THE Angling Trust’s RiverFest 2015 final got a nail-biting late go-ahead in a late river inspection... just 24 hours before the big weekend.
Match referee Tony Birt confirmed via Facebook: “After looking at the river level and weather forecast this morning, I have decided that the final will go ahead tomorrow as planned.
“It has been a very difficult one to call but the level is currently only 1.29m and falling at Hereford and 1.63m and falling, upstream at Glasbury.”
So the final is on… and what a brilliant match fishing event it’s proving to be!
Who will emulate 2014 champ Steve Sadler?
After 24 qualifiers, 72 anglers from across the country will descend upon Hereford to fish the two-day Riverfest final on the River Wye over Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November 2015.
Now in its third year the competition continues to grow from strength to strength and 2015 is bigger than ever before, mirroring the huge success of Fish’O’Mania, which is set to expand again in 2016.
Over 1,400 anglers have battled it out over 24 Riverfest qualifiers this year for a place in the grand final … where anglers will compete for the prestigious title of RiverFest Champion 2015 and bank a cheque for a cool £12,000.
Last year a nail-biting finish on sa high but falling river saw Steve Sadler (pictured above) win with 49 lb 3 oz over the two days four big barbel on the first day giving him a fine start. Former world champion Sean Ashby was second with 45 lb 7 oz..including 700 bleak on short whip tactics in a day two attack.
Ben Thompson, Angling Trust said: “We said after 2014 final that we wanted to make it bigger and better, adding four extra qualifiers has certainly made it bigger and with new venues and the biggest prize pool for a rivers competition, we hope we have made it better too.
“It’s shaping up to be an exciting final, after a long dry summer the river has had a drop of water lately and we hope it fishes well for all competitors.
Spectators welcome at Riverfest Final – venue and times
The Angling Trust is encouraging anglers and members of the public to come along and watch the event unfold, parking is free and access to the banks is good. Spectators will be able to watch some of the best anglers in the country in action.
Car parking is located in the field located adjacent to Hereford Rowing Club at the bottom of Greyfriars Avenue. Hereford Rowing Club will be head quarters for the weekend and the general pubic will have access to the facilities provided by the club.
For those who fancy a flutter on their favourite angler there will be a bookmaker on site Saturday and Sunday who will be located within the Rowing Club.
The action kicks off at 10.30am and will finish at 3.30pm on each day. The match length will be split into 2 zones using between pegs 1 – 102 which are located above and below the old bridge.
The 72 anglers competing in the 2015 Riverfest final
Bob Brown, Dave Roberts, Ian Dawson, Jamie Houlders, Paul Kozyra, Pat Adams, Matthew Derry, Mark Harrington, Kevin Rowles, Barry Thomas, Alan Houlton, Gary Pilsworth, Steve Whitfield, Cameron Hughes, Ed Warren, Alistair Ogilvie, Paul Golding, Dave Harrell, Frederick Prudham, Paul Hardy, Steve Watson, Peter Jayes, Sean Ashby, Simon Willsmore. Andy Wilson-Sutter, Steve Clark, Colin Oakman, Alex Dobie, Eddie Bridon, Mick Vials, Tony Marshall, Paul Sanderson, Dave Smith, Phil Stevenson, Colin Beech, Brian Rigby, Rick Rogers, Ian Ward, Trevor Fuller, Tim Nash, John Summerson, Michael Dixon, Karl Biddle, Tom Lane, Rich Tomala, Lee Edwards, Mick Hall, Rob Quinn, Hadrian Whittle, Michael Buchwalder, Steve Hemingray, Paul Passmore, Mike Bedding, John Taylor, Clive Branson, James Robbins, Lee Gardner, Richard Taylor, Michael Haskell, Richard Leduc, Graham Didcote, Roger Cleary, Richard Hoskins, Steve Maher, Adam Williams, Doug Foreshew, Lee Furness, Ricky Bonas, Chris Ruse, Dave Cooper, Craig Shaw and Andrew Moss.
Big prizes at Riverfest Final
With more competitors than ever before the prize pool for the final is even bigger than previous years with £34,000 to be won over the course of the weekend.
Anglers placing 1st – 10th will all take an individual pay-out while 24 section winners will also net £250.
In additional to placing and section wins, a prize of £450 will be paid to the 3 anglers who progressed from each of the qualifiers, who in the final have the highest cumulative weight over 2 days.
Ben Thompson said: “We would like to thank our partners at Severn Trent Water, Thames Water and Bait-Tech for their support and contribution to what is an excellent competition.”