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Here we are at the penultimate race of the 2016/17 series with the semi final race from one of the neighbouring island of Fuerteventura, with the 283 pigeons that have overcome every obstacle put before them in regards to mother nature the terrain peregrines and of course the Atlantic Ocean, they prepare to cover the 230 km distance over land and double island step to the lofts in south Tenerife.

With the birds away on route on Monday afternoon a day earlier than previously advertised due to increased winds forecasted for the Wednesday the Arona Team as always provided photos of the birds at the liberation site the evening before liberation and with the water applied they were once again left to settle for the evening awaiting the following mornings liberation

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Tuesday

And with a good forecast, a clear line in regards to broken clouds out over the first stretch of water towards Gran Canaria Abel Ledesma, who has had the job again this year of transporting to all the liberations was in no doubt that the weather was good enough to liberated and therefore released his convoy at 08:25 into a moderate 35klm per hour east north easterly wind which indicated that the pigeons once on route would be facing a challenging cross wind from the north.

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At the loft over 250 participants and interested parties were present on the livestream accompanied at the loft by fanciers who had already arrived on the island for next weeks final race and had travelled to Guaza to witness the arrivals.

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Mike & Tez holt Team Ganwy & Men of Gwent participants at the loft and other fanciers

 

With reports following the liberation indicating that the pigeons upon release had made a good line for home, looking back over previous years the flying time from this race has been just under 3 hours and therefore expectations were high that pigeons would or should be on arriving from two hours forty five minutes on, if they had any help from the current weather and wind conditions over the Canary Islands.

It was just short of the estimated time that on 2 hours 54 min five pigeons were seen on the approach and shortly after landing swiftly made their way into the trap to record their arrival …

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Taking the top honour with yet another great winning performance for team UK/Ireland and claiming the 2nd three car prizes for team GB were  team Fev Flyers Synd (England) with their entry “Princess Warrior” taking the position of  1st UK and 1st International,  with an arrival time of 11.19.39.90, the winning pigeon that claims the third car prize  is a small cheq hen which has shown moderate positions throughout the racing programme for the syndicate with the best being 65th in previous Car Race 2 I had the pleasure of speaking to the syndicate on the evening following the race and they were over joyed with their result and were now looking forward to be being present at the loft for the forthcoming final.

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Fev Flyers Synd members, Joe Leech, Phil Leech, Stephen Bannister, Neil Messenger, Dennis Stapleton.

 

In 2nd position we have team Germany and pigeon “Plymouth Rock” for Team Gebr. Reinhard crossing the line on a time of 11.19.56.15 and duly collects the 2nd prize award of a respectful cash sum of  2,500 euro, narrowly ahead of the 3rd place winner and 2,000 euro cash prize is pigeon “Ra 09” for the Czech Republic team of A.K. Kubica timing in 11.19.57.00, for 4th we remain with team Czech Republic as Team Roman Zlicar’s entry named fantasy takes the first of the 220 euro prizes for 4th position to 10th place with an arrival time of 11.19.59.35, as team germany’s 2nd arrival diamond beauty takes 5th international and the last of the first five  to arrive for Andreas Moeller on 11.20.40.05, local gran canarian fanciers.

Team Gebr. Reinhard germany 2nd semi final winners
Team Gebr. Reinhard germany 2nd semi final winners

 

There was a further five minutes of calmness as we awaited for more pigeons to arrive and at 11.26,13.80  Team Yahvé & Oliveiro timed in their pigeon “Ambara” within the second batch of arrivals taking the 6th position just ahead of another canarian loft that of Team Herrera y Jaime and “Esperanza” from Tenerife in 7th at 11.26.15.75, team wales takes the 8th position as Martyn Rudderfett’s pigeon “Hallie” came in at 11.26.43.30, just ahead of team romania and pigeon “Aripi de Curcubeu” for Team Class 888 on 11.26.45.60 and today rounding off the top ten positions is Team Greg Slovakia and pigeon “Greg 1343”.

 

Czech republic Team A.K. Kubica 3rd place semi final 2017
Czech republic Team A.K. Kubica 3rd place semi final 2017

As everyone watched and waited for more arrivals, the number home rose gradually and by midday over 100+ pigeons were on the clock which was pleasing to see considering that only 280 pigeons were liberated, as the day went on a steady flow were recorded as most participants welcomed there entries home and by night fall over 55% were safely perched and with no doubt more will come over the following days, it looks like where rapidly approaching and exciting finale when every pigeon which goes through the marking process is there to compete and  complete the job of being declared the richest one loft race winner in Europe to date.

             Team Alois Wiefler current Ace Pigeon winner 2017
Team Alois Wiefler current Ace Pigeon winner 2017

 

As for the averages well they seem to be moving and shaking about now race by race currently and deemed to be untouchable at this stage of the proceedings is the austrian entry “Les Paul” by Team Alois Wiefler who has accumulated a points ratio of 57,628 over all the past races, ahead of the belgian pigeon “Martha 3” for Team Leyen-Segers-Paloma Racing from Belgium on 57,007 pts in 2nd and Team Stojak-Jenjic with pigeon “Picolo Fiore” in 3rd place on 55,754 pts… as for the new challenge for 2017 the Hot Spot race averages with just the final race to go Team BBKB Racing from Germany is topping the table with “Newtown Girl” collecting 29,280 pts just ahead of Beniamin Neag of Austria with pigeon “Herro” in 2nd 29,190 and the Team Fev Flyers in 3rd with “Princess Warrior” 29,135 pts (all the above calculations are based on time of going to press)

Team BBKB Racing from Germany is topping the table with “Newtown Girl”

Team BBKB Racing from Germany is topping the table with “Newtown Girl”

 

 

 

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Finals week

once again, the Ledesma family and the Arona Team are once again preparing to welcome the world to the island of Tenerife for the final race, all this years proceedings  gets underway depending on the weather of course on

22nd Mar with the Public Basketing Process at the Loft Address: San Silvestre, 15 – Llanos de Guaza – Arona – Tenerife, time: 09:00, this is when the fancier will be able to handle their entry prior to Basketing,

this is followed by the Welcome evening hosted by the Ledesma family on Thursday evening 23rd march at a top canarian restaurant for the sum of 30 euro per person inc transport,

Friday 24th March and  it’s finals day when everyone around the world will either gather at the loft or login to witness the most profiled race in Europe as the remaining pigeons battle it out for the biggest prize fund of 120,000 euros approx £105,000 for the winning pigeon 25,000€ for 2nd and 15,000e for 3rd … nowhere in Europe has a One Loft Race been able to match such a prize fund for the winning finalist and its surly going to attract interest from all corners of the world on the day as we await to see who will be claiming such a life changing  prize …. as all the anticipation and hopes will be circulating around the lofts there is of course the hospitality refreshments laid on by the Arona Team as the day unfolds with complimentary food and drink provided.

Saturday 25th 

The venue for the Gala evening THE MARE NOSTRUM RESORT PLAYA LAS AMERICAS
The venue for the Gala evening THE MARE NOSTRUM RESORT PLAYA LAS AMERICAS

And it’s time to put closure on yet another roller coaster of a year in the Derby Arona one loft race as all the winners will gather to be congratulated  on their achievements at the Gala evening once again being staged at the prestigious Mare Nostrum Hotel in Playa de Las Americas, which gets underway from 7.30 pm

As for ourselves and I’m sure many others, we now head off to the airport and the warmer climate of Tenerife to be present at the loft for such occasions … so we wish everyone a safe flight and … see you there !!

Tom Harris

 

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