was held over four days on four separate beaches around the town of Sabaudia and the fish caught were measured and ratified by stewards and then all returned alive into the sea.
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The bait was supplied each day and consisted of sardines and Korean jumping worms - a very lively worm that we do not see over here in the UK and they bite, said Mark.
He said: "On the first day, the match was abandoned by the officials just over half way through due to a severe lightning storm.
"The Fips M organisers and officials deemed it too dangerous to be standing on a beach with a carbon fibre rod.
"On the second day, after the big storm, there were 8ft rolling seas breaking onto the beach and the anglers had problems holding bottom to catch fish.
"The England squad flew out to Italy and back, but I had to volunteer to drive 1,400 miles out there and 1,400 miles back in a big van with all the team's kit."
James, who is studying for A-levels at Gravesend Grammar School, Church Walk, has only been competitively shore fishing for two years and has previously won medals for Home Championships in Ireland and Scotland.
Mark said: "Now his ambition is to own and run a fishing centre over in Norway."