LATEST ISLAND RACES RESPORT
“Simply the best”
Over the past few weeks on the island of Tenerife the weather has been very unsettled over the Atlantic with high winds and heavy showers, so the Arona Team have had the daunting task of having to pick days when the training can recommence, with no improvement forecasted the Arona Team decided to continue with some short training races from distances of approx 40 to 45 klm over the island to keep the pigeons motivated.
On 22nd February the 697 pigeons remaining within the competition were basketed for a short training flight of 35 klm and with conditions clearly visible as overcast and a light 13 klm south westerly wind the pigeons were away at 11.30.
With the livestream experiencing many more viewers’ logining in to watch the race we all sat patiently for the sighting of the first arrivals.
As time went on we were informed by Abel Ledesma who liberated the pigeons that they had broken into two batches the first were taking a more direct route south whilst the second appeared to take their time to clear the site and head off into a westerly direction, this we could only put down to the conditions and were reluctant to face the head wind or maybe the presence of a bird of prey in the area halting their progress however by the time the lorry was due to depart the site no pigeons were to be seen.
It was some 45 minutes after liberation a little longer than expected that the first flock of approx 250+ pigeons were visible to us watching, circling above the loft to the relief of everyone witnessing the race and upon pitching it was a race to the finish, with the clock taking its time formulate the result due to the numbers entering the loft in one go it was finally confirmed taking the top honour of 1st International was the Hungarian entry for Team Bacskai Sandor & Kellner Andrea as their entry “Isti” a regular within the top ten over the past weeks marked its arrival at 126.96.36.199, in 2nd place also taking 1st UK and Ireland representing team England we have Team Guys Loft Elite with pigeon “Dark Destroyer” claiming its second runner up position over the past two training races with a time of 188.8.131.52
Team Poland take 3rd today with Dariusz Skawinski and pigeon ultimate best timed in on 184.108.40.206, Team Klaas and Sohn take the 4th place for team Germany with pigeon “Ichabod” on 220.127.116.11 just ahead of the local partnership of Team Yahvé, Oliver & Fredy and pigeon “Mykonos” in 5th presenting Team Gran Canaria on a time of 18.104.22.168, with pigeons still racing for the line in 6th place we go to team Russia with Team Shatalov & Shebanin pigeon “Nastja” on 22.214.171.124, team Poland record their second arrival as pigeon named “Blue Steffi” for Team Swiecicki & Zajac recorded a time of 126.96.36.199 for 7th, Team Hendriksen recorded their pigeon “Aya” for team Denmark taking the 8th position with 188.8.131.52, whilst 9th goes to regular competitors and Belgium coordinators Creemers & Zoon with pigeon “Daniil” on 184.108.40.206, finishing off the result of the leading birds from today in 10th we have Team Familia Bacalu and pigeon “Vaughan” from Romania 220.127.116.11.
With the first batch within the loft we sat waiting patiently anticipating the arrival of the second batch which we were advised had obviously taken the more scenic route down through the mountain regions of the island, it was as described a few minutes later they also came over the rooftops from a northerly direction as one group and again rapidly dropped and traped to everyones delight, with the majority of the pigeons home apart from a small number and with further arrival during the afternoon recorded the Arona Team were pleased to see just seven pigeons unaccounted for by nightfall.
As day two opened up, we were pleased to hear more good news that the pigeons missing from the previous day were starting to arrive therefore were pleased to declare a full 100% returns rate set to go into the next race.
Over the next few days there was still no improvement over the Atlantic over the Canary Islands with a brisk wind still dominating the area the team sat patiently in hope to announce the Car Race 2 from the eastern side of Gran Canaria, however this again was not to be and to safe guard the pigeons the Arona race management team decided once again to send the pigeons again on yet another sprint island training race 22 from the 40klm spot near Fasnia .
With the full account of 698 pigeons that returned from the previous race and all accounted for and on site the team again got them away at 11am into a brisk 19klm south west wind and a moderate 20 degrees.
Taking the Top Spot once again for the second race in a row and starting to show some consistent form was the Hungarian entry “Isti” for Team Bacskai Sandor & Kellner Andrea which covered the distance in just forty minutes on this occasion coming in at 18.104.22.168, just ahead of team Netherlands entry for Twin Brothers Gelderland Syndicate pigeon “Papada” in 2nd on 22.214.171.124, for 3rd we go to team Turkey and entrants Team Ihsan Sariyer as his pigeon “Sila” coming in on 11.40.33.00, Team Boekelo from The Netherlands take the 4th spot as pigeon wesley, recorded a time of 126.96.36.199, Rolf Helge Aspen from Norway takes 5th position as “Pinky” recorded 188.8.131.52, just holding off The Challenge from team Kuwait and pigeon “Kuwait 4” for Thamer Rashed 184.108.40.206 for 6th, team Belgium takes the 7th position as Team Bruninx Roger & Co pigeon “Nadali” recorded 220.127.116.11, “Canary 2” for Team Klein Falckenborg from The Netherlands is once again in amongst the front runners for 8th position with a time of 18.104.22.168, as Víctor Manuel Gómez Rodríguez from Galicia and pigeon “Jigsy” recorded 22.214.171.124 for 9th place team Kuwait clears up the Top Ten in this race with Youser H. Aldahoum and pigeon “Bent Mathloon” coming in on 126.96.36.199
As for team UK & Ireland on this occasion it was team Scotland and William Donachie that took the honours just out of the front runners with pigeon “Basher” taking 14th International.
As you can clearly see by the result it was again a blanket finish for the leading positions as predicted due to the intense training the team have implemented this year which is clearly paying dividends with the fitness levels and returns we are now experiencing as again the returns percentage rate finally revealed an outstanding 98%.
With 655 pigeon home safe by the end of day one and although there was still a small number these came through during the following two days and on turning off the clock on day three 683 pigeon were home from the liberation of 698 released with two sprint island races completed with minimal losses the team were once again looking for the opportunity of Car Race 2, but being some two weeks since the last island to island training from Gran Canaria there was still no chance in the near future to announce the staging date, so not to keep the pigeons out of the basket for too long once again we were at the distance of 40klm, which whilst we understand isn’t the desired racing were looking for at this stage of the programme it at least keeps the pigeons motivated and switched on for the racing that lays ahead of them in days to come.
On Friday 2nd march Abel once again made the familiar journey to the liberation site and after a short while to settle again released his convoy at a slightly later time of 11:45 into a 21 klm south westerly head wind with grey overcast skies over the loft once again the livestream provided everyone with a clear view of the conditions over the island via the livestream camera directed northwards in the direction the pigeons were expecting to arrive from, indicating it was again going to be a case of the pigeons getting their heads down and face the winds head on, with the entrants watching around the world they agreed with the Arona decision to go and were clearly 100% behind the team for doing so as at this stage of racing whilst the winds were against them they have experienced many training flights so this, race whilst it could prove awkward for the birds to tackle it shouldn’t be a problem to them.
Taking pole position on a time of 188.8.131.52 was the Italian entry, “Prince” for Team Renato Cantu, that takes the glory of 1st International, just seconds ahead of the first UK & Ireland pigeon for team Scotland and William Donachie again present within the first buch with pigeon “Basher” timing in at 184.108.40.206, for 3rd we go to team Belgium as Roger Mertens a regular competitor in the Derby Arona timed in one of his Team Petoetje which in previous outings has been flying consistent for him on 220.127.116.11, its pigeon “Black Wonder” for Team Class 888 from Romania that arrives to take the 4th place on a time of 18.104.22.168 just ahead of Team IFJ Ferge Miklos Jr. from Hungary again in the mix in 5th with “Zsanci” on a time of 12.18.00.45, Caspar Lurvink from The Netherlands takes the 6th position with his entry “Libero” on 12.18.01.10, for 7th pigeon “Alpha 3” timed in for Alois Wiefler of Austria on a time of 12.18.01.50, just decimals in front of another of Team Bacskai Sandor & Kellner Andrea with pigeon “Andi” in 9th recording the 2nd Hungarian pigeon in the clock at 12.18.04.50, John Murray of the Murray & Mills Syndicate representing team England timed in on 12.18.06.45 with just the job for the 9th place whilst today’s Top Ten was rounded off with Team Bacskai Sandor & Kellner Andrea and “Isti” from Hungary recording their 2nd pigeon home on 12.18.06.5
as you can understand normally the pigeons would be racing from the neighbouring islands at this stage of the racing but unfortunately ,this year at this present time this isn’t the case due to the poor conditions out at sea ,but credit to the arona team in making the right decisions to keep the pigeons motivated fit and healthy during this awkward period with some regular short training ,and were hopeful that participants will appreciate,the dedication during such times to ensure that once the skies open and the winds drops they will be ready to go
with hopes of an improvement in the weather forecasted over the forthcoming days we are awaiting confirmation from team arona when the hotspot/car race 2 will be staged , in the meantime as we sit it out we have received photos of the car race 1 winner team schellin from germany receiving their rewards for winning the race so congratulations to them
Finally, before we know it most will be jetting off to the island for the Final Race week, with open basketing planned for Wednesday 21st march, the welcome evening on the Thursday evening and hopefully a liberation taking place from Fuerteventura on the Friday, it’s an action packed week, so whilst all the excitement of the Final Race is on many minds don’t forget to get your pedigrees over to the Arona Team prior to basketing as per the ruling.
As for the 2019 race, entries this year will open from 1st April and after the unfortunate event of the USA and Canadian pigeons not being able to make the closing deadline, this year we have pleasure in welcoming such countries for the next event as over 350 pigeons have already been pledged for shipment one followed by a possible second shipment in June these will be on route once the doors open for entry into next year’s race.