It’s mid-December and on the island of Tenerife final preparations are underway for the start of this year derby Arona Tenerife one loft race presented by LedesmaGlobal S.L. & the Ledesma family.
With the doors openfor entry from mid-April until late October, the loft seen a steady flow of entries from the many participating countries from around the world,with the final number of pigeons in the loft being just over 2.000,a little down on previous years but we must be grateful for such entry as we know things are still being drastically disrupted with the new and existing covid variants in relation to shipping and flight arrangements during 2021 resulting in extra pressure for the worldwide coordinators who represent the Derby Arona.
So with 2000+ pigeons now in the loft the team set to work in flock treating to prevent any infections that maybe brought in,followed by the settling in period to their new loft and surroundings, it’s during such time the birds are then allowed to mix with the inmates who are allowed the liberty of then going out on top of the loft under netting for their first view of the blue skies and warm canarian sun of Tenerife…following a few weeks of netting the next step is to experience free flying around the lofts for the first time.
Abel Ledesma loft manager overseeing the loft exercise of the pigeons ensuring fitness and health prior to the start
With the settling in and orientating completed and the mass of pigeons now exercising daily the loft showed very little losses this year a tribute to the loft management team for patiently waiting until they knew the pigeons were right to move them on through each stage.
Early December we were fortunate to travel to the island and of course pay a visit to Jose and the Arona loft’s to witness first-hand the outstanding condition of the inmates and the control which the team have on the birds prior to the first pre selection training flights.
Crates collected cleaned and ready for the start
December 17th saw the first of five pre selection training flight,this as we all do within our own lofts start at short distances, the first being just 3klm down the road,this gives the pigeons their first experience of the basket and mass liberation. Over the coming days the distance will increase slightly until we reach the Xmas break,these few short training flights are completed to ensure competitors that their pigeons are in the loft settled and have completed the first phase of training,it’s such that make the Arona different from many one loft races as you only pay an initial team entry fee of 220 euro per five pigeons and activate the remainder once we reach the owners activation perio… Therefore you only pay for pigeons currently in the loft and not like most where payment is required upfront,only to lose your fee if the pigeons are lost during settling in.
Buyl& Howell syn Belgium 1st International Derby Arona tr1
With 2004 pigeons basketed and loaded they departed for the first time as we awaited news of the liberation,with the birds settled and ready to go our trust loft manager Abel Ledesma cut the string releasing his convoy at 12.30 indicating the 2021 Derby Arona Tenerife was now underway.
Jose L.Garcia Puerto rico 2ndInternational tr1
Taking top honours we go to Team Buyl&Howells from Belgium as their entry named “Cannon” recorded a time of 12.40.07.55,for istInternational training race 1, Team Jose L.GarcÍaCruz from Puerto Rico takes the runner up position and the honour of 2ndInternational with pigeon “Super Pigeon” recording its arrival on 18.104.22.168,team Slovakia take the 3rdSpot as pigeon “P 479” for Team EvinPeter &Noemi came home on 12.40.12.00,taking the 4th place we go out across the Atlantic to the USAwhere we see pigeon “Always Here” for Team Reno Nevada on a time of 12 41.33.15,this was closely followed by one of one of the races previous final race winners Benjamin Neag from Austria just decimals behind in 5th place with pigeon “La India” on 12,40.33.80,for 6thInternational we head out to eastern Europe to Poland where we see Team Maja and pigeon “Szura” timing in on 22.214.171.124, The Netherlands recorded their first of 2 arrivals in today top 10 with the arrival of “Bashka” taking 7thInternational for Team JappKoehoornrecording a time of 126.96.36.199,the winning nation of Belgium recorded their second pigeon with Team P-S-S-S seeing their entry “Jan 327” on 188.8.131.52 for 8thInternational, the Netherlands and the USArecorded their second arrival in today’s top ten taking 9th and 10th International with the Dutch entry “Vestra”for Team VisserToomDijk timing in on 184.108.40.206 narrowly ahead of team Daniel Hash with pigeon “Murphy” on 12.41.54.05
Team EvinPeter &Noemi, Slovakia 3rd tr1 & 1st International tr 2 with pigeon “P 479”
With the Top Ten positions confirmed,from the four nations presenting the UK we see Team Will Curtis continue his success from last year’s series taking 1st England 1st uk 13thInternational with pigeon “ReuReu” on 220.127.116.11
Team Will Curtis 1stUK 13thInternational tr1
On clock closing on day one it’s clear to see that losses were minimal and the birds liberated,orientated their way back to the lofts with ease,apart for a few which obviously set off in the wrong direction and corrected themselves and returned later in the day or the following morning… as 1984 pigeons from the 2,004 were home giving a percentage ratio of 99%
So this is it the start of the Derby Arona Tenerife one loft race 2021/22,a race which will dominate so many livelihoods over the next few weeks and months as we move forward to the final on March 26th,the route this year will be more challenging than usual as the AronaTeam have introduced more island training into the programme with distances of upto 70klm added meaning they will now be covering and flying the entire length of the island over the most testing of routes, this we believe will assist the pigeons and enhance their fitness in preparation for the cross Atlantic races they are set to complete.
Monday 20th December and the birds were again the basket with the 1984 pigeons which had completes tr1 on route to the 5klm stage for tr2 with a modest 22 degrees and clear blue skies Abel release his cargo at 12.50 into a light north easterly canarian breeze coming off the Atlantic
With the pigeon in the air everyone was watching the proceedings once again on live feed via the Arona website as the cameras displayed both the approach and landing of the pigeons on their return.
Benjamin Neag Austria 5thInternationalDerby Arona tr1 & 3rdInternational tr2
Taking the top honours today were the Slovakian team of Evin, Peter&Noemi with their pigeon “P 479” improving on its recent 3rdposition in tr 1 with today claiming 1stInternational tr2 with a time of 13.08.55.20,the Romanian team of AniiPigeonsWarriors claimed the runner up position with pigeon “cheroko” crossing the pad on 13.08.55.65. for 3rd we go to Austria where we see Benjamin Neag’s entry “La India” also holding onto a Top Spot and moving up from 5th in tr1 to 3rd on this occasion on a time of 13.08.55.75,its out across the Atlantic for 4thInternational as Team Mariadan from the USA claim the position with their entry “Abby” on 13.08.56.55,a non-activated venture pigeon came next so we`ll move on to the next arrival which came in from Belgium and Team P-S-S-S for on a technicality takes 5th International on a time of 13.08.57.31 with pigeon “Jan 326”, Team Continental Team Colombia Cuba &Lanzarote representing the island of Lanzarote take 6thSpot with their entry “Machado” on 13.08.58.30, Team Black Gold from the USA makes it a second arrival for their country as they came in with pigeon “Austin” on 13.08.58.60 for 7th,whilst the local entry and fancier representing Tenerife, MineloLoft Caboverde pigeon “Mindelo 2” came through on 13.09.00.25 for 8th,pigeon “Kleopatra” for team Germany and entrant FedoseevVitalij takes 9th place with a time of 13.09.00.90, holding off the 1stUK arrival of LanoakDarcey for TeamLanoakLofts in 10th with a time of 13.09.01.25
Team LanoakLofts 10thInternational 1stUK tr2
Once again, we witness the returns, which when finalised resulted with minimal losses with a 99.4% returns rate,which is pleasing to see as we move out to the 10klm in the coming days.
Some important information for the near future,as you will see on the returns list there are a group of Venture pigeons in the loft these have been bred specially for the race by the canarian breeding stud /Ledesma family and come down through many successful lines of stock which are responsible for top club federation and Spanish national winning performances, they are there to enable fanciers worldwide the opportunity of being part of the race which they would not of been able to do so due to transport difficulties and restrictions from their respected countries, these are available for activation NOW for a purchase fee of 100 euro plus activation fee totalling 325 euro per pigeon.
Secondly on the completion of training race 5 owners activation comes into force from December 27ththis a one off opportunity to activate your reserve pigeons bearing in mind they have come through several stages during the past few months in regards to the journey to the island, the settling in period,loft orientation and completed the 5 initial training flights…they have done their job for you!Now is the time to return the faith and get your activations completed prior to the cut-off date Jan 8th…each pigeon is set at 220 euro,failing to do so opens up the opportunity of outside interested parties coming through and taking over ownership of your pigeons in 3rd party activations and therefore claiming any prizes which maybe won by them during the series of hotspot races and of course the final race.
So were underway the next stage is training race 3 from 10klm and as we publish the results for tr1 & 2, were informed that although it hardly rains in the Canary islands due to being so close to Africa and the equator line,tr 3 from 10klm has been the casualty of such damp raining conditions and therefore this has been delayed for a day or so. And following such be going a little further out to 15klm and 20klm prior to the activation break and allows time for the team to take individual photosof all the pigeons and add them to your accounts for viewing.
On a personal note could new participants take the time to email the Arona team with a team photo this will assist me in highlighting and give you a profiled account of your achievements in the coming weeks.