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Derby Arona 21-02-18


                                 The Derby Arona Tenerife One Loft Race        

                       Taking on nature across the Atlantic Ocean 


After the recent excitement of car race one and congratulations to team schnellin from Germany with pigeon named "daddy" taking the first of three hotspot race car prizes, the Arona team have kept up with the race plan schedule that they implemented from the start by staging a short island exercise training race from the small residential village of fasnia, a distance of approx. 35klm to the lofts in guaza positioned between the familiar resorts of los cristianos playa las Americas and the southern Tenerife airport of sofia reina with the 750+ pigeons that overcome their fear of crossing the Atlantic ocean in the previous car race again basketed, Abel Ledesma who as loft manager and conveyor and  must be noted, has done an impeccable job in maintaining both the health and fitness of the pigeons under his control was again on site by mid-morning and after allowing for the pigeons to settle for a short while he  cut the strings and got them away at 11am in a very light northerly breeze with temperatures maintaining a moderate 25 degrees. Once again on livestream there were plenty of interested parties logged via the Arona website and with social media viewers the numbers soon increased to well in excess of 150 from all corners of the world 

considering the training these pigeons have undergone it wasn't surprising to hear that shortly after liberation the pigeons were away and clear of the area albeit in two batches, with one group taking a direct route south, the second took more of a wider line but could be seen to be slowly making their way homewards 


Team klass and son 1st international race 18 (GERMANY)


it was just short of thirty minutes flying time that the first birds were seen on approach and as they hit the landing board and made their way in the eventual winner of race 18 was recorded once again as team Germany with team klass& son taking the spoils  with pigeon "ichabond" taking 1st place with a time of ,for 2nd we stay in central Europe as team Belgium and Team Geusens and  pigeon "super star" came in on , Team Krajcik Daniel & Andrea from Slovakia came in at 3rd with their entry "despacito" team uk & Ireland take 4th with Paul smith representing England recording one of his entries "Pauls ambition" on just a few seconds ahead of the second arrival for team  Germany as   Team Zumdiek  and pigeon howling dew in 5th recording,  team Florin Scutaru from Romania are taking another top flight position as  their  pigeon "aru" takes the 6th place on , its team Scotland in 7th as William Donachie and pigeon basher came in on in 8th we have the Czech republic fancier   Roman Zlicar and pigeon rio on as Team IFJ Ferge Miklos Jr. from Hungary whose team of entries have made yet another appearance for him in the top ten as pigeon zsanci came in 9th on a  time of finalising the leading pigeons for today in 10th we see the Netherlands   Team of  Soepboer and pigeon xoaring on 


Belgium   Team Geusens Belgium 2nd international race 18

with the first half of the  arrivals all timed in apart from a few keen to stay out and control the landing board driving and chasing pigeons as they pitched we were  aware that the second batch which were reported to have left the liberation site a few minutes behind the first birds , weren't going to be too long arriving so we  again  kept a watchful eye on the local vicinity via the live cameras, for  these pigeons to come and right on cue just a short time behind, here they came racing over the loft to the delight of all watching ,clearly no worse for wear considering they had taken the more scenic route home 

after undergoing the previous training of two sea races and an Atlantic crossing we knew they were experienced and fit to cover such a short distance with no problems but you can never take things for granted over such a rugged terrain and like in all races long or short   you can't settle until you know your entries are home safely  ..with all the arrivals timed in there still seemed to be a small number adrift however by nightfall and with a constant flow of arrivals during the remainder of the day the numbers were more pleasing as just a small number were unaccounted for by nightfall  and with such the team were confident they would recifie there route and come the following morning ,


  Team Krajcik Daniel & Andrea (Slovakia) 3rd international race 18

day 2 and with more pigeons coming in in the early hours whether it was the fact they had taken the wrong route or in fact they had been victims of a hawk attack we will never know but fortunately when the clock was turned off on day 2 just two pigeons were left unaccounted for as the returns rate recorded 99.73%


            Paul Smith England 1st uk 4th international race day 18 


after such a successful training flight a few days earlier they made the decision to return to the island of gran canaria for an additional training flight from the same location as the previous car race one , an option that they have within their powers as per the race plan as additional training if they believe it would benefit the pigeons going forward to the remaining hotspot races and final race from Fuerteventura ,so with the birds travelling north to  port Santa Cruz mid-afternoon on Saturday and after an uneventful sailing across to gran canaria ,the convoy were once again on site by early evening  with the water applied and the sun going down we all settled down for the prospect of an early liberation on Sunday morning 


Sunrise on Gran Canaria prior to liberation


Sunday morning and again with everyone set and a clear line of flight out across the Atlantic towards Tenerife, Abel Ledesma  once again on site with the birds he was happy to go at 08.30 into a 23klm helping tailwind as temperatures increased to 21 degrees, as always with local fanciers on site to watch the liberation on release  the birds upon liberation once again hugged the coastline for a while and occasionally going so far out then returning to the safety of land beneath this procedure went on a few times until the birds broke into two or three batches and whilst one bunch took the courage to head across the mighty Atlantic ocean for home the remaining birds that anticipated their adventure out to sea  returned once again until finally a few minutes later they also  realized that the only way home was to follow suit and cover the water crossing 


The winner of gran canaria (training race) pigeon "Barking " for team

Karakurt Koroglu  Turkey

at the lofts we all sat patiently waiting not knowing how the winds on the water would affect their crossing when  a single pigeon arriving from nowhere and to the surprize of all including the Arona team at the loft, landed on the board and following a few seconds it made its way in to the loft ,going on the time of the car race winner just days before ,we all expected the announcement myself included, that it would be a turn up from a previous race but to all our surprize and with no further birds in sight the result showed that in fact it was an entry named "barkin" from the race and therefore the winner of the gran canaria 2 training race for team  Karakurt Koroglu from turkey with an arrival time of ,


1st uk 2nd international pigeon dark destroyer team guys elite lofts England 


it was a further fifteen minutes from the first arrival and with no  other pigeons visible until 09.33 that the first batch of around fifty pigeons were  seen approaching , in the lead from these we have taking 2nd position is guys elite syndicate from the uk flying the English flag was pigeon dark destroyer timing in on 09.33.43,90,for 3rd we go to the Netherlands and Team Comb. van den Berg timed in a familiar pigeon in previous race general smurf, our car race 1 winner team shnellin from Germany timed in another of their entries for 4th place today as pigeon jameson came in on holding off in 5th the team Poland  pigeon named Daughter Bonte Florizone, for Dariusz Skawinski on the clock at,Team Tanase & Paul from Romania welcomed their entry Rolex back onto  the leaders board as they took 6th with a time of,as a second pigeon for team Germany takes 7th with Paul-Heinz Wesjohann`s pigeon napoleon timed in at,for 8th we go back to the Netherlands and  Team Soepboer are amongst the leaders again this time  with pigeon xuald on the clock at,by the narrowest of margins team alp race syndicate from Switzerland came in at 9th with pigeon margy timing in on whilst the 10th position goes to the Austrian entry alpha 3 for Alois Wiefler on


                     Team Comb. van den Berg  3rd international for team Netherlands 

as you can see and if you've been following the race a few pigeons are now coming regularly in the leading pigeons as we head further into the hotspot races and as such this will if it continues have an impact on the averages ,at present after 19 flights team alp racing and pigeon beepovitch are holding the lead with 35365 pts in 2nd its Team Evin Peter & Noemi and Rachel 409 from Slovakia with 35229pts closely followed by fellow country competitors in 3rd Team Silny J & L with pigeon finist on 34448pts 


Team alp race Switzerland current king of sprint averages leaders


in the next few days we will be heading back to gran canaria for car race 2  a distance of approx. 130+klm this liberation will be from the eastern side of the island and will of course mean the pigeons will now have to fly the width of gran canaria  island before coming over the waters they have already covered on route home so were hopeful , with a good result from there this will put the pigeons in the right mind for the double island jump from Fuerteventura to gran canaria then onward to Tenerife  covering  two stages of water  in the semi-final and final races 

finals week 

and once again the Arona team welcome everyone to the loft and with the final approaching for those who as yet who have not already  committed’s time to consider your options on attending the race and meeting the many fanciers from around the world ,and experiencing all that the derby Arona race offers first is  the open basketing day planned for Wednesday 21st march ,the welcome evening when the Ledesma family /Arona team welcome everyone to the island and the race ,the evening before the planned liberation, of course being at the loft on the day of the race is the experience when fanciers with pigeons in the race face nervous times waiting to see who will walk away with not only the ultimate 120,000 euro for 1st but the 2nd and 3rd prizes of 20,000 and 10,000 euro ..  of course it’s not about the winners it about being present to witness and wait the arrival of their entry in whichever position it has achieved , as every pigeon which comes is congratulated   for completing the course in the Derby Arona One Loft Race "The hardest one loft  race in the world" also in attendance on the day at the lofts will be the live Spanish tv crew who will again be documenting all the activities throughout  the day 


 the year comes to an end as we all come together on the Saturday night at the mare nostrum hotel to witness the presentation of the winners with a buffet style menu  served to  suit every nationality and every taste and entertainment provided  in the form of the traditional Canarian carnival band and band  which will take us into the early hours 


   the gala evening 



all these dates and activities are depending on the weather of course ... which the Arona team will keep us updated on during the week via the website at  


2018/19 race 

the Arona team have already guaranteed the prize of 120,000 for the next event  as more countries are confirming shipments from 1st April through till October 

for  team uk we will again be shipping to Tenerife around the second week of June and September ... the costs a team of 5 pigeons including transport is £350.00 (based on a rate of 1.10) and will cover 1 paid entry and  4 reserves ,unlike most one loft races at the derby Arona we don’t ask or expect you  to pay for each pigeon as they go into the loft ,your reserve pigeons  can be  activated during December  after they have overcome approx. 6 months of orientation around the loft and a min of 5 training races ,meaning you don't pay for lost pigeons prior to activation you only pay for  pigeons remaining in the loft  that will then  go forward to challenge for the next record breaking European race prize of 120,000 euro (£110.000 sterling  approx.) all confirmed dates will appear in the fancy press closer to the day 

Tom Harris