📢 FINAL RACE Report 😊


The Derby Arona Tenerife One loft Race


📢  Team Torysa(Slovakia) proud winners of the 2019 Derby Arona Tenerife one loft race. 120,000 euro first prize 😃


The Ledesma family, proprietors of the derby arona Tenerife one loft race welcome fanciers from around the world to the island for the final race of 2019

The Ledesma family and loft management team.

Its mid-march and after weeks and months of testing training and hotspot races,all thoughts and ambitions are focused on the small canarian island of Tenerife positioned a few hundred miles from the African coast in the middle of the atlantic ocean, for the final race of the derby arona Tenerife one loft race 2019 which is planned for Friday march 29th

With 309 pigeons remaining in the loft following the semi-final race from Fuerteventura fanciers from all corners of the world were on route to witness and take in the hospitality and excitement that Tenerife as a holiday resort and the derby arona has to offer, Being amongst the first to arrive we settled in a few days in advance and awaited the large influx of fanciers all hoping to be crown the champion in the forthcoming days.

The early uk participants in Tenerife.
Part of the team Belgium arriving in Tenerife.

Proceedings got underway on Wednesday 27th march when fanciers who were present in Tenerife were invited to attend the formal basketing at the lofts, a gathering which proved to be larger than in past years as everyone witnessed each pigeon being marked for the race in traditional derby aronastyle for fanciers present at the lofts it also provides the opportunity of handling their pigeons before marking and to witness proceeding first hand and for those unable to attend they also had the advantage of watching over the proceedings via the livestream link available therefore they too could witness their pigeon being entered into the race, in turn each ring number of the pigeons were read out and the wing stamping with the unique rubber stamp applied,which will not only confirm entry but will become vital when the winning pigeon is confirmed and verified

Showing the verification stamp carried by each entrant.

With 309 pigeons having to undergo this procedure and with every pigeon given the same amount of prestige prior to going in the basket, we new it was going to take a while and just over six hours later the daunting task was completed to the satisfaction of all present, as the final basketing list was presented to fancier to witness and sign off as true record of entered pigeons battling for the ultimate prize of 120,000 euro

Finished !! 309 pigeons marked and verified as the 2019 finalists.

Jose in traditional arona style once again cut up the wing stamp used for entry which again was witnessed by all again proving 100% transparency, prior to the sealing of all the crates and water applied before departure later that afternoon under guard provided by an independent company to the liberation site.

With everyone happy with what they had witnessed over the past hours everyone wished each other and the derby arona team the best of luck and returned to their local resorts and hotels.

Baskets sealed and water applied.


Group photo the derby arona team and fanciers present at the end of basketing.

With the departure of the pigeons later that evening under the watchful eye of abel ledemsa on route to the north of Tenerife and the port of santacruz,the team made regular updates throughout their journey across the Atlantic to gran canaria followed by a short journey to board the second vessel bound for the island of Fuerteventura and the drive south easterly to the liberation site arriving shortly after mid-day Thursday when they settled in position in preparation for the liberation the following morning.

The pigeons under constant guard throughout the journey and during the night before liberation

That evening, With abel and the pigeons safely on site the Ledesma family welcomed fanciers and friends to the island of Tenerife and the derby arona one loft race finals week with their traditional welcome evening at a top canarian restaurant (la brasa) and with more attending than normal the coach which provided the free transport to and from the venue was full to capacity as extra provisions were made to ensure everyone arrived in time for the first of many courses served.

The hosts joseinma and Gladys Ledesma at the welcome evening.
The hosts joseinma and Gladys Ledesma at the welcome evening.

During the evening and with everyone enjoying the food and wine providedjose made the formal welcome speech by thanking each and every one for their attendance and the best of luck in the forthcoming race,we had a brief opportunity to catch up with the lads on site via a live link indicating the birds arrived safely all was well for the following morning, before making our way back to the hotel to prepare for the race.

Security checking all is secure.

Race day.

And as team gb met at a local café in playa las Americas for their traditional final race day breakfast prior to heading off to the loft, we were informed that the liberation had taken place at 0800 in clear blue skies and a light north easterly wind and that the pigeons had cleared well, however there was reports that a few showers were forecasted over gran canaria which may hamper their progress.
with that a fleet of taxis we were soon on route to the lofts under a thick black cloud as the heavens opened, to the despair of everyone, thinking nothing would come through under these conditions, in true canary island style this didn’t last long and no sooner as it came down it stopped leaving us with blue skies, as we arrived at the loft we could see a large number of fanciers emerging from under the marquee indicating to the relief as the skies returned to normal Tenerife conditions, with temperatures rising to a moderate 26 degrees and clear blue skies overhead.

08:00 liberation of the derby arona final race.


Team Belgium at the lofts.


Team Gb & Ireland at the arona lofts.


Team Slovakia prior to being awarded derby arona champions 2019

With the livestream running and the familiar live links provided by the tv crew present, we all settled in to wait the first arrivals, during the wait the customary food and drink which was one again provided by the organisers went down well as fanciers enjoyed the hospitalities offeredas they took such time to reacquaint old and new friendships from previous years.

With time getting on the usual guess the time was again circling as fanciers made their predictions for a small stake of 5 euro a guess as to when the first arrival and winner of the derby arona final would be recorded and whilst there was a few early and late predictions the average time seemed to indicate between 11.45 and 12.15.
With nerves jingling for those with pigeons in the race in hope of receiving the life changing sum for first place, once again jose imposed a light hearted blast of the whistle as everyone jumped too their feet looking for pigeons the team indicated they were just practising, which went down well as it calmed a few nerves for some who were on edge.
As 11.45 came and went we were informed the arrival of pigeons was imminent and to prepare for the first pigeons which by such time should be scheduled to have crossed over and heading to the south of the island.

It was on 11.52 on looking up a small batch couldbe seen consisting of approx. twenty or so pigeons racing straight for us along the approach road and after a quick turn they in turn landed on the trap a little hesitant to enter at first but soon made there way in to record their arrival.

The first arrivals.

With everyone now on edge and total silence hanging over the viewing area, the team along with all participants and fanciers waited patiently for the clock to announce the winner, and champion of the 2019 derby aronaTenerife one loft race and recipient of the 120,000 first prize which was finalyawarded to the Slovakian entrant team torysa and pigeon kink with a time of,the winning pigeon a cheq white flight hen had made a steady progression during the race series holding a mid table positions throughout but on this day made its move to record 1st international and 2019 champion in the derby arona one loft race the hardest race in the world.

Team torysa and pigeon” kink “ proud winners of the 2019 derby arona and 120,000 euro first prize.
Team torysa and pigeon” kink “ proud winners of the 2019 derby arona and 120,000 euro first prize.


Team Slovakia enjoyed the day even more as the 2nd position was announced indicating that this was also taken by one of their countrymen asteamsadlak,vendelin& Andrej received the runner up prize of 25,000 with pigeon “super 07” coming home on


With the pigeons now making their way in, the clock updated the result of the leading positions in 3rd we go to team Belgium team p.e.c. with pigeon freja claiming the 3rd prize sum of 20,000 euro with an arrival time of to the delight of Nikolaas Gyselbrechtarms at loft once he seen his name appear on the read out.

3rd prize sum of 20,000 euro with an arrival time of to the delight of Nikolaas Gyselbrechtarms

In 4th we have another belgium entrant claiming a top spot as team palomas -leyen & dirkx take the 10,000 euro prize for 4th place with their entrant ferdys proud timing in on

team palomas -leyen & dirkx take the 10,000 euro prize for 4th place

Just ahead of the first uk & ireland arrival for the new particiant mark james from monmouth representing team england under the team name of wye view lofts with pigeon hanny securing the 5,000 prize pot for 5th international with a time of

team england under the team name of wye view lofts with pigeon hanny


Team slovenia take the 6th international position as team tadej vugrinec and pigeon mandela take the 4,000 euro cash sum on a time of


Taking 7th international we go to back to team belgium for their third country arrival as team batenburg-vd merwe and pec entry teflon make it a trio with a time of and as such claiming the 3,000 euro cash prize.
Team England take their second top position as kiethwarnes and pigeon demon crossed the line to take the 8thinternational place with the 2,000 euro pay-out with a time of and winner of guess the time being just 6 seconds out winning 375 euro.
Team England take their second top position as kiethwarnes and pigeon demon crossed the line to take the 8thinternational place with the 2,000 euro pay-out with a time of and winner of guess the time being just 6 seconds out winning 375 euro.


9th international goes to one of this year new nations competing in the derby arona being team USA with pigeon bols claiming 1,000 euro for team jenkins racing timing in on
9th international goes to one of this year new nations competing in the derby arona being team USA with pigeon bols claiming 1,000 euro for team jenkins racing timing in on


Whilst team hungary take the final top flight position in 10th with pigeon freddy for team B.M.W. recording its arrival on
Whilst team hungary take the final top flight position in 10th with pigeon freddy for team B.M.W. recording its arrival on

With ten pigeons safley on the clock and a few more following them into the loft the top twenty or so positions were dulay claimed and prize monies award for their couragous efforts.

With a few more arrivals drifts in over the next hourso the number slowly increased indicating the weather we had experienced earlier that morning was clearly playing a major part in the race as the arrivals became more drawn out.

As we congratulated each and everyone who had witnessed the arrival of their pigeons today when we said our goodbyes around 4pm, there was still only a disapointing 44 pigeons home and compared to preivious years when record numbers had returned, everyone including the derby arona team were hopeful a few more would come through later that evening and the following day.
Day 2 and after the dissapointment of the firs

t day still in our minds and the early arrival of the first second day pigeon on the clock fanciers were still optermistic that the pigeons would correct themselves if they were within the locality of either of the neighbouring islands and come through and increase the returns rate and whilst a few did come throughout the day only a further 27 pigeons had overcome the distance and eliments, this was folowed by a few more dirifting in on day three we see 92 pigeons on the clock, just under a third of the entries liberated, a little dissapointing for everyone we can agree, but this is the canary islands and the atlantic ocean a place where the weather changes so quickly and the jouney across thee islands anopen spansof water provides such challenges for the pigeons to overcome.
with the early prizes claimed this year we have a few additional prizes to offer, these came from the new electronic timing clock “I pigeon” who had kindly donated three complete racing systems to the derby arona final race, these would go to pigeons returning in 40th 50th& 60th positions and as such teams familie karas antonion from the czech republic, team lucky 5 from belgium, and team fernec butyka from austria will each be rewarded with these prizes thanks to I pigeon, who we thank for their interest in the derby arona one loft race

With the race covered we can now look forward to the forthcoming gala evening on sat 30th, again being held at the prestigous mare nostrum resort in playa de las americas, as always this is a night to congratulate each of the winners in the previous hotspot races and of course the succesful fanciers from the previous days final race.

With a sell out crowd once again present at the venue, the ledesma family were again positioned at the entrace to welcome each and everyone to the evening as the ladies were presented with a red rose on entry the hall everyone was soon to be seated.
With everyone settled in the their seats, it came down to jose,to formaly open the evening by thanking everyone for their support and attendance and invited fanciers and guests to enjoy the buffet style banquet laid on by the mare nostrum providing a cuisine, suited for each and every taste and nationaity.

With the meal finshed and the tables cleared it was time to reward the winners each in turn approached the stage to receive a certificate of award and trophies etc, which will in due course be followed by a diploma of merit, First to be presented are the hot spot race winners from gran canaria and fuertaventura islands as follows in car race 1 ( survival race ) taking third place from wales were the rhondda rockets from wales, in 2nd ion ureche from romania and the winners of the race representing england “team woodhouse boys “

Team woodhouse boys 1st car race 1 england


Robert pugh wales team Rhondda rockets 3rd car race 1


From car race two team hanus vasile from rumania claimed the third place award and trophy, followed by the netherlands syndicate of oener butchers in 2nd position leaving the position of 1st international winner of car race 2 representing denmark team anita & tage greveson.

Team anita & tage greveson 1st prize winners
Hanus vasile from rumania 3rd international car race 2


Car race 3 (semi final) in 3rd were the gran canaria partnership of yahve, oliveiro,freddy & miguel, folllowed by team slovakia and sadlak,vendelin &andrej in 2nd, whilst 1st place and the car race 3 winners trophy goes to england and team murray and mills

Team murray and mills 1st car race 3 semi final winners.


yahve, oliveiro,freddy & miguel 3RD semi final car race 3

With each of the hotspt race awards presented it then came time to congratulate the final race winners these were presented to the congregation, in reverse formation with each fancier reporting arrivals coming to the table to be congratulated until we came down to the top three and principle winners, in 3rd representing team belgium were team P.E.C. who came forward to recive their glassware and the prize cheque for 20,000 euro,for the performance of their entry freija.

In 2nd and first place in the absence of the winners the co ordinator from slovakia daniel krajcik came forward on both occationas to recived the awards for his fellow fanciers as the slovakian national anthym was played and a standing ovation was made to celebrate their performances as we pass on our congratulations to both parties on such achievements.

With all the race awards presented there was the average winners who were next to the stage to recive awards the first was the “King of Sprint averages “ once again in reverse team england and team fev flyers came to be rewarded with the 3rd international ave trophy represented by steve bannister taking away the 500 euro prize money.

In 2nd we have from bosnia and herzeovina were team fam.peric with pigeon novi bila with 1,000 euro and then the overall king of sprint average winning partnership for performances from the first to last race and 3,000 euro going to team oener buchers partnership from the netherlands also running is the “ king of the atlantic “ averages this is from all races flown from gran canaria and fuertaventura including the final race, in 3rd from italy we present team taross and pigeon” maka”with 500 euro, team england and murray and mills take the runner up posiion with pigeon just the job 2 and 1,000 euro and finaly team oener butchers from netherlands again claim the winners trophy and a further 3,000 euro for performances put up by their entrant veni.
with all trophies presented to those present the derby arona team wished to thank the many co ordinators from around the world for all their hard work, each inturn were called up to be personely thanked by the team as without their input and comittment, it would be a daunting task to make this race so successful.

With that the lights were lowered as the congregation were presented with the entertainment part of the evening, this again was in the form of the traditional carnival band which entered the room and entertained everyone for a while before the artist brought the evening to close in the early hours.

Before we finish there a few special mentions I think we need to make the first being an outstanding performance in the final race by andy harker from england when a lot of fanciers were unfortunate not to record an arrival andy had a tremendous result with three pigeons basketed and all three home in 25th 36th and 76thpositions

The second being the attenance for the first time at the derby arona by fanciers from the USA as maria elena suti and dan sweeny who had made the long jouney across the atlantic to be present throughout the finals week proceedings, we hope you enjoyed the occation and look forward to your return in 2020.

On a personel note, I would like to thank the derby arona team for having the faith in my reports again during 2018/19 to highlight the highs and lows of the race as the racing progressed,sometimes things are hard to explain on paper when things don’t go to plan, but we pledge to give each report total transparency as to what ever events happen good or bad, so thank you once again and hope those who have followed throughout have had pleasure reading of the achievments of others during the past months.

So as one door closes a new one opens as the derby arona team will soon be welcoming participants and entries for this years race, and with a lot of hard work over the coming weeks the team are hopeful to be able to officialy open their new location for 2019/20 a few kilometres north from the current location over looking the open water of the atlantic ocean an ideal position to continue the success and new chapter of the derby arona tenerife one loft race.

More moments from the derby arona 2019:

Derby Arona

Tom harris