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Contact: Sean Warner
Telephone: +1 612 276 221
Cell: +1 612 670 6238

August 1, 2017


First United States National Team to compete in the Russian Federation.

Minneapolis, MN, August 1, 2017– Continuing a year of progress in sending USA National fishing teams to
compete at international fishing championships, the USA Predator fishing team is making final preparations
to attend the X FIPSed World Predator (Boats) Fishing Championships, to be held in Konakovo, Russia, 28
August – 04 September, 2017.
The team composition consists of anglers Ben Blegen (Team Captain, Minnesota), Shawn Hennings (North
Dakota), Nate Winters (Wisconsin), and Brett Root-Ericksen (Illinois). The Support Team consists of Team
Manager Olegs Harmalovs (Latvia), Technical Manager Brian Gaber (Wisconsin), and International
Delegate/Interpreter Sean Warner. All team members have a common connection; Blegen, Hennings, Root-
Ericksen, Gaber, and Warner are all veterans of the USA National Ice Fishing squad, which has been
competing at FIPSed World Championships for the past 8 years; Winters will be making his debut with the
USA Ice Team at the XV FIPSed World Ice Fishing Championship in March, 2018 at Temirtau, Kazakhstan.
Team Manager Harmalovs, while based in Latvia, is very familiar to USA Ice Team members and provided
support and assistance to the team at the last World Ice Fishing Championship in Riga, Latvia, 2017.

“All of our guys have extensive tournament fishing experience in the Upper Midwest, be they open water competitions or hard-water tournaments,” according to International Delegate Sean Warner. “If you are a die-hard fisherman here in the Upper Midwest, you cut your teeth and ‘earned your stripes’ by fishing year-round for the three target species at the Predator World Championships: northern pike, walleye, and perch. We feel although this is our first entry in a FIPSed Predator World Championship, we’re bringing four anglers with a wealth of experience and talent, and we expect to be on the podium at the end of the competition.”

The team wrapped up its training session 21-23 July 2017 at Farm Island Lake, Aitkin, Minnesota, where the
team conducted time trials similar to the format of the two-day official competition to be held in Russia. The
three-day training camp included evaluations of the venue, which is a flowage of the well-known Volga River
in Russia, as well as reviewing team tactics and evaluating a myriad of strategic scenarios to prepare for the

“Obviously, this will be the first time any of us has fished in Russia, so we intend to use the practice days prior to the competition to evaluate the differences in fishing for the target species here in the USA and on the Konakovo Reservoir,” stated Team Captain Ben Blegen. “We feel that we can adjust to local conditions, using our collective experience, while meeting and observing both the local teams and the other international entries; we like our chances! In the end, it is all about the spirit of competition and comradeship with our international sport fishing brethren; we’re extremely proud to be able to go to Russia and represent the Stars and Stripes with honor, pride, and distinction.”

Further details about the USA Predator team can be found both at the team website and on its Facebook site . The
official English language website for the competition can be found at
The USA Predator Team competes under the auspices of the United States Angling Confederation, a 501c3
non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of amateur sport fishing competition within the USA and
abroad, as well as youth fishing education. The USAC has been proud to send USA fishing teams to compete
at CIPS-FIPS World Championship events such as Men’s Fly Fishing, Youth Fly Fishing, Masters (Senior) Fly
Fishing, Ice Fishing, Carp, Black Bass, Ladies, and now Predator. For more information on the United States
Angling Confederation and its various programs and disciplines, please visit the USAC website at

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Sean Warner at +1 612 276 221 or via
email at

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