“Team Wild Bill England 1st International Endurance race 1“

Were well into February and the races in the Derby Arona One Loft Race are moving swiftly on, as we overcome the first car race and latest “Calima” episode which slowly cleared away to the west the Arona team set out to confirm the next race from Gran Canaria which would see a return to the same location of the previous survival racewhich is now named as the Endurance race an additional flight to enable the pigeons to overcome any fears of flying over the Atlantic Ocean.

Perfectly prepared and looking healthy and basketed for the endurance race

With the 959 pigeons which overcome the latest adventure once again on route for the late afternoon crossing from port of Santa Cruz to Gran Canaria, Abel and the convoy team arrived on site early evening and following offering the pigeons water overnight they were left to settle just as the sunwent down on another warm Canary Island day.

Birds away for the first Endurance race

Race day and with the sun rising and broken blue skies over the island of Gran Canaria the team on site and at the loft indicated that all was well and were happy to get the birds away at 08.30 into a light to moderate north easterly wind with a temperature of 21 degrees.

As time ticked by expectations at the loft were to see pigeons shortly after the hour mark,but we were soon to be informed that Abel reported back that after some twenty minutes following the liberation the pigeons were still circling around the liberation site,clearly still hesitant of breaking from the coastline for home …

Team Wild Bill England and pigeon “My Mistake” 1stInternational Endurance Race 1
Team Wild Bill England and pigeon “My Mistake” 1stInternational Endurance Race 1

However thankfully a few minutes later we received further updates indicating that the first batch had made their line and duly made the decision to cross over and were soon to be followed by the remaining second team which could be seen also slowly making their way out to sea in the direction of Tenerife at the loft and with everyone seeming a little nervous today following the news that came from the liberation the livestream was also deemed to be a little quieter than usual as fanciers were awaiting the first pigeon to appear.

As the hour mark came and went and time moved on it was on the one hour twenty minutes that four pigeons were seen homing in on the loftand following a few moments of hesitation on the trapping board they eventually made their way in.

Taking Top honours of 1st International we go to team England as Team Wild Bill`s entry “My Mistake” recorded its arrival on,for the runner up position we see Team Segers and Coppens from Belgium with their entry “FP 550” just a few seconds behind on,for 3rd place we go across the Atlantic to the USA as pigeon “Kiara” for Team Daniel Hash crossed the line on,as the fourth and final early arrival pigeon “Volker” for team Germany and Robert hardt timed in on

With the trap cleared we all sat and awaited a further six minutes before the next arrivals a gap which was only a short time seemed to last forever, but a moment which would then thankfully to the relief of everyone spark a continuous flow of pigeons returning,with team Germany claiming their second Top Spot taking 5thInternational with pigeon “Wild Fire” for Team Hackfort&Wilpers timing in on,team Belgium also make a second appearance at the Top as Team Batenbergvd.MerWe/ PEC timed in their entry “Otto” on 10.02.42 20 for 6th,whilst Team MaridanLofts from the USA take the 7thInternational position with pigeon “Capt.Bill” on 10.02 42.75, Team TasáryPavel a Anna from Slovakia take the 8th place with their entry “Emma” coming in on,holding off the challenge of Team Welsh National Winners Syn entry national express on for 9th place,team Ireland round off today’s Top Ten positions by taking the 10th position as Team Murrays and pigeon “Radar” came through on

Team Segers and Coppens from Belgium with their entry “FP 550” 2nd International
Team Segers and Coppens from Belgium with their entry “FP 550” 2nd International

With many pigeons now arriving to the relief of everyone the clock took some time to confirm the arrivals and by such time within the minutes that followed a further hundred or so had made their presence known to us on the result and as the morning progressed as we reached noon the Arona team and participants were pleased to see that close to 800 pigeons had overcome their second challenge of open waters,this number rose even further as night fell on the island with numbers now climbing to 826.

Pigeon “Kiara” for Team Daniel Hash U.S.A. 3rdInternational
Pigeon “Kiara” for Team Daniel Hash U.S.A. 3rdInternational

Day two in Tenerife and with the day opening with more clear blue sky we once again expecting even more arrivals as the team continued to relay the arrivals via the livestream for participants and we weren’t disappointed as we soon seen more brave pigeons coming through,a steady flow continued during day two and by dusk a further thirty six pigeons whilst experiencing a night out had crossed over from the neighbouring island taking the numbers up further to 843 this was followed up by a further five arrivals on day three bringing the final numbers to 848 and a returns ratio of 88.5 %

Safely home
Safely home

During this additional training event over recent years the leading pigeons haven’t been rewarded with any prizes for their efforts,but to add excitement and interest this year the Arona team have decided to offer the leading top ten pigeons a small, but rewarding prize credit of 220 euro which can be used against further entry in the Derby AronaOne Loft Race.

So were two races intoGran Canaria and we now look forward to the next outing which we understand will be for Car Race two on march 4th,for this liberation the pigeons will be sited a further 25klm island from the Gran Canaria coastline and should provide following orientation a run at the ocean before crossing in the direction of Tenerife.

Finals week and whilst most are prepared and flights booked for the excitement of the race the worldwide news has indicated the island of Tenerife has been one of the small number of locations effected by the new corona virus,this has resulted in recent weeks with one hotel in the south of the island confirming cases and on lock down for over two weeks, thankfully all has been cleared and released from quarantine, meaning the island open to welcome visitors and operating as normal.

Future preparations for the final race it will mean we will possibly see a second endurance race following Car Race 2, this will be held at the discretion of the management team as to if or we requiredand a Semi-finalRace from the eastern coastline of Gran Canaria… Prior to the new challenge of the facing the Final Race liberation from Fuerteventura some 280 klm consisting of a double island crossing for the first time over two open spans of open watersprior to reaching the island of Tenerife and lofts…

The team are hopeful if all goes well, in the build-up and future races we could well see a record number of entries going into the final race on March 28th Challenging for the ultimate prize of 120,000 euro for the winner.

New loft build

The latest on the building of the new loft is that with the perimeter wall and security fencing has been erected and Jose and Gladys have recently met with the local government officials to finalise all the plans so that the loft build can start …so hopeful things can now move forward.



Tom harris