Friday22nd January and the arona one loft race training programme is well underway with the distances starting to open up, the latest outing being from the north of the island at small village of B.Hondo a distance of approx. 55 klm to the Guaza lofts in the south and just short distance from the last and longest inland training point of Santa Cruz.
With the 2,032 pigeons transported and arriving safely on site and settled, we sat patiently at the home end via the live stream, with the chat page with yet again hosting over 100 followers logged in awaiting the announcement of a confirmed time of liberation.
With clear blue skies above and the weather cams indicating a steady 13 klm north by north easterly breeze and temperatures rapidly rising to 27 degrees, able Ledesma who was convoying again today released his cargo at 10.30, shortly after liberation and whilst viewing the pigeons orientating, we received feedback indicating that upon liberation the pigeons had once again split into two groups and as the main batch moved away in a southerly direction, around three hundred or so were still hanging around the vicinity as the lads pulled away, for reasons unknown.
Back at the lofts as the arona team awaited the arrival of the birds they were joined by fanciers from Germany and Scotland, who had arranged their visit to witness the pigeons on their return.
Pigeons on site prior to liberation .
It was close to forty five minutes flying time, that the first batch of arrivals were clearly seen above the lofts and with these quickly landing, the leading pigeons crossed the line to record their arrival .
The first pigeon which takes the honour of 1st place from race 10, goes to team Netherlands and consistent entrant hok j reijen with pigeon melodia timing in at 10.14.53.70, over previous races this pigeon has recorded many high positions including positions such as 5th and 4th in training races one and three plus numerous places in the top five hundred, which gives them positions of 53rd in the country average and 328th overall.
2nd and 3rd positions goes to team uk/Ireland, with team England and Tim Christmas, team ultimate and pigeon ultimate super timing in at 22.214.171.124, just holding off the new entrants for 2016 of Louella pigeon world syndicate recording their pigeon flaky on the clock at 11.15.00 25,in 4th and 5th its team Germany and pigeon siddy for Eric Muller timing in at 11.15.01.85 just ahead of fellow countrymen team brinker and pigeon Karl on 11.15.01.86 6th and 7th places go to team Dionisio&Pandiella from Asturias with two of their entries Elmer and trufacoming in together timing in at 11.15.02.85 and 11.15.02.90, for 8th position its back to team team Germany and this time and arrival for team Robert & Bernhard Niekrawietz and pigeon “it takes two “recording an arrival time of 11.15.02.95,in 9th spot its team Comb. Mekes-van Boxmeer and pigeon mekmeer on 11.15.03.50, followed in 10th by the polish entrant Arkadiusz Buttner with vika at 11.15.03.80.
With the majority of the pigeons safely perched by mid afternoon, and with a few arriving later in the evening there was still a small number unaccounted for by nightfall from the 2,032 pigeon liberated, and with a few returning the following morning the final numbers are announced on Sunday morning at the time of typing at 1,959 and a returns ratio of 96.4 %,.
So its one more land race to go, which will take place from the port of Santa Cruz over the next few days from a distance of approx. 60 klm, this will lead us into the following scheduled races out in the Atlantic ocean for a number of mid seas liberations from staggered distances moving ever closer to the first of three hotspot races. Two from Gran Canaria and the third from Fuerteventura island, in preparation for the final race mid march(14th -18th), it may seem a long way off at present…. but with two training races a week and preparations to be made in respect of flights and hotels etc, it will soon come around, .
As for finals week itself. this all starts with the live basketing at the loft when competitors are able to handle and examine, their entries prior to basketing. Followed by the traditional welcome dinner hosted by the arona team at a top canarian restaurant prior to race day, on the day of liberation everyone is made welcome to attend, and will once again consist of complimentary food and drink throughout the day of liberation, as we await the arrival of the pigeons and winner of the ARONA DERBY ONE LOFT RACE for 2016, this will be followed on the Saturday evening with the presentation evening when all the awards are presented to their worthy winners which will bring the curtain down on yet another year .
For those attending the final race in march for the first time, the easiest option is to fly into Tenerife south airport and with plenty of hotel options available within the resorts of los Cristianos, playa de Las Americas and Adeje to suit every pocket, your never too far from the loft location!