SEA RACE 1 & 2

The Ultimate Challenge in One Loft Racing

We are now approaching February and the serious end of the campaign in the derby Arona One Loft Race in Tenerife, after a series of eleven island training races we are preparing to adventure out into the Atlantic towards the island of Gran Canaria with four mid sea liberation’s before we reach the neighbouring island which is approx 100 klm from land to land.


Jan 31st and for the first sea liberation the pigeons were loaded on the rear of the commercial ferry, from the Fred Olsen fleet, which was bound for Gran Canaria and with a 10.15 departure from the port of Santa Cruz it wasn’t long before they had reached their planned distance of 5 klm off shore giving an approx flying distance of 65 klm land and 5klm of Atlantic Ocean ,with the captain of the vessel kindly reducing the speed tier by tier the liberation was underway with the 2,104 pigeons safely liberated at 10.35 into a light north westerly wind and clear blue skies above

With all the birds airborne and after overcoming the experience of a liberation over the water the video later produced by the Arona Team clearly showed the batches slowly moving back in towards the shore line and heading southerly in the direction of home.

At the lofts and on livestream which by such time was hosting a record number of viewers as 200+ watchers were taking advantage of the internet facilities, we all sat back to see how the new liberation experience would affect the returns.


“Bronco” 1ST INTERNATIONAL SEA RACE 1 for Team Schnellin
“Bronco” 1ST INTERNATIONAL SEA RACE 1 for Team Schnellin

It’s was just over forty five minutes of flight that the first pigeons were seen approaching and after a circle to reduce height the first batch soon landed and entered the loft, taking pole position was team Germany as Team Schnellin and pigeon “Bronco” takes the leading honour with a time of, this pigeon has hit some form over the past couple of flights appearing in the leading batch on many occasions with positions such as 8th, 22nd, and 5th in previous flights, and now 1st place in Sea Race one, in 2nd place just a few seconds behind it’s the welsh entry claiming 1st UK 2nd International for Paul Bamford with his entry “Glad Tidings” timing in at, followed by a second arrival for Paul as Rene crossed the line to take 4th position at, dividing these two representing team Belgium, was last year’s car winner Filip de Smedt’s who timed in “Buzzlord” at to take the 3rd position,


Paul Bamford (Wales) 2nd and 4th Internationl 1st UK/Ireland
Paul Bamford (Wales) 2nd and 4th Internationl 1st UK/Ireland

For 5th we go to the Netherlands and to a fancier with a remarkable one loft race record around the world, Hok M. Reijnen with pigeon “Sarka Montana” on the clock at, Team China takes the 6th Spot as Team Haiye Bai Fuqing and his entry “Zofie” times in on 11.22.59 50, team Czech republic takes the 7th position with pigeon “Asnyk” for Team B.O. Zaolzie once again appears in amongst the leaders with a time of, whilst Philippe Haquette from France timed in his entry “Leonore” for 8th position marking its arrival with a time of, in 9th we go back to the winning country as team Germany records its second arrival with pigeon “Octopussy” entered by Team Micheal Zeug keeps himself amongst the first birds after it’s 8th position in race 10 on this occasion recording a time of, to finalise the top ten in this race its pigeon “Angelina” for Team Yahvé & Oliveiro from Gran Canaria on


3rd International Sea Race 2 Filip de Smedt (Belgium)
3rd International Sea Race 2 Filip de Smedt (Belgium)

With the birds making good time the arrivals were clearing enjoying their new experience as in less than ten minutes once again over 1,000 pigeons were safely home and recorded ,with large numbers returning in groups there were still a few away as the afternoon went on but thankfully more and more turned in to the delight of the Arona team and for the many participants who stayed and watched the extended livestream and arrival of their pigeons, the steady flow of pigeons continuing up until nightfall and considering the location of the liberation from a moving vessel 1,853 pigeons were safely perched when darkness fell on the island, and with a further 60 pigeons returning the following morning it gave Sea Race 1 a pleasing returns percentage of over 90%


1st international winner sona for Czech republic   Team Konopik & Motre
1st international winner sona for Czech republic Team Konopik & Motre

So with a new experience behind them the convoy were once again on route on Friday morning for another sea liberation a further 5 klm out from the previous adventure and with the 1,908 pigeons remaining in the competition they were once again loaded for departure a little later than anticipated due to the late arrival of the inbound vessel and after a quick turnaround they were soon on their way back out to sea

Upon reaching the 10klm marker at 11.05 and with the traditional canarian weather of blue skies and a light wind the go ahead was given to liberate as the birds departed from the rear towards land which they could see on the horizon as the birds batched and slowly made their way to shore, at the loft we once again awaited their arrival

for those who have in recent years had the experience of the Arona race these training races whilst they come across as a little daunting in the fact they are released at sea, its these training races which are more essential than any short land training to provide the courage and faith for the pigeons to enter out over open waters ,once the liberation’s start from the island of Gran Canaria, in the near future.

MR & MRS Brian Clayburn (England 1st UK/Ireland 2nd Internal Sea Race 2

MR & MRS Brian Clayburn (England 1st UK/Ireland 2nd Internal Sea Race 2

Anyway back at the loft, and with both the Arona team and the hundreds of fanciers on line having a visual on the skies above one pigeon became within our sights as it landed and entered the loft, everyone awaited news of what may be the winner and with no other pigeons to be seen our thoughts were as to what may have happened to the remainder of the flock however it soon became clear that this was identified and we were informed that it was a pigeon from an earlier race which had turned up .. Which is often the case in one loft races they always seem to appear when all thoughts are on the next race?

With the late arrival removed from the result it was just five minutes later that the first flock of what were from today’s release were seen and duly entered the loft, the eventual winner was then declared as the Czech republic Team Konopik & Motre with pigeon “Sona” taking the hours with a time of,this gamer pigeon has held a steady average since the restart of training with many high scoring performances to its credit including three times in the leading one hundred pigeons with positions such as 3rd 34th and 69th, in 2nd position it’s the first arrival for Team GB/Ireland with Brian Clayburn representing England timing his entry little big cam on the clock just a few seconds behind the winner at, in 3rd we head to team Romania with Team Cristuinea Florin-Derby Corabia entry dogwood recording it’s presence at,for 4th spot we stay out in eastern Europe with team Slovakia and pigeon “Laika” for Team Blazenec & Vano timed in at just edging out. Team Breese Pigeons Friends from Belgium into the 5th spot with their entry “Marie-Julie” timing in on, in 6th it’s pigeon “Bronco” which was the sea race one winner for Team Schnellin from Germany which once again showed consistency once again timing in amongst the leading birds at for 7th we head across to Gran Canaria as Team Flor entry “Nephtys” is again there for the syndicate on, just in front of Team Henriksen of Denmark who I had the pleasure of meeting at last year final race for the first time with pigeon “Savik” at so congratulations to them in 8th, in 9th its Team Greg from Poland with pigeon duly named “Greg 941” timing in at and completing the top ten its 2nd arrival for team Germany with Team Blummers and pigeon “Cross Roads” on the clock at

Team Cristuinea Florin-DerbyCorabia 3RD SEA RACE 2
Team Cristuinea Florin-DerbyCorabia 3RD SEA RACE 2

So there’s this week two training results and what is becoming apparent is the level of competition as to the results what other one loft race can produce a top ten result containing pigeons from nine different countries and further more as the racing is progressing to new grounds the names of individual pigeons are receiving a regular mention amongst the leading pigeons which is also good to see, as it shows the level of competition within the race

As for the averages and ace pigeon award well once again they have also been moving about race by race however at this current time taking the honours is still in




1 Austria “Les Paul”, Alois Wiefler 29592 Club Austria

2 Ireland “Celtic Capall” Team Highway Lofts 29360 Irish Homing Union

3 Norway “Wonderduk” Team Gebert & Iura 29060 Norge Racing Pigeon Club

4 Rumania “Transilvania Boy”, Class 888, 28191Romania

5England “Eddie” Team Casey & Rainbow 28177 RPRA (Pigeon Association)

6 Belgium “Martha 3” Team Leyen-Segers-Paloma Racing 27821 Club Olijftak Maaseik

7 Germany “Octopussy” Michael Zeug 27802Germany Club

8 Gran Canaria “Goku” Team Zeolita 27764 La Paloma Mensajera

9 England “Batman” David Hinkel 27661 RPRA (Pigeon Association)

10 Germany “Idolidia” Hans-Paul Esser 27548 Düssel

So we’re half way across the Atlantic now between the two islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, and with a further two liberation’s before we reach land again and the start of the money races, we are hopeful the remaining training will go to plan and we will have the biggest team of pigeons ever to take on the challenge of island to island flying challenging for the prizes on offer in the forthcoming Hotspot races.

Tom Harris