by Neil Crean
Review of the INFC & Channel Races 2014
Mulcahy Bros, victorious from St Alloustre.
The Cork Federation got off to a great start this season with members now competing for top honours such as the Millar Gold Cup and also now with the Irish National Flying Club from all the UK and French race points. In previous years the members of Cork always raced from Scotland so to keep a balance a Scottish race point was also selected.
Mauchaline was selected as the Scottish race point and proved to be a testing race for all who entered. First to time in was the ever consistent loft of Jim Willis of Mallow who timed in his dark chequer cock to win the race at nightfall. Only 5 day birds were recorded and these were owned by Jim Willis, P Long & Sons, Keith Ryan, A. Bulman & N Crean. Two further pigeons were recorded on the second day by Mulcahy Bros and Wall Bros.
The first INFC race was the Yearling National and topping the federation was former Millar Gold and IHUNFC winner Tom Cahill. Tom has always been a firm supporter of the INFC and classic races.
The Millar Gold Cup race prooved a very hard task for the Cork pigeons when no day birds were recorded. The first bird reported was from fed secretary and treasurer Alan O Connell. His blue hen was a game yearling and took top honours. His win was followed closely by a cracking pencil cock owned by Billy Wallace of Cork Southern. These two game birds were the only two recorded in race time.
The Penzance Old Bird race was flown in conjunction with the Irish South Road Federation from Penzance and the federation would like to thank the ISRF for their support over the last number of years. The Mulcahy Bros timed their White Roland Jannsen hen to take top honours and win the first of their three federations for the 2014 season.
The highlight of everyone’s calander must always be the coveted King George Challenge Trophy from St Alloustre. With only a few gallant birds reported by what can only be described as Ireland’s Top Fanciers the hope of Cork timing in was slowly burning out. At 7:30 on the third morning the Mulcahy Bros reported their Blue W/F cock had arrived badly injured. This gallant pigeon was their Single Bird Challenge entry and has had plenty of experience on the channel. He had topped the federation from Coleraine only two weeks earlier and the lads said that he was in the form of his life. His previous channel history consisted of Hamilton as a yearling returning injured and St Malo as a two year old taking 6th open federation. He returned from St Alloustre last season out of race time but the lads weren’t completely satisfied with the team and couldn’t pinpoint the problem. This season all went according to plan and as stated above the cock now named ‘Nora’s Boy’ won two of the three federations lifted by the Brothers.
The Quimper race was yet again another nail biting race with a replica of the King’s Cup race, with no day birds and no second day birds and again on the third morning a single pigeon dropped on the loft of the Wall Bros to take the 1st open position. They are no strangers to success and this was another well deserved win. Unfortunately one of the partners, Denis, has had a tough year with his health and as expected the focus this season was not with pigeons. We wish him a speedy recovery.
The main milestone for Cork pigeon racing was with the one and only young bird channel race and this was flown from Penzance in Cornwall. Most Cork fanciers were looking forward to topping the federation from this race point and a dream was realised for Billy Mc Carthy when his blue hen took top honours by not only topping the federation but by also topping the INFC. This performance will now go down in the history books and will hopefully encourage more members to chase the dream of an INFC win. Mark Hegerty finished in second position and John Oldham 15th open - this was in the INFC result. Of the 94 day birds recorded there were 5 in the Cork Station and all credit must go to Brian O Leary for dedicating his time to running the station, especially when this is holiday time for his family and he travels from his holiday home to the marking station in order to read off the clocks. Getting back to the race, I think it fair to mention that Billy Mc Carthy also had three federation wins, topping the fed from Malin Head for old birds and also topping the federation the following week with young birds. Malin Head to Cork is approximately 245 miles. The five day birds recorded in the federation from Penzance were Billy Mc Carthy, Mark Hegerty, John Oldham, Mark Hegerty, N. Crean.
A special thank you to Thomas Murphy and Tom Cahill for organising and transporting the birds to the marking station.
Jim & Nora Willis
Alan O Connell with daughter Courtney
Billy Mc Carthy
N. Crean and sons Ryan and Daniel
Barry Long of P. Long & Sons