Report: Hotspot Race 1 “THE SURVIVAL RACE”

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Gran Canaria Hotspot Race 1 “THE SURVIVAL RACE”

Winner Team Walcheren Netherlands

With the newly improved island training programed completed its time to take a big step towards the final as we cross over for the Atlantic for the first of three hotspot races from the neighboring island of Gran Canaria a distance of approx. 100klm of virtually all AtlanticOcean back to the lofts positioned in the south of Tenerife.

With a well-documented journey which started at midday on Tuesday the convoy of 1.220 pigeons made the first part of the journey north to the port of Santa Cruz where they took the midday ferry east towards Gran Canaria,the journey then continued once they had docked in Gran Canaria as the made there way to the liberation site,the official site used by local federations overlooking the Atlantic in the direction of Tenerife,with the lorry parked up a fresh supply of water was offered to the birds whilst they were left to settle overnight in anticipation for an early morning liberation the following day.

Team Walcheren,Netherlands Hotspot race 1 “The Survival Race” winner with pigeon “ELs”

Liberation day and as predicted as morning came giving a clear line with good visibility out over the Atlantic Abel released this year’s Hotspot 1 entries at 08:00 into a light morning north easterly breeze, following the liberation as were witnessed for many years the pigeons at first are reluctant to face the fear of open waters and can clearly be seen on the liberation film making several attempts at first to go out to sea but reluctant to committing to take the right path over towards home,they turn and head back to safety of land below,this they do for several minutes until such time that there’s no pigeons at the liberation site as some appear to have gone forward other’s continued to hug the coastline waiting the courage to cross over.

Team PEC &Batenberg,Belgium 2nd International Hotspot 1 with pigeon “Aragon”

At the loft with livestream running through out,everyone was eager to see the first arrivals however with the team having no alternative this year other than to train hard over the island of Tenerife and then step across to Gran Canaria due to ferry limitations available to them for sea liberations, everyone was a little nervous to see what sort of race we would experience,as were all knowledable over many years as to what this race involves due to flying over wide open areas of the Atlantic Ocean for the first time of asking,some will cross soon after liberation, some will wait and come later in the day or the following days,whilst others are even more reluctant and refuse to come hence the name race known as “The Survival Race ” for such reasons.

Team Creemers&Zoon, Belgium 3rd International Hotspot race 1 with pigeon “Wout”

With the hour mark passing things got a little quiet on liverstream as many kept a watchful eye on both the flying time and trapping area however the wait was over as the first arrivals recorded their return as the clock moved toward the hour and half mark.

Taking the honor of 1st International Derby AronaHotspot race 1 “The Survival Race” therefore claiming the 6.000 1st prize and winner’s trophy we head to The Netherlands with the syndicate of Team Walcheren and the arrival of their entry “Els” witha flying time 09.31.51.80


Team Dirk &KlaasBuwalda,Netherlands 4th International Hotspot 1 with pigeon “Habermas”

In 2nd place winning the sum of 1.000 euro and the runner up award we see Team PEC&Batenburg partnership from Belgium with pigeon “Aragon” in the clock on 09.31.55.00, a second arrival for team Belgium also claims 3rd Spot and the final trophy for this race as the father and son syn of Creemers&Zoon seen one of their entries by the name of “Wout” receiving the 750 euro prize on 09.32.40.25,for 4th International and winning the first of the 220 euro prizes for positions from 4th to 10th we go back to the winning nation of The Netherlands this time Team Dirk &KlaasBuwalda timed in pigeon “Habermas” on 09.32.43.75, for 5th International we jump over the Atlantic to team USA with Team Hogan Family with their arrival “Blanana” on 09.32.47.35,it’s a third arrival for The Netherlands in 6th as Team Bustraan Pigeons record the arrival of their pigeon “Eef 3” 09.32.47.65,team Slovakia see’s pigeon by the name of “Portos” for Simon Urban home and records a time of 09.32.48.65 for 7th International,narrowly ahead of a second arrival and claiming 8th for Team PEC&Batenburg with pigeon “Daina” in the clock on 09.32.48.25,for 9th International we see team germany entry by the name of “Baby” for Team JörgUnglaube on 09.32.49.20 with that holding team the Belgium,Team of PEC into 10th with pigeon “Levi” on 09.32.50.45

Pigeon “Blanana” for Team Hogan Family U.S.A., 5th International Hotspot 1

With the Top Ten positions covered and all receiving their respected congratulations the prize money doesn’t stop there in Arona as the next ten pigeons also make claim to 100 euro each this is award as follows 11th Team FedoseevVitalij,Germany,with pigeon “Puppchen” 12th team Hungary with Team Barócs and pigeon “Erino” 13th a third arrival for Team PEC &Batenburg,Belgium with pigeon “Beijing”, 14th team Hungary as pigeon “Storm Cloud” for ViglidanPéter&Monika, Team PEC &Batenburg enjoyed their day with a 4th arrival in pigeon “Vicky” for 15th,pigeon “Melania”for JoséL.García from Puerto Rico claims 16th, Adriel Gutiérrez from Tenerife sees pigeon “Jennie” for 17th,in 18th with the first UK pigeon is “Milly’sLoft syn from England with pigeon “Hong Kong Milly”,whilst 19th goes to team Slovakia as Team Simon Urban sees his second returnee with pigeon “Atos” and finally team Turkey take the final part of today’s payout in 20th with pigeon “Shelby GT” for Team AhmedCavdar.

Team Bustraan Pigeons, Netherlands 6th International hs1 with pigeon “Eef 3”

As we witnessed the first few batches of pigeons to come through at regular intervals, they did so without any struggle or concern but as the day went on the batches became smaller until we were seeing brave and courageous pigeons returning on their own, right though to nightfall as 545 pigeons from the 1.220 released had braved their biggest fear and overcome the Atlantic crossing.

Day 2 and with previous training flights and with livestream continuing to monitor the loft and trapping area,we were hoping for a large number of pigeons from first light which we assumed hadn’t come over from Gran Canaria the day before, in hope that overnight they would have decided to face there fears and return in numbers, but sadly this wasn’t to be as Team Will Curtis started todays returns shortly after 07.30 and from there on we seen a constant flow at regular intervals and as day two closed the numbers had risen slightly to a disappointing 592.

So that’s the Survival Race completed for another year, disappointingly for some which is always the case,it’s the pinnacle race in the Derby Aronaprogramed a race where pigeons are asked for the first time of asking to face the ultimate fear of flying over the Atlantic Ocean,it’s a race that’s unavoidable as all the racing at club Federation and One Loft racing in this part of the world is based on the courage and will power to fly across the water between islands to return home,we did see a further thirteen pigeons on day 3…and hope as time goes on more will finally come,which is often the case from this race,(just to clarify if that’s the case any returns will rejoin the race if found to fit and uninjured).

Gran CanariaEndurance Race 1

With the days that past from the Survival Race we see that the numbers were up slightly from when we left them,as the team prepared to return to Gran Canaria for the first of what’s known as Endurance races there’s no big prizes or trophies for this race as its just to encourage and enhance the pigeons that remain in the loft to fly such a testing line with minimal stress or fear,but to reward the leaders the team have again warded the Top Ten pigeons participants with a 220 euro usable credit for the next series of the Derby Arona.

JoséL.GarcíaCruz, Puerto Rico 1st International Endurance race 1 with “Super Aldo”

With 605 pigeons loaded and taking on the familiar route taken for the previous Survival Race the pigeons were reported to be on site by late afternoon on the Saturday when once again the team were planning on another early liberation the following morning before the temperatures rise.

Sunday morning at 08:00 with a respectable 18 degrees the team got the birds away nice and early   with broken cloud and a north easterly on wind site, shortly after release we could seevia the livefeed the birds working in a group closely knitting together and within minutes it was pleasing to see that all the birds had cleared the liberation site, hopefully on the correct line for home.

Pigeon “Basia” 2nd International Endurance Race 1 for Team ZettiReinhold,Germany

Taking Top Honors of first International Endurance Race One, we see the PuertoRico team of José L.GarcíaCruz seeing his entry “Super Ado” taking the Top Spot on 09.22.03.60,taking the runner up position we go to team Germany as Team ZettiReinhold with pigeon “Basia” timing in on 09.22.04.70,team England time in two arrivals for 3rd and 4th International headed by Team New Cut Warriors with pigeon “Ryun” on 09.22.05.40 followed by Team Will Curtis with pigeon “Peaty” on 09.22.06.45,the syndicate of KrajcikDaniel & Andrea recorded their entry “ADK 72” for 6th with a time of 09.22.08.85 taking 5th, closely followed by pigeon “Botones” for Team Tomasz “Wiczling from Poland in 6th timing in on 09.22.09.25, Team ViglidanPéter&Monika come in for 7th as they see pigeon “Storm Cloud” on 09.22.10.10,just decimals in front of Team Triple L from Scotland are so far enjoying their first year in Arona as they see pigeon new bridesmaid in 8th on 09.22.10 Team Hogan Family from the USA are in amongst the front runners once again with pigeon “Blanana” holding form for 9th on this occasion timing on 09.22.10.60 leaving Team Club Café de Colombia with pigeon “Sky” claiming 10th on 09.22.11.05

Pigeon “Ryun” for Team New Cut Warriors,England 3rd International Endurance race 1

Once again it was a close finish,with only decimals separating the leading birds which was pleasing as fifty arrivals battled it out for the Top positions,with more arrivals in the minutes that followed the outlook looked a lot brighter as 508 pigeons from the 608 liberated had safely crossed the Atlantic for the second time proving that whilst the Survival Race takes its toll on the pigeons in regards to losses for a large percentage of pigeons,once they cross over for the first time they adapt to what’s before them and take future crossings much easier.

Day 2 and with a approx. 20% of the pigeons missing from the day before we would of hoped for many more once the sun came up, but sadly just twenty entries had made the journey as night fell on day two,but there’s always the chance and the hope that on days that follow more may come.

Pigeon “Agache” leader of The King of Sprint Averages

The Derby Arona team and Ledesma family prepare to welcome fanciers from around the world                          to the sunny island of Tenerife for this year’s Final Race

With two more races completed its time to check in on The King of Sprint Averages and whilst Team Highway Lofts pigeon “Celtic Tarzan” from Ireland had jumped into the lead following the Survival race, it all changed again following the Endurance Race as we see pigeon “Agache” for Team Agache from Tenerife restoring its past form coming back to the Top once again with 41.316 pts, after a brief spell Team Highway Lofts and pigeon “Celtic Tarzan” drop one place for second with 41.119 pts whilst 3rd goes to Team De Duivenrienden from The Netherlands with pigeon “Dogwood” on 40.108 pts.

Basketing for the Final Race

Many fanciers who will once again be at the loft to see this year’s champions home with the racing becoming more intense as were now in the money races the Arona team are working on the plans for the forthcoming Final Race week, the Ledesma family have confirmed a full programmer for fanciers who will be on the island of Tenerife with the following itinerary planned.

Thursday “Live Basketing” at the loft an opportunity to see and handle your entry for the first time since putting them in the care of the loft team.

Friday evening the Arona team welcome fanciers to join them for the “Welcome Evening” a night at a top Canarian restaurant,for the price of 40 euro per person including return transport from various pick up and drop off points.

Saturday 26th March “The Race” a time when we all come together to witness and welcome the 2022 Derby Arona finalist’s and crown this years “ARONA CHAMPION”

The Gala night, a night of colors and celebrations planned for this years welcomed guests.

The year comes to an end with the Gala night,a night when all returning finalists, Hotspot Race winner and Final Race awards are presented to their respected recipients,the evening is planned to be stage at the familiar “Marenostrum” in Playa de Las Américas tickets are available to order priced at 70 euro per person.

Tom Harris