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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 May, 2004, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Canoeists say event under threat
Canoeists regularly use the River Dee
The future of a 35 year canoeing event could be in jeopardy after a dispute between anglers in Llangollen and Welsh canoeists.

Last year the winter recreational tournament on the River Dee was cancelled after anglers' refusal to allow competitors on certain parts of the river.

Now, the Welsh Canoeing Association (WCA) has been offered 10 new dates.

However, it has rejected this as insufficient.

"What they offered as far as we're concerned were the same amount of tour dates but for less people," said Richard Harvey from the WCA.

Environmental concerns

"Unless they give us a decent agreement we can't sign anything."

He added that the WCA was being "held to ransom by a few selfish individuals".

The tour is usually run for a few weekends every year and attracts around 1,200 competitors.

However, the WCA claims local anglers want to restrict the number of competitors to 400.

"I don't think the town will be happy if less people are coming to the same amount of events," added Mr Harvey.

Anglers have said they do not want canoeists to have unrestricted access to the River Dee as it causes environmental problems.

"The Association had made every effort to accommodate the canoeists on its waters," said Huw Evans, vice chairman of the Llangollen Angling Association.

"However, the association must protect its own interests and the interests of its members who pay to fish the river. Unrestricted access for canoeists will not be allowed," he added.

The current situation means that canoeing will not take place on the River Dee in Llangollen during the 2004/2005 season.

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