📘 Island and Hotspot One 2018 Report




Derby Arona Island and Hotspot One report

“Simply the best”

After all the thrills and excitement of Sea Race One and Two the Arona Team along I’m sure with all participants had sights on the forthcoming first Car Race from Gran Canaria, however due to high winds on the Atlantic between the Canary Island the Arona Team made the decision to postpone any idea of going across to the neighbouring island until a drastic improvement was imminent, a decision we’re sure that has been backed up by everyone concerned and again shows that the welfare of the pigeons was once again first and foremost.

With such a decision made and to keep the pigeons motivated the team basked the birds and again drove out to the 35 klm liberation site of Fasnia, where an additional training flight was held with the birds on site and everything ready to go Abel Ledesma liberated the pigeons at 11.15 into broken cloud and a moderate 21 klm north by north easterly wind.

India Dream Team India Viki 1st International Race 16


Considering the strength of the wind we were all expecting a fast return however the conditions obviously played their part as was in excess of half an hour that the first pigeons were visible to all watching as they approached the loft, taking the Top Spot once again and another Top Ten performance were Team India and pigeon “Indian Diamond” recording an arrival time of, just two seconds ahead of team Italy in 2nd with pigeon “Eddy” for Team Gutas, Velocci & Albusoiu on, for 3rd place we go to the Netherlands and pigeon “David’s Daughter” for Team Poelman – Kap on


Team Gutas, Velocci & Albusoiu from Italy 2nd International Race 16

Team Romania takes the 4th position with pigeon “Vio 1” coming in on for Team Viorel Gah, it’s a second arrival for team Netherlands in 5th as Sjaak Buwalda entry “Frysian Fortune” came in on, just edging off the challenge from team Austria and Alois Wiefler’s pigeon “Alph 3” again in the top flight in 6th on a time of, Marcel Visser from The Netherlands and pigeon “Dilana” takes 7th on, whilst in 8th it was another Dutch entry as Team Twin Brothers Gelderland Syn and pigeon “Papada” recorded its arrival at, for 9th we head to the Czech Republic as Team Svoboda & Lekes and pigeon “Ilonka” timed in at and finally taking the 10th Spot and rounding off the leading pigeons we have Team Greg from Slovakia with pigeon “Greg 748” on


Netherlands Team Poelman – Kap 3rd international race 16

For team UK/Ireland today the leading pigeon came from last year Semi Final Car winner Fev Flyiers as their entry “Bannos Bullet” came in 21st position on a time of 11.46.32

As you can see by the time of the leading pigeons and the masses that they arrived, the pigeons made light work of this training flight which is what we hoping for with Car Race one in the near future, but what was more pleasing was within the five minutes of the first birds arriving close to 1,000 pigeons were home and perched from the 1,100 released and with the arrival of the remaining pigeons during the afternoon and a few that had gone adrift returning the following morning the result showed just two pigeons were adrift and a percentage rate of 99.8%

Team Fev Flyers UK 1st UK 21st International Race 16

With all the extra work implemented this year by Team Arona we were confident that all the additional road work would pay off as we prepared to take on the mighty Atlantic Ocean and the fear the pigeons were to overcome on leaving the coastline of Gran Canaria and fly out over the open water back to the loft with the winning pigeon claiming one of the three major Hotspot Car Race prizes.


The flying route for Car Race 1 from Gran Canaria
Birds on site awaiting the liberation of Car Race 1


With a rapid improvement in conditions forecasted and a drop in wind speed the team made the decision to convoy to Gran Canaria on Friday evening with a planned early morning liberation on Saturday, on arriving on site the pigeons were watered and left to settle overnight, overlooking the Gran Canaria, coastline and open waters towards Tenerife a route they would have to face the following morning.

Representatives from the Derby Arona at the Fugare show in Belgium

Saturday and as dawn broke and the sun rose, indications were clear that once again the team had made the right choice as the morning opened with broken blue skies and a clear view, with the early morning mist clearing by the minute and the visibility improving by the second, with able ready on site and Jose who was busy today at the lofts with Gladys away at the FUGARE show in Belgium he wasn’t alone as over 170 fanciers around the world logged onto the Facebook Live Stream and additional viewers on social media we were informed that the strings were cut at 09.45 and the pigeons were orientating well above the liberation site

The clear view across the Atlantic towards Tenerife
The winner of Car Race One for Team Schnellin from Germany

Some minutes later we received an update indicating that 75% of the convoy had left the site and were on route, whilst a small number were still edging the coastline building up the courage to come across… unfortunately this will always be the case from this liberation site… but it’s a fear they soon overcome in order to return to the lofts as everyone waited, you could sense the tension on the live chat, as it clearly  went quiet for a while whilst fanciers had one eye on the clock and another on the trap as expectations for the first pigeon to arrive were predicted with most estimating 1 hour 30 min it was shortly before this that a small batch of pigeons could be seen heading for the loft and following a short spin to lose height they pleasingly dropped onto the trap and following a short spell they quickly made their way in to register their arrival, as we all sat patiently it seemed forever until the computer named Today’s Champion and Winner of Car Race One as the German entry for Team Schnellin and pigeon named  “Daddy” was announced home at also winning the Hotspot 1 Race winner’s trophy and diploma. This little blue had has kept a moderate performance rate throughout the earlier stages appearing in the top 300 on several occasions but today when the moment was right it showed its willingness to succeed, so congratulations to them on an outstanding performance


2nd position Car Race 1 for Team Greg Slovakia and Team Greg

Just three seconds behind in 2nd place winning the cash sum of 1000 euro and runner up trophy we have the Slovakian entry “Greg 017” for Team Greg on, taking the third pace trophy for 3rd and 500 euro it was Team Alp from Switzerland with pigeon named duchess coming in at, taking 4th position it was Team Bruninx Roger & Co from Belgium with pigeon “Nadali” on the clock on which also rewards its owner with the 100 euro prize, like all the remaining pigeons in the Top 10  for their valiant efforts, Team Krajcik Daniel & Andrea from Slovakia take the 5th place with their entry “Danko” on a time of, followed by Team Volmer & Wilpers from Germany in 6th with pigeon “Uh-oh” on, the Asturias entry for Team Alfonso Herrero Pérez and pigeon “Josey” takes 7th with a time of, narrowly ahead of Team Ganski & Lewandowski from Poland with pigeon “Flight Plan” taking 8th on, team UK/Ireland take the 9th Spot with Steve Marsh and Ray Blower representing England with pigeon “Angela” on and again in finalising the Top Ten again this week the final place was taken up by the Romanian team of Marius Iulian Sepciuc and pigeon “Bak 876” on


Team Alp for Switzerland 3rd Car Race 1 with pigeon “Duchess” and currently King of Sprint average leaders

With all of the above Top Ten winning pigeons highlighted with taking prize monies today this also went on with positions down to twentieth also receiving  a cash reward  to the sum of 50 euro each which indicates there’s plenty of opportunity in topping up your account for the future.

With the first batch of returns rewarded for their efforts pigeons were arriving every few minute to the delight of everyone watching but more importantly to the Arona Team who had once again provided and extremely exciting race for everyone to watch, as the day went on and day turned to night and the sun went down on the island of Tenerife from the 1098 pigeons liberated 647 were safely locked away for the night and with a further 100 or so expected on day two we all looked forward to returning the following morning.

Sunday morning and once again the livestream was up and running from 07.30 to give fanciers every opportunity of witnessing the arrivals, fanciers began to login once again to see if any of their missing entries had returned at first light, at 08.07 the Gran Canaria Team Farallon set the ball rolling as their pigeon “Fahys Pride” was the first to arrive home as we sat and watched more early birds coming through, throughout the day an additional 60+ pigeons had made their way home throughout the day and by nightfall on day two the numbers had increased to 708 pigeons.


Steve Marsh and Ray Blower 1st UK 9th International Car Race

Day three and as expectations of only a small number of pigeons being prepared to come across from Gran Canaria we were pleasing surprised to account for an additional twenty seven pigeons had successfully made the journey home, this was backed up with even more pigeons on day four bringing the returns to 740 with a returns percentage now standing at 68% as we go to press, obviously the Arona Team are overjoyed with the result from such a difficult location.

The first race from Gran Canaria is the most challenging race the pigeons have to overcome and with so many pigeons home percentage wise on previous years everyone seems happy as we know look forward to Hotspot Race 2 from the eastern coast of Gran Canaria and again flying the Atlantic Ocean.

At this stage of the racing like previous weeks the averages are changing race by race currently holding the Top position is Team Alp from Switzerland with pigeon “Beppovitch” on 30262pts in 2nd we have Team Evin Peter & Noemi from Slovakia with pigeon “Rachel 409” on 29574pts and in 3rd it’s the Polish partnership of Lorek & Losinski and pigeon three wonders on 29157pts

Car Race One leaders

As well as the averages the pigeon nomination/pools is also gathering a lot of interest now as fanciers are prepared to pool their pigeons in these races which is accumulating a lot of interest with  pool money on offer for the first pigeons clocked in an array of amounts indicated on the website, to participate in any further nominations just forward funds to the Arona Team who will then of course add to your nomination account for that added interest on race days.


The Marenostrum the venue for the gala evening

It’s time to consider finals week and the prospect of making bookings to join everyone in the build  up to the final race, already a large number have booked flights and accommodation for week commencing sun 18th March and by booking for seven nights on the island this gives you every opportunity of experiencing all aspects of the week including, the live Basketing where you have the privilege  to be reunited with your entry prior to going in the basket, the Welcome evening hosted by the Arona Team at a top canarian restaurant of course the race itself on Fri 23rd March if weather permits and rounding off the whole event there’s the gala evening at the Marenostrum in Playa de Las Américas when the winners of the Hotspot Races and the Final Race winner will be rewarded with their prizes remember everything is filmed at the Derby Arona for your enjoyment  at www.derbyatlantic.com

Tom Harris