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by UK Press Officer Tom Harris


It’s December and all the administration has been done and the relevant information added to the Arona website following the endless job of photographing all of the 2,142 entries that remain within the loft from the initial 2,600 that were originally entered. This now gives each entrant their first opportunity to see how their teams have matured since the pigeons were accepted from as far back as April through to October. These pigeons have now successfully overcome the breaking in and orientation period and treatments, and are reported to be in excellent feather condition and fit and ready after the moult to take on the rigorous training and racing programme that awaits them. This as we all know involves liberations from both land and sea over the next few weeks, before taking on the added obstacle of covering island to island crossings from both Gran Canaria and Furteventura in the lead up to the ultimate challenge of the final race planned for the last week of March.

John Shields from the UK at the loft to watch the first training race of 2014/15


Training race 1

Tuesday 3rd December and with clear blue skies clearly visible via the live stream facility, the 2,144 pigeons were basketed for the first time and taken the short distance of approx 3km from the lofts. Whilst this may seem a little short for most considering the age of the pigeons, this is done to give the pigeons their first experience of being basketed and liberated as a group away from the loft and to orientate their surroundings back to their home. These distances of course increase gradually as the training programme progresses

11am and with news that the pigeons were released into a light 8 km northerly breeze, it was just a few minutes later that the first arrivals were seen arriving at the loft with two pigeons swiftly dropping onto the landing boards and, whilst they considered their options as to whether to enter the trap or not, a few seconds later the main batch could be seen circling above, and after a few laps around the lofts these pitched and swiftly entered the lofts. This repeated itself as more returned in various sized batches over the next few minutes as the majority of the convoy returned home. As you can imagine, it was a bit of a scramble over the finishing line to claim the top positions, with the eventual pigeon to register and take the winner’s podium with top honours being entered by the Czech Republic entrant Lubomir Kubacek with his entry named "Paris". This is one of the syndicate’s ten entries that remain timing in at 11.09.16. 2nd position goes to the 2014 Arona double car winner Hok Riejnen with another strong team for the 2014/15 event with twenty nine pigeons remaining, recording the first pigeon for the Netherlands with his entry named "Sauce" timing at For 3rd place it’s the first entry for the Team Koblenz of Germany with one of their five entries "Torombola" at Luc Verstichelen takes 4th spot and first entry from the Belgian team with his pigeon "Chaso" timing in at 5th place it was a Romanian entry for Team Stanescu & Dobre with "Guanacaste" at, with the finest of margins deciding the eventual result.  

So there it is the first event in the 2014/15 Tenerife one loft race successfully overcome with a 99.72 % return rate recorded. Congratulations to the Arona team for all the hard work over the past months in preparing the entries for competition, also to our 1st UK & Irish entry "Christmas Sprinkle" which recorded 11th position entered by Team Christmas and Hunter.

Race day 2

Friday 5th December and with a slight increase in distance the convoy consisting of 2,138 pigeons were once again on the road to a distance of approx 5 km, with the weather indicating broken blue skies and a light northerly wind with Canarian temperatures averaging a pleasing 23 degrees. The convoy were liberated shortly before noon and with all eyes around the world awaiting the first arrival at the lofts it was just twelve minutes later that the first pigeon and clear winner of the 2nd training race was seen arriving, and what was rewarding to witness was upon its arrival and landing it swiftly made its way through the trap to record the winning time of This dark chequer named "The Tukker" is an entry for the Portuguese Team Voadores da Gandara and it appeared to take no time to break away from the main batch and navigate its way home, arriving at the loft a clear 2 min 40 seconds ahead from the 2nd pigeon belonging to the Maltese syndicate team Manu lofts with their entry "Trisienne" timing in at 12.10..32.60. Then followed in 3rd at 12.12.26 Team Comb. V.d. Vooren of the Netherlands with their pigeon "Blood Diamond". 4th was the Norwegian entry by Team Ray & S. Veland with "Saika" followed into 5th by the Netherlands team with pigeon "Janaard" for DE Jong & Zn at, followed by the rest of the field. At the time of going to press shortly after the race it was yet another excellent percentage rate in regards to returns with 96.63% safely registered home. As for the UK/Irish entries congratulations to the Irish syndicate of Team Dylan & Daniel Boylan with "Luigi" timing in at 12.13.26 to take 45th position.

So this year’s campaign is well and truly underway and we look forward to the next outing on Tuesday 9th December. As always the lofts are open for visitors (via appointment) as the Arona one loft organization operate a total transparency obligation to all its entrants around the world and some very well known names have recently visited the lofts, with the latest being Martha van Geel and friends plus many more over the past months, which just goes to show the interest that this event generates annually.

Important dates for this year’s entrants to note are 15th December to 21st when you have the opportunity of owner activation. It’s between these dates that any remaining pigeons from your initial entries become available for owner activation. This is based as always with your first entry from an initial team of five paid for through your entry fee and any further pigeons that remain within your team that you intend to activate costing an additional 220 euro per pigeon. Details on how to achieve this procedure are once again available on the Arona website at or if you’re unsure of how to undertake this procedure either contact your local co-ordinator for your country or the Arona lofts direct at the earliest opportunity to guarantee that your pigeons remain within your team. After these dates the list becomes available for any remaining unpaid pigeons then going out for third party activation, which gives anyone interested in being part of the race the opportunity to be part of the Rolls Royce of one loft races. So if you’re still looking for the ideal Christmas present for the pigeon fancier in your life then why not activate one of the non activated pigeons once they become available. This may, as proven in recent years, result in a new car and/or the prize funds up to and including the final race. For the latest news and up to the minute information regarding your pigeon’s performances and race information log onto the website at