MORE than a thousand anglers are set to descend on Hampshire this summer as part of a new international fishing competition.

The Sea Angling Classic, a photograph, catch and release event is set to be a competition “like no other”, say organisers.

The event, which will be held annually in The Solent from next summer, will offer “the largest and most valuable prize table ever offered in sea fishing”, they add.

But, a special media event will be held this July, to introduce the full competition. It is expected to reel in 400 boats and an estimated 1,200 anglers to the county.

Then in July 2022, the main event will take place.

Run by Angling Spirit, the organisation behind the international World Carp Classic and World Predator Classic the tournament will take place across The Solent, with boats launching from several specific harbours across the county.

But organisers say the initiative is “much more than simply a sea fishing competition”.

Throughout the launch, there will be a major emphasis on conservation and the environment, with daily beach clean-ups and a focus on importance of the Solent’s flora and fauna.

The Angling Trust will bring newcomers into the sport with a children’s fishing academy and with support from the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, the Local Enterprise Partnership and businesses in the region, the Sea Angling Classic is set to be an “all-encompassing venture”.

Daily Echo: Angling Spirit and Sea Angling Classic founder Ross Honey,Angling Spirit and Sea Angling Classic founder Ross Honey,

Angling Spirit and Sea Angling Classic founder Ross Honey explained: “This will be an event like no other, encompassing a vast spectrum of events and initiatives.

“We are now formally inviting media and friends as our guests to attend the launch function and be part of history in the making, competing for great prizes while also experiencing the thrills and excitement of what will be in store for those at the full competition.”

Executive Chair of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Ross McNally, added: “This is the kind of global event we want to attract to this area. It really is placing the Solent and our beautiful coastal environment on the map.”