Local anglers helped set the pace – and themselves to some of the £16,000 prize fund – on the opening day of this year’s P and O European Ferries Classic Fishing Festival.

Englishman Jeff Armstrong, from Milton Keynes, landed 46 kgs 820 grms of fish to win Monday’s match and collect £500, but Ken Hawkhead, from Enniskillen, was not far behind with 43 kgs to take second place and £350. Third was Billy Knott, from Cornwall, who had 38 kgs 620 grms and collected £225, while Tony Kersley, from Monea, was fourth, with 35 kgs which earned him £150.

The P and O Classic is the most prestigious event of its kind in Europe and this year’s entry of 396 anglers from Ireland, England and the continent means that it is almost filled to capacity – any more competitors and the organisers would have difficulty finding them venues to fish.

Stan Jeffreys (left) from Leeds, is shown showing his day’s catch to P and O public relations manager, Mr. T. Dennis Grattan.