TOP angler Garry Blanchard is hoping to make a big splash at next month's World Long Casting Championships - but there will not be a drop of water in sight.

Garry, 29, of Peterlee, County Durham, will join the best fishermen from around the globe at the tournament in Italy, which begins on September 2. But they will all be casting their lines on dry land, miles from any stretch of water.

The aim of the competition is for judges to be able to measure the longest cast thrown by competitors.

Garry, a multi-skilled engineer at Caterpillar, Peterlee, is ranked in the top three casters in the world, and is hoping for success in Italy.

The father of one has been fishing since he was seven and has cast more than 300 yards in practice.

He said: "It's the world championship of casting and you can't really get any higher than that.

"If I can hit my top form, I think I have got a realistic chance of winning.

"I hope to finish at least as high as the top three, and take either gold, silver or bronze.