It’s not widely known but, when he’s not pondering the beginnings of the universe, Professor Steven Hawking is an enthusiastic angler. Indeed he can often be found trundling along the banks of the Cambridge University canals with a large trolling rig gaffa-taped to the frame of his wheelchair.
So it was a great disappointment when the PHDSI Board of Stewards received a phonecall from Professor Hawking late last week intoning his commiserations at not being able to make the 2nd Annual. He assures us that he will be there in spirit and as a gesture has provided us with a full and frank analysis of the PAA’s handicapping formula.
It’s your guide to maximium success from one of the biggest brains on the planet!
TIP #1 – DRESS FOR SUCCESS
Points accrued through the Participation Index (PI) represent early runs on the board. They range from between 0 points for an unattired team to a full 10 points for the best dressed on the day. If your team gets its act together it can guarantee 6 or higher simply by turning up ‘thematically consistent’. The first fish of the day attracts an AQ of 3 – so by getting your PI squared away you’re ahead before bait has even touched water.
TIP #2 – HAVE A BEER
A team that doesn’t dress-up can post a total, a team that doesn’t catch a single fish can post a total, but a team of tee-totallers is a team of no-totallers! So relax and have a beer…
TIP #3 – GET A SPACE-AGE WHEELCHAIR
Okay, so this piece of advice might be Steven-specific but the sentiment is sound: minimise unnecessary crew weight. This might be as simple as taking a leak before weigh-in, or as drastic as recruiting a whole team of alcoholic pygmy land-mine victims. Just remember the little things add up. In fact I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there was only a cheeky round of sea-water aenemas between 1st and 2nd place.
TIP #4 – BAG A NEW SPECIES
Your Angling Quotient (AQ) is a combination of gross number of fish, number of different species caught and their combined lengths. Bag a new species of any size and your AQ goes up by a minimum of 3!
TIP #5 – SMALL FRY
Thanks to the “Next-Can” (aka “Can-Up”) rule even the tiniest tiddler is a 1-canner. So it may pay to whore a squillion small fry rather than holding out for that big marlin. Of course, while tiny fish may win you the competition, they won’t win you any respect back at the clubhouse.
TIP #6 – ONE FOR THE ROAD
It’s hard to judge how long it takes to head back to the finishing line and it’s common to arrive a tad early. This is the perfect opportunity to get a few last drinking points. Get the skipper to cut a couple of lazy donuts while you slam a quick one before tying up. It will up your count, and you can deal with the consequences later on dry land.