Mike scoops the big one
12:11pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in Penarth news
AFTER 41 years of competing, and coming second no less than 19 times, Mike Crates was finally crowned British Fish Craft Champion 2013 on August 25.
An emotional Mike, 55, who works at Ashton's in Cardiff and lives in Penarth, said: “It’s hard to believe after so many years of competing and coming so close, but it feels great.
"Every year I think, I’ll give it one last shot, and now my ambition has been realised."
Mike's boss, Jonathan Adams, MD of Ashton's and newly elected president of the National Federation of Fishmongers, was delighted.
“Mike always gives it his all, he's been asked to be a judge so many times, but he loves competing, and giving it his best shot this year has really paid off.”
Mike had strong competition from top fishmongers from all over the UK.
Fellow competitors included entrants from major supermarkets such as Tesco and Morrisons, as well as competitors from independent fishmongers such as Wye Valley Smokery and Channel Fisheries.
Mike said he might just sharpen his fish knives one more time, and give the big one another shot in 2014.
"You never know,” he said, “I might be on a lucky roll.”
The 2013 event is the 61st British Fish Craft Championship and is the fifth time that it has been held in Cardiff - forming part of the city's Harbour Festival.
The National Federation of Fishmongers describes the British Fish Craft Championships as open to anyone involved in the fish, poultry or game trade and says the competitions test the skills that are necessary in the preparation of fish and poultry in readiness for use by the final consumer. Those skills are normally provided free of charge by fishmongers when selling fish to the general public.
It says the judges are all experienced fishmongers from all parts of the country. While taking into account regional variations, they award points for performance, presentation, hygiene and general appearance.