Major new sea fishing contest in Portsmouth features parade through city and FREE live music


The £120,000 boat that is first prize in the competition

As well as the angling and a fantastic top prize of a £120,000 boat, the event weekend will be filled with community activities.

Event founder Ross Honey says: ‘An incredible team of people have worked together, spending countless hours in meetings and planning the event.

‘The opening ceremony on June 15 will be spectacular. I really love to see flags flying and we’ll be starting off with a special flag parade from Guildhall Square to Gunwharf Quays, through the streets of the city that will be specially closed for the occasion.

Sea Angling Classic founder Ross Honey

‘There’ll be a marching band leading 150 children, followed by the hundreds of competitors, event partners and members of the local community.It really will be a great occasion as the parade enters Gunwharf Quays, which has been fully decorated with flags and banners.’

And that’s just the start…

Ross continues: ‘The following day, June 16, will see a boat parade, with all of the competing boats being led by a World War Two gunship into Portsmouth Harbour, which the Queen’s Harbour Master is closing for us.

‘Two days of competition follow on June 17 and 18 and, unlike most events, we won’t be doing the prizegiving on the day the event finishes, but instead it will be the following day, June 19, where we will proudly have HMS Victory as the backdrop in the Historic Dockyard.

A samba band will be playing in the Historic Dockyard as part of the entertainment

‘There will be live bands playing and Express FM will broadcast live from the stage, while BT Sports will also be filming.

‘The huge prize table to be presented will include the incredible first prize of a fully-equipped Extreme745 Gameking boat worth £120,000. I can’t wait to shake the hands of the winners when they are crowned champions.

‘There will be a big samba band that will lead everybody from the prize table arena to HMS Warrior, where they will see the prize boat go in the water and the winners of the charter boat category having the honour of going on one of the historic ships normally reserved for royalty as they do a tour of honour in the harbour.‘At this stage all invited guests will board HMS Warrior and have a celebration drinks reception with a live band playing. When back ashore, the champions will have a guard of honour leading them aboard HMS Warrior to show the amazing Sea Angling Classic trophy to the guests.’

Made out of recycled material from HMS Victory, aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales and minehunter HMS Middleton, the trophy has been expertly crafted by apprentices from BAE Systems and Hythe Marine Services.

Bass are one of species in the Sea Angling Classic contest

Ross says: ‘The work of art that has been created is a lot more than a trophy as it represents skill, commitment, cooperation, education, vision, patience and dedication. To have the trophy made in Portsmouth at the home of the Sea Angling Classic is something I am very proud of.

‘I am also immensely proud that Portsmouth and all that is incredible about it will be seen by people all over the world though the Sea Angling Classic.

As well as the sea fishing competition, the Sea Angling Classic ties together environmental clean-ups and research, education, business and conservation while encouraging the next generation of anglers. The event is also working with the University of Portsmouth, providing data to aid research into the Solent’s flora and fauna, including its native seagrass.

Ross says: ‘The idea for the Sea Angling Classic came to me when I was at home during the Covid pandemic. I’d run fishing events abroad, but now leaving the country was not possible.

Sea Angling Classic partners, sponsors, venues and suppliers

‘So with my love of the sea I decided to study again and took exams to qualify as a commercial captain. This led me to spend a lot of time out in the Solent, where I realised that the waters where I live had amazing potential for a fishing competition. The idea of a UK-based recreational boat angling competition with a high profile prize table was born.

‘I also wanted the kind of theatre of other events we’ve staged, with a big opening ceremony, boat parades, flags and music, creating a festival atmosphere and including the local community.

‘As time went by, I quickly realised that Portsmouth had everything I needed to create such a world-class event; the maritime history, an incredible infrastructure complex, unique facilities and prolific waters with great fishing.

‘Last year I ran a successful pilot event out of Northney Marina in Hayling, with shoreline clean-ups, crabbing competitions for children, children’s angling tuition and poster design competitions.

‘We had great support and encouragement from Shaping Portsmouth, the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Portsmouth City Council, Northney Marina and the angling trade.

‘There was a great opening party, which included a brilliant live band, Mermaid Gin providing fantastic cocktails for everybody and stands from the event partners. The event was a real success and highlighted the excitement and appetite for a recreational sea angling competition based in the UK.

‘So here we are, just a few days away from the first Sea Angling Classic in Portsmouth! Thank you to everybody that has shared my vision and helped to make the Sea Angling Classic a reality and I look forward to seeing you all at the various events taking place in the city.

‘Tight lines everybody, have a great time, keep safe and enjoy the event!’

Sea Angling Classic timetable

12:00 – 16:15 Registration, Gunwharf Quays

17:45 Official opening ceremony entertainment starts, Guildhall Square

18:15 Lord Mayor’s official opening declaration, Guildhall Square

18:30 Opening flag parade with marching band, Guildhall Square to Gunwharf Quays

19:15 Live entertainment, Gunwharf Quays

10:00 – 14:15 Registration, Gunwharf Quays

16:00 Captains’ briefing, Historic Dockyard @Action Station theatre

18:00 Boats on parade assembly, Muster Point

18:30 Boat parade commences, Portsmouth harbour

08:00 – 16:00 1st day of competition (designated fishing grounds)

08:00 – 16:00 2nd day of competition (designated fishing grounds)

10:00 Prize giving entertainment starts, Historic Dockyard by HMS Victory

12:00 – 14:00 Prize-giving, Historic Dockyard by HMS Victory

14:30 Champions boat parade in harbour, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard by HMS Warrior

14:30 Champions celebration party, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on HMS Warrior

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