“Team Renato Cantu, Italy“

1st International & Car Race 1 winner

Following weeks of island training and overcoming the mid sea liberations we finally see ourselves on the neighbouring island of Gran Canaria for the first island to island flight classified as the Survival Race/Car Race.

For this event it’s a liberation that for the first time the convoy are required to build up courage and bravery and head out from land below over 100 klm of open waters to the island of Tenerife with the winner taking away the prize of a new car or cash equivalent.

This race is scheduled to be the first of four planned liberations from Gran Canariaand by overcoming this challenge they will then face further liberationsincluding the Endurance Race and two further Car races as in Car Race 2 and the Semi-final before heading over to Fuerteventura for the Final.

With 1,850 pigeons basketed and on route shortly after midday Abel and the trusted crew made the journey north to the port of Santa Cruz for the early evening sailing across to Gran Canariaand with an uneventful journey across they soon arrived on site just as the sun was going down.

A cool and resting evening on site in Gran Canaria

With an early start and a favourable forecast ahead, the team were up and about early replenishing the water supply which would remain present until the liberation and awaited the sun rising to predict a suitable liberation time.

Sunrise on Gran Canaria

With a broken sky and clear visibility across the Atlantictowards home at 08.15 and with good conditions ahead throughout the day the strings were cut and the pigeons were away in a moderate 19degree temperature which is planned to increase as the day progresses and a helpful breezy north easterly tail wind.

With more people now looking in on the livestream and other social media networks for the first prize race of the year we all watched and waited the first arrivals estimated to be at the loft in just over the hour if they managed to adapt to the route ahead and find a true line between both island.

With one hour fifteen minutes on the clock there was a sighting of a few pigeons coming in heading for the loftand with two landing at the loft it was deemed be that these two had broken away and come on a clear line ahead of the convoy.

Car race 1 winner Renato Cantu and the winning pigeon “Roquepine” Italy
Car race 1 winner Renato Cantu and the winning pigeon “Roquepine” Italy

Taking top honours and the 1st International Car Race 1 prize goes to the Italian entrant Renato Cantu as pigeon “Roquepine” raced over the line at 09.36.12,35 this game light cheq hen has flown consistent in recent weeks holding mid table positions before today race finishing narrowly ahead of the second place pigeon “Precoce” on 09.36.25.75 for the French entrant Team Alexis and therefore takes the runner up prize of 1,000 euro for its effort.

There was a what seemed to be a long delay before the next pigeons would arrive and with everyone uncertain what to expect from today liberation,a number of batches were soon upon us as over a hundred pigeons came and flooded the landing board,as a result taking 3rdInternational,we go to the Netherlands and Team Walcheren with pigeon “Gender” timing in its arrival on 09.39.09.00 and therefore receiving the sum of 750 euro prize.

Team Alexis and pigeon “Precoce” 2ndInternational Car Race 1
Team Alexis and pigeon “Precoce” 2ndInternational Car Race 1

For the remaining pigeon positioned in the Top Ten today will also receive a proportion of the prize fund as they each receive 220 euro prize money in the following order,the winning Team of Renato Cantu from Italy enjoyed a good result with his second arrival “Amy Winehouse” coming in on 4th with a time of 09.41.08.95, ahead of Team P.E.C. from Belgium in 5th as their entry “Iliana” timed in on 09.41.09.85 for 6th place we head east of Belgium to Germany with pigeon “EvertonFc” for Team Klass&Son on 09.41.12.20,whilst Team IFJFergeMiklos Jr. and pigeon “Mikes” takes 7th on 09.41.12.75,taking 8th International we head to the nation of Columbia with Team Colombia and pigeon “Marcia” taking a top flight position with a time of 09.41.13.00,the Netherlands take a second Top Ten position with 9th as pigeon “Prince Caspian” for Team BertusGoedee&Harry Brakelé on 09.41 13.70 leaving the Slovakia entry of “De Pacho” taking the 10th international spot on 10.41 .13.71

Pigeon named “Gender” for Team Walcheren, Netherlands

With more cash prizes of 100 euro still on offer the following ten pigeons and entrants will also receive a cash sum on 100 euro per position as in 11th was team Hungary with pigeon 959 for Fenyvesi,Balazs&Norbet on 09.41.13.72,12thIonutHatnean for team Italy with pigeon “LookinAt Lucky”,13th goes to team Slovakia and entrant Team Tristignac with pigeon “Joja” on 09.41.14.30,with 14th,15th and 16th going to team Belgium as pigeon named “Charles 122” for Marc de Cock times in on 09.41.14.50, Team El Swieto and “Thea” on 09.41.14.85and Team Batenbergvd.Merwe/PEC with pigeon “Lee Ray” on 09.41.14.86,for 17th we head to Romania with pigeon “Maryo 55” for Team Pitea L. & Marius C.,coming home on 09.41.15.50, the 18th position goes to the Slovakian team as pigeon “Super 31” for Team SadlakVendelin& Andrej on 09.41.16.40 resulting in the Belgium entrant Bart Geerinckx with pigeon “Nana” on 09.41.16.70, this brings the final cash prize to team England in 20th position with Team G & G TermoBoys Syn entry “Sharon Delight” rounds off with a time of 09.41.16.75

With the leading birds home safe and numbers on the increase by the hour, it was once again along day for those with pigeons adrift and as day turned into dusk and the light and sun went down on the Tenerife island,less than 50% of the pigeons had made the courageous journey from one island to another,this just goes to show why this race is described as one of the hardest races in the world as only those with bravery courage and the ambition to get home make the journey on day one,as for others not so keen then they settle down on the neighbouring island awaiting their opportunity the following morning to finish their journey .

Day 2

And from early dawn and with so many pigeons unaccounted for on day one, the first of many pigeons were soon seen arriving on the livestream unfaded by their night out which was pleasing to see as these pigeons no doubt failing to cross on day one had made the decision to come through single handed an experience that will surely pay dividends later on in the race series and Final Race.

Pigeon “SharonDelight” 1st England 20th International for Team G&GTermoBoys Syn

As we complete day two a further 134 pigeons had recorded their arrival and with additional pigeons showing up on the days that follow this brought the race to a closure,still 40 % missing but this is canaries racing the extreme difficulties that lay before them are difficult …and testing and as a result only the toughest and bravest survive these early adventures …

With three Atlantic crossing overcome there’s a change at the top in each of the two Average Challenges in the King of Sprint whilst Team Robert Marjanovic holds the leading role with pigeon “Niall” on 43031 pts the second and third places have changed in 2nd representing Romania are Team RaduBuzura with pigeon “Dark Shadow” with 42394 pts closely followed by Team P.E.C. from Belgium with pigeon “Iliana” on 41758pts

Robert Marjanovic&Team BertusGoedee&Harry Brakelé average leaders
Robert Marjanovic&Team BertusGoedee&Harry Brakelé average leaders

In the King of the Atlantic challenge there’s also significant changes taking place at the top now leading the way is pigeon “Prince Caspian” for the Netherlands entrants Team BertusGoedee&Harry Brakelé with 19.849pts in 2nd its team Germany and Team Henrik Wilpers with pigeon “Virgil” on 19,586 and in 3rd team England as Team “SharonsDelight” records 19,445

A normal blue Tenerife sky now experiencing the latest “calima storm”

With the predicted “calima” coming in from the SaharaDesert bringing with it the worst sand storms for over 20 years everything in the Canary Island has come to a stop as flights in and out of Tenerife airports are suspended in definitely, resulting in the pigeons being confined to the loft for their safety for a few days,this could come as a welcomed rest for the birds during such time as it gives the later arrivals a chance to rest and recover, prior to making the return journey to Gran Canaria for the new Endurance race, where the first ten positions will each earn their entrants an additional 220 euro future credit into their accounts.

For the latest news and results and all the final race week information log on to www.derbyatlantic.com

Tom harris