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ALENCON CLASSIC (7th May 2011)


This is the provisional First Bird report for the London and South East Classic's opening race of the 2011 season from Alencon, when 170 members sent 1811 birds. The birds were liberated at 09.15 am into a light south east wind. Congratulations to all section winners. It was great to see that all these winners were in the first 16 of the first birds verified.

1st Open 1st SW Section:  Clive Turner of Capel with a 3 year Van Reet x Janssen Roundabout Cock. Clive explained this cock was one of his most consistent pigeons in recent years winning 3rd Club, 15th Fed Lulworth as a young bird, 3rd club 6th Fed from Yelverton and 1st Club 6th Fed Tours as a yearling. As a two year old he won 2nd club, 3rd Fed Kingsdown and this year 1st Club Newton Abbott. This classic success was this cock's 5th race of the Season.

2nd Open, 2nd SW Section: Tony and Guda Dann of Leatherhead with their top blue hen ‘Molly’, of Steven Van Breeman lines. Originally Tony’s father, Wally, purchased four birds from Matt Rakes and upon Tony's dad passing these birds were transferred to Tony, and ‘Molly’ was bred from these pairings. ‘Molly’ previously won 3rd Open when Tony won the first three positions in the Lion Brewery Open Race from Merville. This season it was Molly’s first race on Roundabout.

3rd Open, 3rd Section was Ron Poole of Warnham. Ron clocked a yearling blue chequer cock on roundabout. This was his 4th race of the season, and he's bred from Ron’s old family of Desmet Matthijs x Eric Cannon.

4th Open 4th SW Section was the ultra successful Mark Gilbert of Windsor. Mark’s winning pigeon was a son of his international winner from Dax when paired to a Koopman hen. This game blue two year old cock previously won 88th Open NFC. Mark also had a further two pigeon on the ETS with seconds between them. His second pigeon was again a 2 year old blue cock and his bloodlines are Van Elasacker. The Gilbert loft's third pigeon was a 2 year old blue chequer Koopman x Gaby Vandenbeele; all three were flown on roundabout and beat Mark’s widowhood team.

5th Open 5th SW Section was Daryll Luxford of Horley with his 4 year old cock called ‘Lampard’ and he has previously won 2nd club, 12th North Section in the Fed from Poole and last season won 148th open from the L&SECC Tours last season. This cock has always played a supporting role until last week, when on his first season on widowhood was Daryll’s first bird from Blandford! In 2009 he flew Tarbes 548miles and arrived on the 4th day. His breeding is Van Bruane x a Mike Page Janssen hen.

7th Open, 1st NW Section was Mr N Walker of New Denham. This 2 year old cock won as a young bird and was sent Natural. To date he has raced every week in his club including Monday following a hold over. His bloodlines are Busschaert, and Mr Walker was saying he expects his birds to go every week providing they are healthy.

8th Open 1st SE Section was another outstanding partnership, Mr Mrs Steetfield of Snodland in Kent.Considering the wind, this was in fact a great performance to be in the Top 10 of the provisional first bird result. This Blue Chequer Yearling Widowhood cock was certainly on form as he was 3rd club, 3rd fed the previous week, when the loft took the fist three in the fed; prior to Alencon he had 4 in land races. His father was bred by the Dutch partnership of Jan and Tom Deraff, and the dam is a Gaby Vandenbeele bred by John Palmer and gifted to the Streetfields. This chequer cock's nest mate also won as a young bird. The loft has started in tremendous form winning 2nd club, 10th Fed, and then the first five in club and fed, followed by 2nd club, 2nd fed, and last week the first three in the club plus 2nd and 7th Fed.

16th Open 1st NE Section was Jutla Bros of Upton Park. This Yearling Blue Hen was bred by their good friend Frank Beck of Royal Oak Lofts and is of the Verveck Bloodlines. Sent paired to another hen and sitting, she lost a few minutes trapping due to arriving with a stray and not wanting to trap. This was her first race over the channel and she has won minor positions at club and fed as a young bird.


This result may vary dependant on second and subsequent birds being clocked, but a great start to the season for those above mentioned.



WEATHER REPORT ALENCON (07/05/2011) - From Steve Appleby

After many days of fine settled weather a complex situation developed during Friday night which generated heavy showers, some of them thundery. These were located over the Channel early Saturday morning. Monitoring these showers showed they were migrating up from France across the channel into southern England.  But all was not doom and gloom as good weather from France followed on behind. As these heavy showers moved northwards a window of good weather presented itself for the LSECC birds racing from Alencon.  I informed Rube Johnson our convoyer that he had a clear flight path to the southeast of England and the birds were away at 09:15. Winds from the southeast were light over land but stronger over the open sea. This was evident viewing the provisional result and seeing the high velocities recorded by the leading birds.


CONVOYER’S RACE REPORT ALENCON (07/05/2011) - From Rube Johnson

For several days before the first L&SECC event from Alencon, according to the early weather reports, it looked like it was going to be a very good race, with the wind being in the South East over the English Channel that weekend. True to the predictions by the weather people, I liberated the 1,800 plus birds in a South Easterly wind at Alencon and according to phone calls received on my return home, late on Saturday night the members enjoyed a very good race, with excellent returns.  


My assistant, Ian Mead, and I delivered the baskets to marking stations on Thursday, the day before marking. On the Friday marking day we did our pick ups in Essex and Kent, and arrived back at the main marking station at North Leatherhead Community Centre at 12.15hrs. All the birds were watered at the marking stations. I must say the whole marking and pick procedure went very smooth and this being my first race as Classic convoyer, I was very impressed with the new race crates. They were very well constructed and with only 11 birds in each crate they look brilliant! We arrived at Portsmouth docks at 16.00hrs, watered the birds on arrival and sailed for Caen at 22.45hrs. We arrived at the Alencon liberation site at 08.00hrs and the birds were watered on arrival. I rang my race advisor, Steve Appleby, at 08.30hrs and he gave me a good weather report for the English Channel and main land England, which was set for the rest of the day. We cut the strings and liberated at 09.15hrs in a light South East wind and the birds formed one batch and cleared the site very quickly in a northerly direction. On our arrival back at Caen Ferry Port we found the English Channel was crystal clear, but the South East wind was much stronger on the coast. I anticipated a very good race! Thanks to Ian Mead for all his good work over the Alencon weekend.