by Karel Křivanec

Senior World Championship in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been over for two months, but I would add a few remarks to this event. Just at the beginning, I have to say that this was historically the worst Czech result at the World Championship with prevailing river venues. Once we had to be unlucky after a series of ten great results in a line.

Therefore I asked dipl. Ing Pavel Chyba to process the outline of the entire Championship (Table No. 1) in detail and make a theoretical assessment of individual beats based on results of competitors. Martin Musil has already described this event from the point of view of the Team Manager, but it seems to me that it will be necessary to speak a bit more about the public secret and that work of some controllers did not meet the rules. Results of some competitors were too surprising and did not correspond to what was expected from the particular beat.

Therefore, we have assessed the quality of individual beats and we can compare them within each river sector. Besides this, we have calculated variation for each team, which is a percentage difference from what the teams reached in the sum of placings from expectations given by the quality of their beats. As a standard for comparison, we used results of home competitors who were supervised by international controllers and we can regard them as completely fair.

In sector No. 1 –  Pliva River, as the strangest for me was the result of Polish competitor Golofit in beat No. 27 in the fourth session. He had 9 fish in his records and he was second in the sector. It´s interesting that a domestic competitor fishing there after him was blank as well as Hanke from Canada and Eikre from Norway in the third round. It´s also surprising that domestic competitors who had theoretically the best draw (50) finished on the eleventh place here. This seems very strange to me.

In sector No.2 – Sana River, there are also some strange results and again it was Golofit from Poland who won this sector in the third round with 13 fish, when in this beat was fishing Jacquemin from France in the first round and he caught only 4 fish/17th), Martin from Spain in the fourth round caught only 6 fish (5th place) and in the last round Maktima from the USA caught only 2 fish (20th). And other strange things were happening in beat No. 2, where Ivanovič from Serbia won here with 20 fish in the last round. This is almost hard to believe. The Bosnian team had the quality of beats equal to ten and in fact they almost copied this result, when they finished on the 13th place.

In sector No. 3 – Sanica River, where I have also found some strange results. In beat No. 2 Todorovič from Serbia caught 31 fish in the 3rd round and finished as the second in the sector, while the domestic competitor managed to catch only 15 fish (8th place) and in the fourth round Scott from England had only 6 fish (18th place) in the same beat. On the beat No. 15, there was a very surprising result of Mankov from Bulgaria in the first round with 30 catches compared to four competitors, who caused that this beat was 14th regarding the quality within the sector. The performance of Mathieu from France on the beat No. 26 in the third round (21 fish) also outside expectations finished. Competitors from Bosnia and Herzegovina had a very bad draw in this sector (18th) which corresponds to their 12th place on the Sanica River. Also total growth of catches in the last round of the competition was remarkable. Normally in the last round, the lowest number of fish is caught.

Results from the boat competition on the Plivsko Lake (altogether 73 fish was caught) cannot be assessed, because competitors can freely move on the entire lake and when there are two competitors on the boat, their self-checking is sufficient (Table No. 2).

Then we need to assess beat No. 5 – Vrbas River, where this competition should not have taken place at all. Domestic competitors had a very good draw of the beat (4th/60), which they managed to turn into the second place with the same number of placings as the US team (40) on the first place. However, Czechs had a very miserable draw (21st) and they finished here on the 17th place. With respect to a small number of fish caught, we cannot make any conclusions. Besides this, it is strange that 74 fish was caught in the last round, which is almost twice more than in the fourth round and thus we can make another question mark.

When we assess team results in four river sectors, we get ranking as displayed in Table No. 3. On the first place, Spain with sum of placings 160 and total quality of their beats 251, they finally achieved result better by 36 % than the quality of their beats was. France finished as the second in the river series with the sum of placings 180 with the total quality of their beats 241, which resulted in ranking better by 25 % than the draw was. And the USA finished on the third place with sum of placings 187 and quality of beats 250, meaning also better ranking by 25%. The domestic team of Bosnia finished on rivers on the 8th place with the sum of placings of 230 and the beat quality 254 (by not all 10% better result than would be expected). The Czechs finished on rivers on the 11th place with the sum of placings 253 with the beat quality 280 (also by not all 10 per cent better result than could be expected).

In the Table No. 4, I have arranged teams in the order from the best draw on the rivers to the worst. The best theoretical draw was for Slovenia (232), while their sum of placings was 193 (they finished here on the 4th place). The second best draw was for France (241) with the result 180 (second). Third best draw had members of the International team, which can partially explain their surprising results. Competitors from the USA had the fourth best draw (250) and finished third on rivers and almost the same draw had Spanish team who were on the fifth place and who won here with the sum of 160 and the lowest expectation coefficient 0.64.

Domestic team of Bosnia had the seventh best draw on rivers (254) and finished here on the 8th place, while the Czech draw had the final quality 280 (twelfth rank) and in reality the Czech team was eleventh (253). A very unlucky draw on rivers was for the English team – 23rd rank (329) and the Finns had one rank worse – 24th (330). I think that just this Table clearly shows how important was the draw at this year´s Championship and this was doubled for individuals. There was a great inequality in fish allocation in individual beats and this decided about the team ranking. But as we well remember from the minutes of the last FIPS-Mou Assembly in Cancún, Mexico, too high number of fish in sectors was a subject of official Presidential Board´s criticism of the last year´s Championship in the Czech Republic.

What to say at the end? It seems to me that during the Championship lots of mistakes have been made. I myself cannot understand why the FIPS-Mou Board agreed on fishing in so deep rivers with just only one fly, when most of beats were in places which are normally fished with five flies and with the use of a spinning reel. Why do we need Rules, which can be freely changed according to the organizer´s mood?  It´s maybe caused by the fact that the Board of the International Federation thinks that the dry fly is the best what exists. The opposite requirement to fish only with three flies would not be definitely approved in the case that someone raises such a proposal for rule modification.

Regarding the question connected to adding fish on the scoring card and which was widely discussed at the backstage and it seems to me that this must be said also in public. We have met a similar problem at the European Championship in Bosnia, but unfortunately we were “tactfully” silent about it. Even today, our competitors did not like talking about it with me, when everyone finally admitted at least one offer for a “friendly help“ which they refused. I have pointed out some of the strange results, but there must have been more of them, and this is hard to prove it today.

We know very well that there are countries with a sporting spirit where such approach of controllers is absolutely out of the question. But we also know that there are countries where it is expected that controllers will support “their“ competitors. Today, the support of domestic competitors is practically impossible, as they are watched by international supervisors, but there is nowhere guaranteed that a fish can be added to others. In the Czech Republic, we have used a system that competitors work also as controllers and we can say this this proved well and there are no problems. This would also be the way how to save money and ensure fair competition. But unfortunately, this is a reality of far future at FIPS-Mouche events …