The UK’s top fishmongers are sharpening their knives in preparation for the ultimate contest – the hugely popular British Fish Craft Championships 2012 to be held in Cardiff Bay on the weekend of September 1 & 2.
Veteran Cardiff fishmonger, Mike Crates, 54, famed for coming runner-up 19 times will again be giving the big one a shot.
“I love the atmosphere and I enjoy competing, and I always come away with trophies, so there’s every reason to keep going,” he says. “And it would be great to bring the big one back to Wales.”
The reigning champion is Terry Martin from Aldershot.
“It’s rare for anyone to win two years in succession, and if I manage to retain the crown, I’ll be the first person to do so for many, many years, so that’s a big motivator,” he says. “We are judged on speed and presentation, so I am refining my skills from now until the competition, to make sure that I’m on top form.”
Entries for the British Fish Craft Championships 2012 are flooding in from all corners of the UK, with entries received from as far afield as Cornwall, Norfolk, Yorkshire and London.
Last year a massive three tons of fresh fish was skinned, filleted, trimmed and sliced by the competing fishmongers, and a similarly huge haul will be passing beneath the fishmongers’ knives this year.
All this fabulous, expertly handled fish will be sold to the public at attractive prices, and the proceeds given to charity.
Throughout the weekend, fishmongers will be on hand to give advice to the public on how to deal with their catch, and well-known local chefs will be giving fish cookery demonstrations on Friday, August 31 and Saturday September 1.