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Derby Arona 22-02-19





by UK Press Officer Tom Harris



                            DERBY ARONA TENERIFE ONE LOFT RACE                

                                                 “YOUR NUMBER 1 WINTER SUN ONE LOFT RACE”              



With all island and sea training now completed the team were preparing to start the major races with the first hotspot race from the neighbouring island of Gran Canaria approx. 100klm east across the mighty Atlantic Ocean from the shores of Tenerife

With the prospects of  unsettled weather and strong coastal winds forecast over the  few days prior to the build-up  to the race ,the Arona team were concerned that conditions weren’t going to be right on the day advertised to take on such a challenge so with the welfare of the pigeons a priority they decided to delay the first hotspot race until things improved ,

In the meantime, to keep the pigeons focused and basket fit they decided to hold a short 35klm training whilst the poor conditions over the Atlantic cleared, this current weather pattern is a natural thing in the Canaries at this time of year as sand and high winds are known to sweep across the ocean from the Sahara Desert

With 2,113 pigeons basketed the night prior to liberation, the following morning abel and the team made the short journey north through Tenerife to the planned liberation site, and following a short rest and with conditions right they were able to get the pigeons away at 10.40 into 21klm variable wind and temperatures at a moderate 18 degrees




team Bodi Jozsef and Pigeon Bani is international race 17

At the lofts and on livestream fanciers were gathering and waiting for the first pigeons and as such as the time of previous training races from this distance came and went, there was a sigh of relief as on 30 mins flying time  the first arrivals were seen heading for the loft , as we would  expect after all the previous training and experience these pigeons have already overcome, todays flight shouldn’t of been much of a problem for them which was proven to be the case as hundreds of arrivals were by now circling above at various heights.

                            A bird’s eye view of the approach to the lofts during island training

With the leading pigeons  on the clock and hundreds following in, we waited for a  short period for the winning positions to be  announced ,taking the top honours with 1st international we go to the country of Hungary with team Bodi Jozsef and  pigeon Bani with its third top 10 position following on from 38th in race 4 and 77th in race 11 prior to today’s  achievement on, Team UK & Ireland timed in to take the runners up position and  2nd international as team Clive Browns Heroes representing England secured its place on a time of,a second arrival for Team Hungary takes 3rd international with team Backskai Sandor & Kellner Andrea with pigeon Sonyi on,marginaly ahead of two arrivals for team Belgium the first being team P.E.C. with pigeon Zanky on for 4th, just holding off the challenge from pigeon Lynn for Team Moors and Dochters in 5th, Team Wales came in 6th for new comer Paul Titcombe flying under the syndicate name of team Merrystone with pigeon Maggs on the clock on One of the main challengers at present for the ace pigeon comes in in 7th with the pigeon by the name of Bolero for Team Pouw & Willems on from the Netherlands. Whilst team Romania and pigeon Akta for team Hrab. Marius & Lesan Jonut just a decimal behind comes in on for 8th position. Benjamin Neag from Austria is again in amongst the leaders again today in 9th with pigeon Walking in the Wind on Team Wales record their second arrival as team Roy Davies rounds up the leaders with pigeon Cristy in 10th on

Pigeon Black Beauty for team Clive Browns Heroes England  1st UK/Ireland  2nd International race 17


 3rd International team Backskai Sandor & Kellner Andrea with pigeon Sonyi (Hungary)

As we gathered today event wasn’t going to be or shouldn’t of been  much strain on the pigeons after such a vigorous training schedule as the result shows as  in no time 99% of them were home after what seemed to be a routine exercise flight and with the final few drifting in throughout the day ,the team where pleased with a 100% returns rate in the preparation for hotspot one and first car race in the following days

Inma and Gladys at the Fugare show Belgium representing the Derby Arona  

Sunset and rest time for the pigeons the night before hot spot race 1 (Gran Canaria)                                        




 On the island of Tenerife the team were pleased to see  a rapidly improved forecast over the canary islands and Atlantic ocean in the  forthcoming coming weekend, clearly showing  the return of the traditional blue skies warmer temperatures and lower winds and with such  the team formally announced and published that basketing for hotspot one would take place on sat 16th Feb for a liberation the following morning from gran Canaria just over 100klm from one island to the lofts in the south of Tenerife for the  first car race of 2018/19 , this is the first of three  races, where the winner will be rewarded with the option of the car prize or  equivalent cash sum of 8,000 euro , with 2,113 pigeons safely on their way to the northern port of Santa Cruz for the late afternoon crossing to Gran Canaria. The excitement was brewing around the world as the nomination/pools was re-opened for participants to make a gamble on their entries which prior to liberation indicated over 4,000 euros where laid down in the hope of winning some additional prizes and additional interest and excitement  come the final result

         The route from gran Canaria to Tenerife, over the Atlantic Ocean

With the pigeons safely on the island of Gran Canaria and following the short journey to the liberation site over looking the Atlantic coastline towards Tenerife with Mount Tiede far away on the horizon, Abel & Co supplied a continuous supply of water to the birds overnight as an early liberation was planned for Sunday morning



Day break at the liberation site on Gran Canaria




 Team woodhouse boys 1st uk 1st international and hotspot car race 1 winners with pigeon DARK DIVA



Sunday morning and with the sun rising and all looking good both on site and the home end the final preparations were carried out to everyone’s satisfaction the pigeons were away 08.20 in a light 19klm north easterly breeze and a sunny 23-degree temperature 

With the pigeons airborne, and anticipating their crossing over the vast area of water below them, abel reported back that shortly after liberation a local peregrine was in the area  which disturbed the flock for a while as they orientated, to the despair to those hoping for a clear flight path  and  safe crossing once they got their bearings for home as in previous years from this liberation we experience that , some large batches can  be clearly  seen making progress heading out over the water some would return to the safety of land below , take a few minutes to gain height and then build up courage to once  again to have another go, this exercise goes on for a while until after a few attempts they appear to build up courage and make good headway  ,this is not an unusual practice as  we see it most years ,with the largest of batches pigeons clearing the liberation site leaving behind a few smaller batches  not  so keen to cross so remain hugging the Gran Canaria coastline waiting for their moment at the lofts and with excitement brewing over 120 viewers on livestream and more on various social media sites, sitting patiently to see the out come of todays race and the impact the peregrine may or not of had on the pigeons following liberation





From the liberation of 2113 pigeons ,it clearly appears  that three gallant pigeons had broke away from the main numbers and  headed straight for home as we all witnessed and watched them  landing way in front of the rest of the convoy  ,following a moment of anticipation they duly made their way in to the delight and anticipation of those watching  to record their arrival, with all interests now focused on the clock to see who was to be crowned the winner


Pigeons orientation from car race 1   


Taking top honours with 1st UK & Ireland 1st International were the Woodland Boys Syndicate representing England with pigeon Dark Diva just in front claiming todays major prize of the new car or cash equivalent plus the winner’s trophy with a winning time of Just two seconds behind the winner we go to Romania with pigeon Schuppl for team ion Ureche who takes the 2nd International position the runner up trophy along with the prize of 2,000 euro with a time of Team Wales and the Rhondda Rockets Syndicate take the third big prize and trophy along with 1,000 euro with 3rd International as their arrival Margavin makes up the leading trio as he recorded his arrival on

There was a clear six minutes on the clock before anymore arrivals could be seen as the first of the larger bunches were upon us with pigeons 4th to 10 also claiming cash prizes of 220 euro it was a race over the line to claim such amounts. Taking 4th with a time of was the first of two USA entries with pigeon named Replay for team Bruno Lofts just edging out his fellow countryman Carlos Abitia with pigeon Gale into 5th on The country of turkey came in for the 6th place with team Harun Bozar with pigeon Ertugrul on the clock on Team Mountain California friends from the Netherlands timed in their entry Enciinitas on to take the 7th position just ahead of entry of their closest  neighbours, as Dirk Verstichelen from Belgium records his and his nations first arrival  Arona 956 on> In 8th it’s a third arrival for Team USA who in their first year competing are making an impact on the race as pigeon Cork for Frank McLaughlin comes in for 9th with Team Taros from Italy claim’s the final 220-euro prize in 10th as pigeon Maka timed in, on


Team Rhondda Rockets Wales 3rd International hotspot 1 with pigeon Margavin

With the top ten covered there are still monies to be won by the following ten positions up to 20th where each will receive a prize of 100 euro these will go to the following fanciers. 11th team Fratti-strunga-Cosmin & George with pigeon Lune de Miel. Gaby from Sevilla. 12th team Maridean Lofts USA with pigeon Trosky. 13th team Battenburg-Merve & l Thanh.H with pigeon Ortega. 14th Fernec Csorna with Jazmin from Hungary. 15th Romania with pigeon Tenerife Boy for Syndicate Class 888 in 15th. Team Netherlands takes 16th with pigeon Nelly for team Knol pigeons. 17th is another USA arrival as pigeon Killer for the Flying Pilgrims. 18th were team Hrozan P & P with pigeon Kittel from Slovakia 19th. Kellys Irish Hero’s and pigeon Tony the Tiger comes in 19th for team England with the final reward going to team Poland as team Zanart and pigeon Zanart no 2 make up the top twenty places.

Over the following hours there was a steady flow of arrivals coming in and as night fell  Just under 1,000 pigeons had made their first ever adventure across the Atlantic Ocean back to the lofts. From first light on day two and three more pigeons had since returned and although there’s still a number away this is the Derby Arona and it has its challenges, some of which are the altitude and volcanic regions of island training followed by the cross Atlantic flights from islands to islands. The team are confident that with the pigeons at present a little reluctant to come across such an open span of water we assume they are probably still on the island of Gran Canaria and no doubt more pigeons will face the challenge of flying over in the next few days

ace pigeon current standings

As for the averages things are really starting to get serious now, with new pigeons starting to advance up the list challenging for honours, with pigeon Bolero holding top spot for Team Poew & Willems from the Netherlands with 56,104 pts. Team Austria move into 2nd place with pigeon General for team Robert Marjanovic on 53,666 pts, And in 3rd we go to Slovakia as team PJ Pigeons come into 3rd with pigeon PJ Lionel on 53,326pts.

There are just two major races now before the final which are hotspot 2 from Gran Canaria and the semi-final from Fuerteventura both are once again cash and car races ,when the semi-final race will include the unique double island crossing  a flight path that consists of two  open spans of the Atlantic ocean ,between the race point in Fuerteventura and gran Canaria then Gran Canaria to Tenerife  this will undoubtably test the pigeons endurance and ability even further.

Nominations with over 4,000 euro on the table for sea race 1

They then prepare for the ultimate race  which is the final race with a liberation from the eastern side of Fuerteventura, this is when a new champion will be crowned. Again it’s another challenge the pigeons will face  but rest assured following three sea crossings the pigeons will be  fully aware of what’s in front of them and will take it on with success and the crowds will be ever present at the lofts on the day to welcome them home a day full of atmosphere tension and excitement and possible tears for someone when the winner is announced.


  Live basketing march 2018

pre-final race procedures



For those present in Tenerife for the final race tickets for the welcome evening (30 euro inc transport)at a top Canarian restaurant and the gala evening (60 euro) at the mare nostrum resort can be obtain in advance by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at the loft during finals week dates for the diary.

Wednesday 27th march live basketing at the loft an opportunity to handle your entry prior to basketing

Thursday evening the formal welcome to Tenerife by the Ledesma family

Friday 29th march “THE BIG ONE” final race day

Saturday 30th march “THE PRESIGOUS GALA EVENING”

A night not to be missed when all winners and achievers are rewarded


         Gala night and traditional canarian entertainment


Already they are having enquires for the next series to the Derby Arona Tenerife one loft race “The number 1 winter sun one loft race. From the UK two shipment will be transported to Tenerife in June and Sept, costs are 220 euro for a team of five (1 paid 4 reserves) plus shipping costs, remember at the Arona you only pay for a team entry (220 euro) on arrival and reserves in December after a minimum of five training races.,

Tom Harris