A FISHING fundraiser has reeled in a whopping £1,800 for charity, in memory of a Newbury man who died in March.
The Bobby Challis Rod Race 2017 saw 22 amateur fishermen and women cast off to raise money for cancer charity Bloodwise last Saturday afternoon (July 22) .
The event was organised by the family of keen amateur fisherman Bob Challis (pictured below), who died, aged 55, in March, owing to complications after being successfully treated for lymphoma (a form of blood cancer).
Mr Challis’ daughter Kate Thompson, who helped organise the event along with her brother Jack, sister Anna Fox and mother Michelle Challis, said the fundraiser was a fitting tribute to her father.
“Dad was the most kind and caring man who was incredibly popular and well known around Newbury,” she said.
“He was a keen fisherman and his intention when he recovered was always to hold a charity fishing competition to raise money for Bloodwise, which was a charity very close to his heart.”
The aim of the charity Rod Race was to catch as many species of fish as possible in 12 hours, at any local fishing spot.
After meeting in Newbury on Saturday morning, competitors paid a £20 donation to take part, before being split into pairs – with fishermen and women of all ages and abilities taking part.
The day ended at 7pm at The Bowlers Arms, Wash Common, where an awards ceremony and raffle were held, with the three teams catching the most species winning a trophy and medals.
Experienced fisherman and co-organiser Jack Challis (pictured above), came in first place with a massive 16 species caught.
However, he had agreed to hand the trophy to the next placed pair, Mark Challis and Adam Challis (the brother and nephew of the late Bob Challis) who caught 13 species.
Kate Thompson added: “Everyone stuck it out all day in the pouring rain and an amazing number of fish were caught.
“We even had a team catch a brilliant four species when they didn't even own a fishing rod as of that morning.”
She added: “It was a fantastic event and my family and I are blown away by the support from all of our friends and family.
“We are still getting donations in, but have so far raised an outstanding £1,800 for Bloodwise, which is way more than we were hoping for.
“Due to the success of the event we now plan to make The Bobby Challis Rod Race an annual charity event.”
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thebobbychallisrodrace