The ultimate Atlantic Challenge
SEA RACE 1 AND ISLAND RACE 13 REPORT
After weeks of regular island training up to distances of 60+ klm the Derby Arona entries are now preparing to adventure out over the Atlantic Ocean for their first water experience, this is when pigeons need to overcome the fear factor of flight over open stretches of water below them for training Sea Race one, the pigeons made there way north to Puerto de Santa Cruz during the cool early hours of the morning to await boarding for the early morning ferry crossing between Tenerife and Gran Canaria islands.
With the pigeons positioned at the rear of the vessel it slowly made its way out over open waters towards Gran Canaria, whilst at the loft and on livestream we were all set for the race and awaited news from Abel as to a confirmed liberation time, news eventually came through after regaining a signal indicating that upon reaching the designated distance of 5 klm offshore, the skies were still too dark to allow the liberation to take place so as the vessel made a steady speed it wasn’t until they were approx 25 klm offshore that conditions allowed for the guys to cut the strings and release the pigeons at 08.25,
yes this was a little further than we all would of initially liked, considering this was to be their first adventure over the water, but with the island on Tenerife still visible on the horizon there was nothing to hold them back in their return flight back to shore once the pigeons were airborne and orientating in several batches we come to expect with that amount of pigeons, they could be clearly seen and reported back that they were heading back into land in the direction for the island of Tenerife as we all settled in for the wait it was just after the hour that a single pigeon appeared on the trap and whilst everyone thought this could possibly be a turn up from a previous race, it wasn’t until a few seconds later a second and third pigeon arrived that we considered these to be the first birds from today’s race, upon entering the loft and with no other pigeons to be seen everyone waited for the possible winners to be announced.
The clear winner today was the polish entry “Supreme Sovereign” for Team Grzegorz Szymanski with a winning time of 09.28.40.45, in second place we have another eastern european representative from the country of Hungary as pigeon “Bazsi” entered by Team IFJ Ferge Miklos Jr. on 09 28.41.65, there was a few seconds before the third pigeon made its way in through the trap which again came from the winning country Poland as “Squek” entered by Team Osko & Chwarzynski timed in on 09.33.16.85
By such time the 4th pigeon had arrived in the form of pigeon “Mums a winner” for the first UK arrival representing Scotland for William Donachie on 09.33.32.15, with the trap clear of any further arrivals the next few minutes seemed forever, as thoughts were with only four pigeons that had arrived that something had gone drastically wrong , however to everyone’s relief a few minutes on, here they came over the loft batch after batch indicating that whilst the first birds had made a more direct route back others had taken the more scenic route home, the first of the pigeons in the second batch of arrivals in 5th place was the Romanian entry “Soimu” for Team Pacleanu Sorin with a time of 09.36.56.90, we go back to the UK for the 6th position as Andy Harker representing England timed in his entry “Trosky” on 0937.00.90 just ahead of P.K. Lofts from Wales pigeon “Touch of Class” in 7th on 09.37.05.05, in 8th it’s the first arrival for team netherlands as Team Klein Falckenborg makes another appearance in the top flight with “Canary 4” clocking in on 09.37.14.15, Nick Bradford takes 9th spot with yet another UK entry for team England with “Avocet 054” coming in on 09.37.29.05, a few seconds in front of Team RSR in 10th with “Charlottes Girl” recording its return on 09.37.37.70
After such an unexpected start to the race in regards to returns earlier on within the next hour approx 1,000 pigeons were registered home and with plenty more coming through by nightfall 1,300 pigeons were accounted for from the initial 1,600 released as pigeons continued to arrive during the afternoon until dusk …
Day 2 and once again we were back viewing the loft as fanciers had the opportunity to log back into livestream which the team kept running to see more pigeons returning and from early light the first arrival came in at 08.42 for Sergio Gómez Rodríguez’s pigeon “Queen” from Huelva set the trend for the day as a further sixty or so pigeons continued to return home.
At the time of publishing the report on this race the Arona team indicates that in excess of 80% of the pigeons had made the journey back, and whilst a few more came through on day three there’s still quite a few adrift but no doubt more will appear as the days go on which is usual in one loft racing, but what a great experience these pigeons have gained from such a liberation we are hopeful this will put them in good stead for future races out across the Atlantic.
After such an ordeal on the previous outing and after a few days rest the Arona team decided to give the pigeons an additional training race on Saturday morning from around 30klm, this would without doubt keep the pigeons focused and keep them fit for the second Atlantic release planned for the following Tuesday.
Saturday morning and after a slightly stressful first adventure out on the water earlier this week, as planned the Arona team gave the pigeons a light wing stretch this morning from 30 klm, this was to keep the pigeons motivated etc during the week. The 1359 pigeons again basketed and Abel & co. were on route to the liberation site near the village of Fasnia approx 33 klm away from the loft, and with a brisk north easterly wind they were liberated at 11.20 in 22 degrees and clear blue skies .
We an anticipated arrival time of twenty minutes or so for their return, reports on liberation were that the pigeons orientation quickly and were not hanging around as they made there way for home after just seventeen minutes of flying time they suddenly appeared over head which seemed in one great mass of pigeons arriving and duly trapping.
The leading positions today seemed to be dominated by most of the eastern european countries as first over the line was for team Hungary with Team Bacskai Sandor & Kellner Andrea with pigeon “Istibe” recording it presence at 220.127.116.11, this being a slight improvement on the previous race after taking 13th in sea race one, by the narrowest of margins team Romania take the 2nd and 3rd positions today as pigeon “Vio 1” for Viorel Gah came in 2nd on 18.104.22.168 just ahead of fellow country participant Florin Scutaru with pigeon “Aru” on 22.214.171.124, for 4th we go back to the winning nation Hungary as Team IFJ Ferge Miklos Jr. once again made a top position with his entry “Zsanci” on 11.32.20.00 Antonin Havlik from the Czech Republic takes 4th with pigeon “Hana” on 126.96.36.199, ahead of a third arrival for team Hungary as Mihaly Barsony pigeon “Misi” timed in at 11.32.21 40, the 2016 final race winner Benjamin Neag timed his first pigeon and the first for team Austria.
In 7th with a time of 188.8.131.52, we welcome Thamer Rashed from Kuwait and pigeon “Kuwait 5” to the Top Ten in this race for the 8th spot 184.108.40.206, ahead of a first arrival for team Netherlands and Team Soepboer with pigeon “Xuald” clocking in on 11.32.22.05, finally in 10th we go back to eastern europe to Poland and Team Swiecicki & Zajac as pigeon named “Sugar Foot” timed itself in at 220.127.116.11, as for team UK today it was Andy Harker who again came out on top representing England in 17th place 11.32.25
As you can see there are some new faces today at the top of the leader board which is good to see at this stage of the programme indicating that the race at present isn’t being dominated by any particular country which shows the openness of the race, and although it was just a short wing stretch for the pigeons today within minutes of the first arrival there was only a few pigeons adrift, and everyone watching on the livestream were pleased to see the pigeons returning in such large numbers and in such good condition, which was a credit to Arona team as they strive to provide an honest, transparent and entertaining race experience for everyone so were all set for the second sea challenge now which is planned for the forthcoming Tuesday which will cover approx 65 klm of island flying and 25 klm of sea… hopefully the outcome of this will then put us in good stead for the first hotspot race from Gran Canaria which is nearly upon us when some lucky winner will walk away with the one of the major prizes on offer, it’s from here the pigeons have to overcome their greatest fear of all, being a liberation on land and having to adventure out on an open waters returns flight to Tenerife, needless to say at first some pigeons maybe a little reluctant to take on this challenge but in time they will hopefully come through this ordeal, at the end of another week The King of Sprint Averages are again altering on a daily basis now and after Race 13 it’s Switzerland and entrant Team Alp with pigeon “Beppovitch” which is currently holding pole position with 23455 points Team Evin Peter & Noemi are in 2nd with pigeon “Rachel” on 23100 followed in 3rd by team Romania and Team Constantin Banu with pigeon “Aventador” with 22775
As an additional challenge once again this year from Gran Canaria 1 Hotspot and all races from there out to Fuerteventura there will be “The King of the Atlantic Challenge” averages where the pigeon/participant who exceed in such a challenge including the final race will earn an additional 1,000 EURO€ for 1st plus trophy/certificate, 2nd Pigeon – Trophy, Diploma/Certificate + 600 EURO€, 3rd Pigeon – Trophy, Diploma/Certificate + 400 EURO€, so with the HotSpot races, final race prizes and the two averages of 5000 euro and 1000 euro to compete for there’s still plenty to win for those participating
As we look further forward to finals week, the Arona team would like to welcome fanciers from around the world to join them, on the Final race day, be it at the lofts as in previous years there has always been a large congregation present to witness the event or with the powers of the internet hundreds more enjoy the experience via the livestream facilities from their respective countries worldwide.