It’s car race 2 week, in the derby Arona Tenerife one loft race series as we once again head out across the Atlantic to the eastern coast of Gran Canaria for the 2nd hotspot race and a distance of approx 130 klm.
Following the disappointing returns from car race 1, once again it was a trouble free crossing from the northern port of Santa Cruz to G.Canaria and after a short drive once on land the 339 pigeons that had overcome the devastating 1st Gran Canaria race, once again arrived safely on site and prepared for the following morning liberation.
With all the preparations done and advanced plans to liberate at 0800 once the sun had risen and the skies had cleared, the Arona Team were clearly aware that four local g.canarian clubs were once again holding their own races from different points around the adjacent canary islands, so as a result of close consultation between the management team at the loft and on site it was decided to hold off the liberation until after 10am to give them a chance of a clear line of flight and to avoid any clashing which would be in the interest of all parties
At 10.30 and with a clear line towards the island of Tenerife and broken blue cloudy skies above, the pigeons were released in a north by north easterly wind across g.canaria and out over the Atlantic to home.
Shortly after confirmation of the liberation time and after a few minutes of orientation reports indicated that the birds had gain great heights, and were clearly seen to be heading in a westerly direction for home, followed by a further update informing us that by the time the transporter was ready to leave only a small number of pigeons were still circling above land and after observing the presence of the local peregrine these too were reported to have cleared the site shortly after according to the team and local fanciers present to witness the occasion.
At the lofts a large gathering of local Tenerife fanciers and holiday makers with either pigeons in the race or just an interest in future entry were present to witness the arrivals, along with the Arona team and the 300 plus fanciers and interested parties on live stream, which by now has proven to be a great tool for showing the transparency of the race.
As always the usual guess the time was active and with most predictions around the 2hrs 20 marker for the first arrivals, it was soon proven that the pigeons had taken advantage of the north easterly helping winds and made good time as the first batch of around 20+ touched down on 1hr 48 min to the surprise and delight of everyone present both at the loft and on the internet.
After a moment of anticipation, the winning pigeon and winner of the 2nd car race or (or cash equivalent) in this years race series, was declared to be the UK entry representing England with “South Carolina” leading the field for Pieter Oberholster recording an arrival time of 126.96.36.199, this is Pieter’s second time on such a podium as a few years ago he was also the recipient of one of the major prizes when he won 1st prize in the hotspot races and a new car back a few years ago, this years winner is a small blue hen looking at the photos and has raced consistently over the past months with a number of high positions amongst the leading pigeons with 3rd & 31st also to its credit plus numerous positions in the first few arrivals amongst much bigger competition, in 2nd and claiming the cash prize of 2,000 euro is the pigeon by the name of bronco which is once again battling again for top honours, entered by Team Schnellin from Germany timing in at 188.8.131.52,again another consist performance as this is the 6th time this pigeon has been in amongst the top ten positions with and additionally taking 1st place in sea race 1.
For 3rd and claiming the 1,000 euro prize we go to Hungary as pigeon top gun entered by team Team Fenyvesi Balazs & Norbert timed in 11.48.55.05,yet another top ranking performance by a team of pigeons that have flown the previous races consistently for them, for 4th place we head to italy as team rsr`s entry banana came in on 184.108.40.206,team poland and syn jkg transport entry claims the 5th position 220.127.116.11 with JKG 7782 on an arrival time of 18.104.22.168 and the first of 6 prizes of 200 euro for positions 4th to 10th, in 6th its a second arrival for team Germany as pigeon lazy luke timed in 22.214.171.124 for Paul-Heinz Wesjohann, in 7th spot team uk/ireland also recorded their second arrival as team Andrei Antoce pigeon eclaire recorded its presence on a time of 126.96.36.199,followed in by the third arrival for Germany as team golden ladies Germany’s pigeon the first lady timed in for 8th on 188.8.131.52,the Czech republic recorded their first arrival as Team Svoboda & Lekes pigeon Ilonka come in 9th on a time of 11.48.59.05,whilst team uk/ireland recorded their third pigeon as the foster and rump syn timed in electric blue for 10th at 11.49.00.00
As can be clearly seen the leading pigeons made good time and as these were seen to be entering the loft more pigeons were arriving in their numbers, this was a pattern that continued throughout the remainder of the afternoon and at night fall 269 pigeons had overcome their second Atlantic crossing and with additional returns the following morning and throughout the third day 279 pigeons were recorded home and preparing for the semi final and double island crossing from Fuerteventura in the lead up to the final.
With two more races scheduled the semi final and final, there two further battles taking place these being the overall ace pigeon award which is currently being headed by Alois Wiefler with pigeon “les paul” for positions gained from the first race to the final which holds a prize fund of 5,000 euro and trophy to the winner after the final race , and the new average challenge for the honour and title of “king of the Atlantic” a new scheme for 2017 which only takes into account positions gained in the hot spot races and final event which carries a new cash prize of 1,000 euro plus the winners trophy, first place at this stage is currently held by Team Bacskai Sandor-Kellner Andrea from Hungary with pigeon Istike as we go into the semi final and final race.
With the final race looming in the next few weeks its also time to look forward to the build up of the final race week, this all gets underway on wed 22nd march with the public basketing, this is an opportunity for the owners to see and handle their pigeons for the first time since entering prior to be marked for the race, with marking completed the following evening, there’s an invitation to join the ledesma family for the welcome evening hosted at a top canarian restaurant on Thursday 23rd for a price of 30 euro inc return transport from the Mediterranean Palace – Mare Nostrum and HOTEL CENTRAL CENTER.
Then its the big day as fanciers from all around the world gather at the loft and on live stream join together at the loft, to enjoy the BIG ONE as some lucky participant will witness the arrival of his or their winning pigeon crossing the line to receive the biggest prize in Europe for a one loft race 120,000 euro for 1st 25,000 for 2nd and 15,000 for third, whilst other prizes are awarded through to positions down to 200th as the wait begins for the pigeons arrival there’s the opportunity of indulging in the complimentary food and drink which will be served throughout the day.
Saturday night 25th march
And all this years proceedings comes to an end as the Arona team welcome everyone to the DERBY ARONA TENERIFE GALA evening at the Hotel Mare Nostrum Resort (Arona-Pyramid), this is an evening when all the winners will be rewarded and congratulated on their achievements, cost per ticket 60 euro per person which will contain an array of cuisine to suit everyone’s tastes
(please note dates are subject to weather conditions and can be adjusted when necessary)
Tickets for all the above can be obtained in advance by contacting the Arona team via email at [email protected]
As the Arona team prepare to welcome the world to this small island in the Atlantic ocean, we must remember there’s still one obstacle to overcome and that is the semi final race from Fuerteventura Island, this on its own will be another challenge these brave pigeons to undertake before we get to the final unfortunately there’s a large “calima” approaching which is hampering the date of the semi final but within this time I’m assured the pigeons have undertaken a few short training flights to keep the momentum up, so good luck to everyone remaining in the race at this stage and look forward to seeing you at the loft for the final event.