The latest adventure in the Derby ARONA
Sea Race One
With phases 1 & 2 (pre selection and island training) completed we`re into phase three of the 2018/19 Derby Arona Tenerife One Loft Race as we head out in the Atlantic ocean for the first of many sea crossing that await the pigeons from here to the final.
With 2,391 pigeons still in the competition Abel made the early morning journey under the hours of darkness in time to reach the port of Santa Cruz in ample time for the crossing to Gran Canaria.
With the ferry times scheduled at such times it meant for this year at the moment to get an early release from between island the birds would need to be transported to Gran Canaria and duly liberated on the return leg back to Tenerife once the advertised distance was reached.
Following dis-embarkment at Gran Canaria and the reloading the transporter took up its position at the rear of the vessel as preparation was underway, once the captain reduced speed and allowed the pigeons to be liberated.
At the lofts although it was still early a few fanciers were present at the loft with the team to welcome the pigeons once the confirmed liberation time was confirmed at 8am. After regaining connection with able, we were able to confirm that the pigeons were liberated at 08.50 in a north easterly wind and broken dawn sky and were seen to be making headway ahead of the ferry heading back towards the island of Tenerife with many fanciers present watching keenly into the skies above the loft and those on the many links available it was just under the hour mark that the first of many pigeons were seen to be arriving and pitching the loft and making their way in.
Taking 1st International we go to team Austria and Team Ferenc as pigeon “Ferenc 27” records its arrival and second 1st International winning position after winning race five on a time of 09.45.24 20, team Belgium recorded 2nd and 3rd places with Team de Moor Petrus & Gunther entry “Nancy” claiming the runner up spot on 09.45.24.65, holding off the challenge of pigeon “Spikklewout” for Team Vandenberghe in 3rd on 09.45.27.45, team Ireland heads a flurry of UK entries at 4th as pigeon “Ballyellis” for Team Owen Dunbar with its nose in front that takes the first UK/Ireland honours on 09.45.27.95, Eddy Casey & Rainbows syndicate England take 5th with pigeon “Faggsy” crosses the line at 09.45.28.95 followed by Team Lincs England with pigeon “Tothby” in 6th on 0945.29.65, whilst Team Fev Flyiers the 2017 Hotspot Car winning syndicate also from England rounds of the quorum taking 7th with pigeon “Ciclon” on 09.45.31.95, it’s Team Horvath & Varga from Hungary that come in to take 8th with pigeon “Rebi” at 09.45.32.50, as Team Dream record a third arrival for team Belgium with their pigeon “Kato” on 09.45.32.50, Bobby Dalziel and his Team Ettrick entry “Ettrick Pride” from Scotland round off a good performance for the UK with 10th on a time of 09.45.33.15.
The first sea race for these pigeons in recent years has on times been an awkward liberation but today they seemed to taken the challenge head on, following the liberation from the rear of a moving vessel at mid seas.
With the first arrivals safely on the clock and clearly showing, we then witnessed a technical hitch as the livestream went down for a short while, a little disappointing for those watching but we must remember this is a small island in the middle of the Atlantic and at times these things can and do happen, with Jose working continuously to reconnect the filming by such time to the relief and delight of the Arona Team the majority of the pigeons were home, as we could once visually welcome the later arrivals.
At the end of day one 2.079 pigeons were perched and with more expected the following day and the days that followed by the end of day 4 considering the amount of miles these pigeons may well have covered the returns rate was again over 93% as 2219+ pigeons prepare themselves ready for the next challenge.
With the introduction of sea racing this also prompted the opening of the nominations and with many participants opting to take up the opportunity of putting down a few euros it brings a new dimension to the racing from here on in with Owen Dunbar in fourth took up this option and gladly accepted the first share of the 1, 2 & 5 euro stake as others continued through to 50 & 100 euros.
The Ace Pigeon Challenge is also gathering momentum as the top three swop and change in the fight for top spot hover as we go into sea race three it’s the Netherlands partnership of Team Pouw & Willems and pigeon “Bolero” at the top on 40,916 pts close behind are Team Castermanns & Maes with pigeon “Cindy” on 39,304 pts and Team Hageman and van Acker with pigeon “Dark Barcelona”.
With the sea racing underway it won’t belong before we look ahead to the hotspot races and the big finale at the end of March when this year’s champion will be crowned.
For those many fanciers from around the world that will be present on the island to witness the last race, proceeding get underway on Wednesday 26th March with open basketing at the loft, followed by the Welcome night, Final Race on Fri 29th and the prestigious Gala night unmatched by most which will bring the curtain down on the Derby Arona event, tickets for the Welcome meal hosted by the Ledesma family and the gala night can be reserved in advance or at the loft on such days prior.
So as we look forward to the basketing list for Sea Race 2 we end by wishing the Arona Team and all participants and the pigeons the luck they deserve in the challenging times ahead.