Its sea race three for the Derby Arona Tenerife one loft race as 1.813 pigeons made their way out across the Atlantic to the approx liberation distance of 80klm of water crossing back to the lofts in the southern region of Tenerife.
As the Fred Olsen vessel reached its desired point with the local weather clearly showing blue skies and a 17klm NNE wind the captain kindly reduced speed to allow the pigeons to get airborne with less wind drag at 09:00.With Gran Canaria being the nearest land in sight now the pigeons needed to head in the opposite direction back towards Tenerife,
shortly after liberation whilst the majority where clearly seen orientating and slowly moving in the right direction, a small number had decided that the easiest option was to head forward of the ship towards Gran Canaria.
At the home end and knowing about the difference in direction taken by some of the birds each participant was hoping that theirs would be in the main numbers or those which had taken a detour would soon realise and head back onto the right line.
Some forty five minutes after liberation and with the help of the tail wind the first arrivals were clearly seen on approach and on landing and timing in a clear winner declared as Slovakia Team Evin Peter & Noemi with their entry peter 720 timing in at 09.45.59.95 a clear two min ahead of everything else, there was decimals between the next batch of leading pigeons as they all hit the boards together as the computer struggled to calculate a result the following positions were as follows in 2nd position for the second race running also claiming 1st uk/ireland is paul bamford from wales with his pigeon karina timing in at 09.47.14.45,in 3rd were the Rumania Team Power Pigeons & Pop Patrick as pigeon angel came in at 09.47.17.35, for 4th we go to Team Wild Escobar Devils from Germany and pigeon bibi at 09.47.18.00, fellow countryman Günter schneemman also representing Germany timed in snowman 10 on a time of 09.47.18.10 for 5th place just holding off the Belarus Team Dobrovolskiy Leonid into 6th with their entry grey at 09.47.18.30,for 7th position we go to the local Tenerife fancier Fco. Enrique Martín Acevedo and pigeon austin on 09.47.18.45 whilst the team uk/ireland fancier dave hinkel secured another top flight position in 8th with gypsyfilea at 09.47.18.80,in 9th its the polish fancier Grzegorz Szymanski and wicked will 09.47.19.80. While team Czech republic with sebu for team klemens rounds off today’s top ten positions at 09.47.20.25
During the day the birds returned at a steady space obviously split somewhere along their way home resulting at nightfall 1479 of the entries being safely perched
with an early start the following morning to welcome more arrivals, pigeons returned throughout the day and by the time the clock was eventually switched off 1579 pigeons had returned giving a returns percentage of +87%
Following on from sea race 3 the Arona team decided that due to the late arrivals needing time to recover they would skip the planned sea race 4 and go directly to Gran Canaria for the first hotspot race as the distance between the two proposed sites was minimal.
With the pigeons basketed on the Thursday evening the transporter once again made its way north to the port of santa cruz for an early evening crossing to the island of Gran Canaria, arriving on site just a few hours later the birds were watered and left to settle overnight in preparation for the following mornings planned liberation.
Friday morning and with many local fanciers turning up to watch the liberation, the Arona team got hear that two small local clubs were staging short races the same morning so with them liberated and clear the liberation took place eventually at 09.05 into traditional blue skies and a north easterly breeze with temperatures of around 17 to 19 degrees and increasing by the hour.
With the liberation underway the birds orientated the local area for quite a while which was expected and on times adventuring out over the water, but sadly returning to the safety of land beneath, it was some 20 min later and with just a small batch clearly seen heading out over the open waters for home the rest of liberation were still present and as the lorry packed up and departed a few batches could still clearly be seen hugging the coast line. But all exceptions were that they would finally clear for home.
Once again at the lofts with all the preparations done the Arona team in place and the live stream attracting a record 240 worldwide viewers for a hotspot race, all eyes were peeled on the skies above as everyone waited for the arrivals.
Shortly after 1hr 30min the first couple of pigeons were spotted approaching and as the first two landed shortly followed by the remainder of the batch the winner made its way into the trap, taking top spot and the 1st prize of the new car /cash prize were the slovenian syndicate of Team Sovic Barbara & Miha timing in the winning pigeon tina at 10.36.55.25,the winning pigeon is a light cheq hen which to date hasn’t really scored high in previous results which just goes to show that recent performance matters for nothing once the prize races come around as all are equal, in 2nd place taking the cash prize of 2,000 euro with pigeon jos was the danish couple of Anita & Tage Gravesen timing in at 10.37.39.16, in 3rd and 1,000 euro richer were the Belgium Team Leyen-Segers-Paloma Racing with carmen black on 10.37.20.55,you’ll probably recognised this syndicate as the 2015 winners of the final race when the winning prize when partnershiped with with roger martyns also of Belgium, just showing year after year fanciers come back to take on the canarian challenge, in 4th just missing out on the major prizes however claiming one of the minor prizes is the 1st uk pigeon entered by Dave Hinkel representing England who`s entries this year has proved to be performing as a team with different pigeons appearing in the top ten on many occasions with pigeon “canica” at 10.37.22.05.
In 5th its team turkey as Team Recep-emin Bayramoglu and pigeon hurrem sultan registered its arrival at 10.37.22 for 6th its team klass & shon from germany with pigeon pigeon named john wayne on 10.37.24.40, pigeon istike for the hungarian Team Bacskai Sandor-Kellner Andrea comes in for 7th ahead of the rumania entry of better believe it for team Iulian Duica for 8th at 10.37.26.45.9th position goes to team croatia as dennis culics entry croatia son timed in at 10.37.26.85,just ahead of the uk`s team of eddie casey and rainbow with sophie came in amongst the leading birds for 10th at 10.37.30.60
With the leading bunch of twenty or so pigeons timed in we all awaited the rest of the pigeons, as we were aware of a small batch clearing ahead of the rest however we assumed the rest wouldn’t be far behind, but sadly with just small numbers arriving constantly throughout the rest of the morning we knew we were in for a long day and something had gone drastically wrong which indicated that the birds were having difficulties in over coming the fear of crossing over from one island to another, by night fall there was a disappointing number of 148 pigeons home, the following morning we up early and with the live stream still running to show and welcome each pigeon home sometimes as individually and at times in small batches which showed that somehow they had stuck together overnight and came across together but once again the numbers were again disappointing as sadly by nightfall on day two the numbers had only risen to just 289 , to say everyone was devastated would be an understatement as the pigeons had previously undergone a vigorous island training programme and three sea challenges which they had successfully overcome, so what had gone wrong is the question on everyone`s minds at this current time to lose so many pigeons in one go was a hard reality to come to terms with for both participants and organisers and the answer to that is clearly . .we don`t know . .at present 1200 pigeons still remain unaccounted for and no clear explanation as to why call it act of nature, right place wrong time or birds clearly didn`t orientate the water crossing and have either remained on the island or blown off course and headed towards another of the Canary islands, we have all by now seen the liberation at 09.05 from 100klm, the weather clear blue skies above and out to sea, and a warm 19 degrees and a light northerly breeze, which conveyor would dare to hold over in such conditions, sadly its an occasion that we have all had to come to terms with over the past few days.
In fairness to the organisers (Arona team ) they haven`t hidden anything from the fanciers even their on disappointment and devastation which has been clearly viewed and highlighted in a public statement on the internet and their own website as follows:
To fanciers, friends and participants,
We at the Derby Arona wished to express and share the disbelief and disappointment that occurred on Friday from Gran Canaria Car Race 1.
As always, we operate at 100% transparency policy and therefore we wish publicly share our disbelief and sadness after what had happened on that day with you all.In the build up to the race we posted a video clearly showing the excellent condition that the pigeons were in prior to basketing after such an extensive training program which included three mid sea liberation`s we were confident in the pigeons ability in the forthcoming race.
Thursday With all the pigeons basketed, the journey began to the north of Tenerife for a mid afternoon crossing to Gran Canaria arriving on site early evening on Thursday. With the birds watered and settled, we awaited the liberation on Friday morning.
Friday morning With clear skies and a north easterly wind across the Atlantic on the line of flight, at the time of liberation the temperature had reached a moderate 17 to 19 degrees when the pigeons were released at 09.05, which was all documented in the liberation video.
With many local fanciers and also participants being present on site to witness the liberation a small batch were seen to breakaway shortly after release and head out across the water in the direction of Tenerife, whilst the majority of the pigeons remained orientating the local area for quite a while in small batches. As in past years experience we anticipated these would eventually make a line for home. At the lofts, all seemed well once the first birds arrived in just over 1 1/2 hours and our thoughts were we would have a good race, however by nightfall like yourselves we were total devastated and truly disappointed as an organisation and for the many participants, that only a small number of pigeons had returned.
We cannot explain, the reasons behind this all we can assume is the pigeons did not want to face the open waters and therefore remain in the regions of Gran Canaria this being more credible by the numbers that returned Saturday morning and days that followed.
We the Derby Arona sympathise with each fancier who had pigeons in the race which failed to return as there’s no major factor to say why they didn’t, the preparation in regards to training was as planned, the weather and conditions on the day was perfect for the race, “as always” we don’t take unnecessary risks when it comes to releasing pigeons it has to be right “which on this day it was.
Therefore if there was a logical explanation into such a high loss from car race 1 then we would openly share it with you all. But to now nothing we can say will make up for the disappointment sadness that we all still feel. We must however as an organisation congratulate the fanciers who’s pigeons have returned from this race whilst we appreciate the disappointment for those who haven’t as yet timed in, we will continue to monitor and of course keep you all updated on any future arrivals throughout the coming week.
We would also like to thanks the fanciers who have expressed their support and best wishes to the Arona team at such a sad and disappointing time and hope that the trust in the race and management remains as strong as ever, as we thrive and continue to provide a total transparent one loft race through to the final of this year’s campaign and the future of the Derby Arona Tenerife.
J Ledesma – Arona TEAM
With so many losses and disappointed fanciers, we must take time to also congratulate the pigeons that made the journey home these brace specimens have firstly endured their fears and flown from the one island to another, so we congratulate there owners as its these pigeons which will now go onto car race 2 from the eastern side of Gran Canaria prior to the semi final and final race from fuerteventura.
With such a disastrous race this has now flown the ace pigeon average wide open as the current leader is still pigeon les paul from Austria in pole position with the top ten as follows
Pigeon les paul current ace pigeon
1 Austria les Paul Alois Wiefler
2 Belgium Martha 3Team Leyen-Segers-Paloma Racing
3 Germany Idolidia Hans-Paul Esser 15
32361 Düsseldorf Club
4 Hungary Top Guy Team Fenyvesi Balazs & Norbert 15
32359 Hungary Pigeons Club
5 Czech republic Lucas Go Team Vyslouzil Zdenek a Lucas 15
31592 Czech Republic Club
6 Czech republic Sona Team Konopik & Motre 15
31578 Czech Republic Club
7 Croatia Picolo Fiore Team Stojak-Jenjic 15
31429 Croatia Pigeon Club
8 Rumania Sambi Paul Popovici
9 Germany broncoteam Schnellin
10 England Pauls Dream Team Paul Smith Syndicate 15
30654 RPRA (Pigeon Association)
Over the next week or so we will of course be highlighting the forthcoming finals week in the reports, when dates and times will be announced in regards to public basketing, race day information and of course the gala evening which will put closure on another years events.