Special Bulletin… due to restrictions imposed by the Spanish government… all training and racing has been suspended, the pigeons will be loft exercised during the current restrictions and will recommence training and racing as soon as possible.



With Hot Spot One and Two overcome the Arona team returned to the island of Gran Canaria for the second and final Endurance race from an approx. distance of 125 klm.

With the 813 birds safely on site and settle we received the traditional live update from
Abel Ledesma our trusted conveyor that all was well with the journey over and with the birds settled down for the evening he was hopeful that with the forecast he had before him, that the birds could be in the air around 08.00 the following morning.

Race day and with broken clouds from first light and a clear line of flight heading out over towards Tenerife expected he cut the strings at 08.00 in a light northerly breeze with a morning temperature of 24 degrees which was due to increase during the day, so an early liberation was more beneficial to give the birds the best start.

At the loft with livestream up and running showing similar conditions and bearing in mind this is now the fourth Atlantic crossing we were hopeful that the birds would make light work of todays flight.

As the clock past the hour mark and with the first arrivals imminent, we didn’t have long to wait for the first batch of considerable size to appear on the horizon.


Team Holland and Stubbs & pigeon “George” 1st England 1st International Endurance Race 2
Team Holland and Stubbs & pigeon “George” 1st England 1st International Endurance Race 2

Taking 1st International with pigeon “George” we go to team England with syndicate Holland and Stubbs timing in, narrowly ahead of Team Dream team from Belgium in 2nd with pigeon “Beauty Angel” on, the winning nation England claim witness their second as Team Amigos in Paradise for 3rd as their entry “Skewiff” crossed the line on, the top flight today seems to be a UK and Belgium domination as Team Penne, Roelandt & Blancquaert from Belgium entry “Imsakit” timed in on, team Germany take 5th International with pigeon “Wildfire” for Team Hackfort & Wilpers on, its back to the UK and to Wales as the Welsh Hopefuls entry “Roxys Back” comes in on for 6th Spot, taking 6th were back with team  England once again as Team Burns Bombers entry named “Max” comes in on, we go to eastern Europe and the nation of Slovakia for for 7th as Team Tasáry Pavel & Anna’s pigeon “Emma” takes 8th on a time of leaving the dominating nation of England to round off with 9th and 10th as pigeon “Kirkby” for Team Lincs comes in on just pipping, Team Gypsy Jnes and their pigeon “Lancaster Bomber” taking the 10th Spot.

Dream Team Belgium 2nd International with pigeon “Angel Beauty”
Dream Team Belgium 2nd International with pigeon “Angel Beauty”

With so many arrivals on the same minute the clock took some time to format a leading result due to volume but soon indicated that within minutes of the first arrival time 50% had successfully recorded their return and with such high hopes of good returns as the morning progressed the returns soon became more spread out which was somewhat unexplainable for the Arona team at the time as they expected today’s race to be the easiest after overcoming the waters so many times but like always with pigeon racing in the Canaries always expect the unexpected.

Team Amigos in Paradise 2nd England 3rd International with pigeon “Skewiff”
Team Amigos in Paradise 2nd England 3rd International with pigeon “Skewiff”

With more pigeons thankfully coming through during the afternoon as we reached early evening and the sun was going down there was a total of 717 pigeons timed in fed and watered at nightfall.

Day two

And fairly confident that the pigeons which were unaccounted for on day one would be coming through at first light it wasn’t until after 9am that the clock registered the first second day pigeon and throughout the day returns were fairly spread out, as only further fourteen arrivals were recorded, with day three and four seeing more pigeons homing, the number climbed a little higher as 738 from the liberation of 813 had made the journey.

As Team Pitea L. & Marius C. from Romania current King of Atlantic leaders.
As Team Pitea L. & Marius C. from Romania current King of Atlantic leaders.

With just the Semifinal and Final to come the Averages are taking some shape as pigeons are coming consistently within the King of the Atlantic Averages showing its an eastern europe trio dominating the leader board as Team Pitea L. & Marius C. from Romania hold position with their entry “Maryo 55” accumulating  47,415 pts, in 2nd we head to Poland as Team Wrobel Michal and Patryk entry “Wilco” advances on 47,403 holding team Slovakia in 3rd with Team Sadlak Vendelin & Andrej entry “Super 63” on 47.004


As for the King of Sprint Average we see Team Trainspotter from England holding on to the top position with pigeon “Princess Waggy” on 68,943 pts, in the runner up position is once again pigeon “Wilco” for Team Wrobel Michal & Patryk on 68,185 and 3rd is the King of the Atlantic leader “Maryo 55” for Romania and Team Pitea L. & Marius C.  67,672

With potentially one more event before the big finale from Fuerteventura, we couldn’t predict what we were about to face, with the corona-virus dominating the world, the Spanish government announce a total lock down throughout Spain and as Tenerife and the Canary Islands come under Spanish rule, this sadly means at this present time all training and racing must cease for the time being as residents and tourists become confined to their homes or hotels to try and contain the spread of the virus,  as a result of this all local federations and the Derby Arona Racing including the finals week schedule has been put on for the time being.

In addition to such news and with further updates coming through the local police and army are now patrolling the streets implementing the restricted movement laws, in addition all airlines are also being advised to cancel flights to the island of Tenerife as Spain close their borders.

Therefore in light of the above news the team have no alternative but to announce they will  conclude this year’s race series once restrictions are lifted sometime in the future, to maintain  confidence in the team and the race during such times the pigeons will be exercised around the loft to keep them fit and on occasions filmed for your enjoyment, with a primary forward plan once training can resume would be to have a few island training flights prior to returning to Gran Canaria for the Semifinal we will of course be keeping you informed with all the latest developments on a regular basis via the website at ww.derbyatlantic.com

Until such time on behalf of the Ledesma family and the Derby Arona organisation, we thank you for your patience during this worldwide unrest and uncertainty and hope you all stay safe and well during such times.

Tom harris