Will festival be a record breaker?

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WITH the 19th European Open Beach Championship almost here, this year’s event looks likely to reach new heights with an attempt to break the official record for the World’s largest sea angling competition.

The Bridlington-based championship ,which is widely regarded as the largest three-day beach angling event in Europe, is aiming to beat the current official world record of 785 competitors set in 2010 during the Blue Sea Fishing Festival in Malta.

Despite having regularly attracted over 1,000 competitors in previous years it is only recently that the record has been acknowledged and verified.

The event, which covers the whole length of the East Yorkshire coast from Bridlington to Spurn Point, looks set to break the current record despite the global economic turmoil which has failed to dampen the hunger for this massively popular festival of beach fishing.

East Yorkshire Events who organise the championship have been delighted with the huge number of new participants, especially the increased interest from across Europe.

Thanks to a heavy promotional drive and marketing activity on the continent new applications have been flooding in from a dozen European nations including new entrants travelling across from Germany and Poland.

The event which is organised in association with Total Sea Fishing Magazine will be held from tomorrow until Sunday, and includes the third running of the Bridlington Flattie Bash tomorrow.

This highly successful additional event was introduced in 2010 and will once again be held at the new boating compound on Wilsthorpe beach from 11.30am to 3pm.

It is the ideal preparation for the weekend’s main championship and gives anglers the perfect opportunity to share ideas and discuss tactics, while cramming in some last minute practice.

Kieran Lawry, spokesman forfor EY Events, said: “We have seen a massive increase in interest from new competitors this year and are delighted to welcome our first entrants from mainland Germany and Poland.

“It is still quite amazing how this local event has grown over the last decade and the huge boost to the area’s economy in a traditionally quiet period is always welcome.

“Our new world record attempt will hopefully confirm what we have always believed that the event is one of the biggest and best anywhere on the planet.”

Although this festival of beach fishing now attracts the cream of European shore angling it remains true to its original values of offering a fun and enjoyable event that is open to all.

With a separate, dedicated junior section as well as senior women’s and men’s competitions, the fully inclusive nature of the event really makes it stand out.

They will all be aiming to emulate last year’s overall winner Phil Darby from Guisborough who walked away with a large share of the £25,000 prize fund and the crown of 2011 European Champion.

Tickets are still available for the competition and can be purchased on the day at South Cliff Caravan Park, Wilsthorpe.

The competition started in 1992 as the Bridlington Open Beach Championship. It then became the British Open Beach Championship in 1998 as the event grew in size, finally changing to the European Open Beach Championship in 2009.