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A R O N A22115





by UK Press Officer Tom Harris

With the Christmas break and activation period over, it was time to commence with the training programme. In excess of 2,100 pigeons still remained within the loft, but training was unfortunately delayed for a few days due to a calima being present over Tenerife and the fellow Canary islands. Basketing finally took place on Wednesday 14th January for a liberation from 25 km on Thursday 15th. The pigeons were liberated at 11.50 am into clear skies with a helping light north easterly breeze.


First position for race 6 was to the Netherlands syndicate team comb. v. d. Vooren with their entry Blood Diamond at This is not the first time this game little smoky cheq hen has been in amongst the leading pigeons, as in training races 2 and 4, she scored 3rd and 19th respectively. In second place was the Italia entry for team Stella Rossa with Wilbur at just a decimal behind the winner. Third place goes to team Czech Republic with the winner of training race 1, Paris, entered by Lubomir Kubacek, timing in at Fourth position goes to the Kuwait team Aldahoum lofts with their entry ‘Aldahoum loft 46’ at 12.17.37. Fifth position on the clock was regrettably an unactivated pigeon at 12.17.38, proving that, although no one has yet come forward to activate this pigeon, it, like the other few not activated are still just as good and capable of being amongst the leading birds at any time during this campaign. Sixth and the first arrival for team Belgium, entered by Luc Verstichelen was his entry, Chaso, timed in at Seventh position and the second arrival for team Kuwait was the entry by team Abdullah Awad with Junir at 12.17 38.60. Eighth spot was the first UK pigeon named Johan for the Paul Smith syndicate, timing in at, just ahead of the Netherlands pigeon Leah from team comb. Mekes Van Boxmeer at In tenth place and rounding off today’s leading pigeons is another Netherlands pigeon - part of the Hok Riejen team ‘tls Goudmyn’ at

Paul Smith Syndicate, 1st UK and 8th overall.

So, after nearly three weeks of loft exercise, phase two of the Tenerife 2014/15 One Loft Race gets under way, as the liberation sites start to move northerly to as far as Santa Cruz and, once again out of the 2120 pigeons entered for today’s competition, just ten failed to return giving an arrival percentage of 99.52 and 2,110 pigeon preparing for the next outing.

For the first time the Arona Derby Tenerife One Loft Race were present at the two-day Blackpool show on 17th and 18th January, with the stand set up on the Friday evening in preparation. Mark Williams, myself and Mike Holt manned the stand throughout the day, while my daughter Megan was present on the main doors, handing out the Arona Derby leaflets to the thousands of fanciers that attended the show. As a result, the stand soon drew in a lot of interest and a steady flow of fanciers both from the UK and other European countries gathered throughout the weekend to enquire about sending to the 2015/16 race. It was also pleasing to see so many of this year’s entrants coming along to give us their support and to chat about the forthcoming races and, of course, anticipating a trip to Tenerife for the final at the end of March.

Team Mannu of Malta at the Arona stand in Blackpool

With everyone more than happy with our explanation of the set up and transparency of the Arona organisation, we feel that there could be a very good response to the 2015/16 race from the UK/Ireland and, on that note, transport has provisionally been agreed to leave the UK via two shipments: the first within the first two weeks of June and a second sometime during September. For further information regarding entry and shipping arrangements please contact Mark on 07825302007 or go via the Arona website at

Whilst all this was going on in the UK, Gladys and Jairo Ledesma were present at the Olympiad show in Hungary, also presenting and promoting the race and, from looking at the pictures posted on the race Facebook page, it would seem they also gathered a lot of interest for the race in the future. So in total a good weekend for the event publicity-wise which truly put the Arona Derby One loft Race in the public limelight. 

Race day 7 and, with a basketing list of 2,110 pigeons entered for competition, birds were en route to their 30km liberation site. Both loft and convoy preparations were complete and there were over 70 watchers on livestream witnessing the race unfold. The pigeons were released at 12 noon into lightly cloudy skies and a 12 km tail wind, as we patiently awaited the first sightings. Just 38 minutes after liberation, the first batch became visible, circling above the lofts. A large number hit the landing board at the same time, so it was a race to the finish. The first pigeon to cross that line to claim first position on this occasion goes to an unactivated pigeon, so details are not present to reward this pigeon on its performance, however, the winning time recorded was Second position and winning the event as the first activated pigeon home goes to the Gran Canarian team Felix Santiago & Adau Rguez with their entry Wise Lady, timing in at This blue hen has been consistent so far during the first initial training races, averaging around mid-table prior to today’s race.Third place was the Netherlands pigeon Sambia for the Karl and Andrea partnership entered as team Dickman Stoetges and recording Fourth was team Italia with Alinnno Giovanni-ghiacci pigeon, Alenka, with a time of Fifth place went to the Kuwait pigeon of team Aldahoum Loft with their pigeon ‘aldahoum loft 46’, holding its consistency after taking 4th in training race 6, on this occasion, timing in at Sixth also went to the Netherlands team with Blood Diamond, entered by team comb. v. d. Vooren at - yet another pigeon which is holding form in these early stages, after winning race day 6 just a few days earlier. Next we head to team Germany for 7th and team Axer Heinz with their pigeon named Fidel at Eighth went to team EEUU and team Julio Ramirez & Bruno El Mexicano with pigeon Malverde at Rounding off today’s top ten positions was team Netherlands with 9th and 10th positions for Marcel Visser with the Black on, narrowly holding off team Nederland 1 with pigeon L.V.D.BERG on

Team Scotia, 1st UK entry, 24th overall in race 7 at the Blackpool Show

So there it is. Another race under their belts and once again, with 2,080 returning, giving a percentage of 98.57 at nightfall here in the UK whilst writing this up, hopefully a few more will come in later on and tomorrow morning to give the Arona team another positive returns rate in these early training races. 

Finally, with regard to the future training races, it appears that the Arona team have altered the schedule slightly to enable them to achieve more sea races in a move to educate the pigeons to flying over water before liberation from Gran Canaria. All this and other news is available via the website at

Tom Harris with daughter Megan at the Arona stand in Blackpool