Gran Canaria Training-2 report by Tom Harris



With the success of the first hotspot race from gran canaria,  resulting in a 60% returns rate and a record in the arona race history, the pigeons were once again on the island of gran canaria at the same liberation site for an additional training race,  which was held up for a few days due to poor weather conditions, until Monday 22nd feb with a convoy of 959 pigeons on board.

The convoy arrived on site the evening before liberation and with the water applied to the crates the pigeons and convoying team settled down for the evening over looking the atlantic ocean as the sunset that evening.


Monday, and as the morning opened up able Ledesma and the arona team were preparing and hoping to liberate the pigeons early to give them the best possible start, before temperatures increased, however early morning mist out across the sea hampered any possibility of achieving such plans, and a s a result the liberation being held up until the sun had burnt this off.

By 10am the visibility across the ocean to Tenerife had improved vastly and with the peak of mount tiede clearly visible in the distance and both parties on site and at the loft happy with the current conditions, resulting in the strings being cut at 10.10 releasing the pigeons into a light 15klm north by north easterly sea breeze for the 100klm crossing back to the lofts.

The view from gran canaria across to Tenerife at 10am prior to liberation

Upon liberating we are informed that they orientated for a while as they gathered their bearings and duly split into two major batches, and whilst the largest bunch instantly made their way across the sea and out of sight, the second batch were seen to make great height, before they also headed for home

At the lofts everything was prepared, as we all logged in the information regarding the liberation was relayed via the chat page, as we sat watching the live broadcast the arona team with the exception of Gladys who had travelled to Belgium to present the arona organisation at the fugare show, manned the lofts awaiting the first arrivals

it was at 11.24 after 1.1/4 hours on the wing the first pigeons were spotted making their way across the banana plantations heading for the lofts and home, ,with the first pigeons hitting the landing board and running for the finishing line which was pleasing to witness, we awaited confirmation of the leading pigeons

Taking pole position was the German entry nate hall for entrant Hermann Johannsmann timing in at the winning pigeon has become a front runner being amongst the leading pigeons in sea race 4 taking 93rd, hotspot 1 33rd and now today’s position of 1st gran canaria which gives a team average position of 22nd and 102nd internationally.


Hermann Johannsmann 1st gran canaria race 2
Hermann Johannsmann 1st gran canaria race 2

In 2nd position is another arrival for team Germany with Alexandra gebel with pigeon atlantic-britt recording and also winning a fair share of the pools which are now gathering a lot of interest as the training has progressed,  3rd was team soepboer with pigeon pistara timing in at,4th goes to a third arrival for team Germany with time bandit 2 for team Jörg Unglaube on 11,24,29.25,the gran canarian syndicate of Team Félix Santiago – Aday Rguez comes in to take 5th with pigeon named lady on, just in front of the first arrival for team uk/Ireland syndicate of lucky devils for team England with ready for action on the clock at in 6th narrowly ahead of fellow team England’s crazy gang syndicate with brobbelaar in 7th position at, 8th and 9th goes to team Rumania with alba at and pigeon named kay on for team Bacalu Danut & Serafim, in 10th and rounding off today’s top ten is Alexandra gebel with his second arrival Atlantic -new at

Alexander Gebel 2nd and 10th gran canaria race 2
Alexander Gebel 2nd and 10th gran canaria race 2

With this being the second liberation from gran canaria it clearly showed that the pigeons learnt a valuable lesson in over coming any fears that they may have had to cross for one island to another, with the majority of the pigeons returning before mid-day and with the usual few drifting in later in the day and early evening 907 pigeons were safely home added to these were a further 14 arriving the following morning just 36 pigeons remained unaccountable by nightfall on Tuesday.

The result of this race has not only pleased the arona team but also the participants from around the world as it goes to show the care and dedication given, to ensure that no chances are taken and the arona team are prepared to sit and wait and alter their initial plans for the right day to train, and give every pigeon the same oppertunity of challenging for the top prize of a new car from hotspot 2 from the east coast of gran canaria.

Team soepboer 3rd gran canaria race 2
Team soepboer 3rd gran canaria race 2

at the time of going to print the good news is that the basketing list has just been announced for car race 2 and from the 959 pigeons which entered the extra training race the returns have risen even higher now with 927 on route for Fridays planned liberation.



The race for ace pigeon and grand average winner is also warming up now as approach the final stages currently team Italy pigeon peaches is holding off the challenge to maintain the leading position with 37936 points average just ahead of araugo for team Team Yahvé & Oliveiro from gran canaria with 37380 and in third rut han for team Netherlands syn Team van den Bosse-Hoondert Lewedor on 36839.

Paul smith and his lucky devils syn 1st uk/Ireland and 6th internationally
Paul smith and his lucky devils syn 1st uk/Ireland and 6th internationally


Looking forward from car race 2 theirs just the semi final race, and the possibility of an extra training to overcome before the final, plans are no doubt underway as we`re all looking forward to finals week which is scheduled to start from Monday 14th with public basketing weather permitting followed by the welcome evening hosted by the Ledesma family at a top canarian restaurant priced at 30 euro pp, all this leads up to the main event the final race of the 2015/16 series. when once again we will all be welcome at the loft to witness the winning and remaining pigeons which have overcome all the obstacles that they have had over come in the past weeks and months.

This years arona experience comes to a close with the presentation evening on sat 19th march to congratulate the winners, tickets for both the welcome dinner and presentation evening are available for reservation from the arona team, contact details are via the arona website at

Finally, after the success of last year, during finals week all are welcome to join us and fellow fanciers at the chieftain Irish bar most evenings in playa las Americas for a casual and informal get together.

Tom Harris