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Derby Arona The Final Race2



  Team Leyen-Segers-Paloma Racing from Begium win the ultimate one loft race  prize in europe 120,000 

Its mid march and  many fanciers from around the world were on route to the island of tenerife for the final of the derby arona one loft race series 2016/17 which is due to take place on fri 24th march   for myself and gaynor  we arrived few days  before the race and welcomed many uk fanciers to the resort ,whilst the majority were previous competitors there was also quite a few newcomers in their first year of competing , who had travelled to witness such an event on a worldwide scale and soak up the atmosphere  during the first few days the weather was the traditional sunny clear blue skies and average temperatures of around 22 to 25  degrees however more cloudy weather was set to move in over the coming days as the race drew closer 

Pigeons offered to the camera for internet viewing 

with the arona team studying the weather conditions in the days leading up to the advertised race date, everything seemed fine to confirm  public basketing  would go ahead as planned on the wednesday morning  , so it was an early start as we made our way to the loft for a 0900 to witness the process ,as ring numbers where announced   each pigeon and entrant were reunited for the first time since they entered the loft at various stages during 2016 , fanciers present had this unique opportunity of examining the pigeons prior to being basked with many  complementing the arona team on the condition of the pigeons ..of course with so many fanciers present  this process took a few hours to complete ,and for those unfortunate not to be at the loft ,they also  had the same opportunity of seeing there pigeon via the live stream facility before going through the marking process ,the process included each pigeon was marked via ets ,rings covered and the unique wing stamp  applied before going into the crates, as you could imagine this was along process  as each individual pigeon and fancier was given the same opportunity  to be examined .

Unique wing stamping in progress

after a long five hours and with all  the birds  race marked under the watchful eye of those present the arona team under public view disposed of the  wing stamp   that each entry would be carrying  as part of the verification process as  fanciers present were invited to come forward to sign off the basketing list for the 2017 derby arona one loft race ..

       Pigeons now under constant guard during basketing and throughout their journey 

whilst all this was  going on , the crates containing the pigeons were sealed with security seals and numbers of such taken ,then the arona team formally  handed over the baskets  to an independent security firm who would remain with the pigeons throughout the next forty eight hours and throughout their onward journey to the liberation site in the south of fuerteventura.with the congregation more than happy with the procedures they had just witnessed.. everyone happily made their way back to their hotels and resorts to await the liberation day ,         

            Basketing complete and signed off 179 pigeons entered 

                  Fanciers and officials present for marking    

with the entries departing  tenerife on wednesday evening and after an uneventful  overnight journey the pigeons arrived on site mid day thursday and where they were fed and water in anticipation of the  scheduled liberation  the following morning , under the control of abel ledesma who had  responsibility to care and ensured the conditions were right  for the final time this year . thursday evening and once again the ledesma family and arona organisation welcomed ,all fanciers to join them at a top canarian restaurant ,to welcome them not only to the island of tenerife but to the 2017 derby arona final ,as sixty five or so fanciers where  picked up and transported  the short journey to the restaurant the  family were already present to welcome everyone to the venue , and after  being seated we were presented with  a traditional canarian menu which if i counted right consisted of no fewer than  eight courses during the evening ,before departing a few hours later   jose ledesma thanked everyone for their attendance on the welcome evening and  wished everyone the best of luck in the race 


friday morning and after a few cloudy days in the canaries ,the weather on fuerteventura on the day of liberation showed clear blue skies above and a light north by north easterly wind stretching out over the atlantic towards gran canaria indicating that once again the team had done their home work to provide the best possible day  for such a highly profiled event.  with the final checks  under  the scrutiny and approval of the security guard indicating  that everything was in order on site in regards to the pigeons in their care and nothing untowards had occurred regarding  the security of the race  ,he then assisted the  arona team to cut  the seals and release the  pigeons were  at 08.30 ..following the liberation we received news via jose at the loft  that on release the pigeons had orientated well and had  cleared the liberation site on line for home.  back in tenerife at  such time as things were happening two islands away to the east ,we to were  experiencing the same weather conditions as team gb met prior to departing for the lofts for a pre race breakfast and  like most fanciers that morning undoubtedly the conversation around the  table was  ,of course the high hopes and excitement that was building amongst competitors  as to who would claim the biggest one loft race prize in europe of 120,000 euro. at roughly 09.30 we made the short journey from play las americas to guazza ,and once again on our arrival at the loft ,we were  welcomed by the arona team ,and informed that  their  expectations were high for a good race based on the information they had received  ,once again it was clearly noticed that the warm hospitality was again in place with the complimentary food and drink once again available during the day and again we were joined by the film crew broadcasting  live to the  spanish  tv  as they prepared to  capture every moment during the day and show history in the making in regards to the prizes on offer  ,

Team uk/ireland at the derby arona      

over the next few hours ,the weather seemed to take a turn for the worse ,as dark clouds appeared overhead ,but fortunately for us dressed for the summer any prospects of any light rain didn't materialise,and the temperatures remained in the mid twenties ,as everyone present settled down  for the first sightings of pigeons  ,once  again guess the time was circulating and most were prepared to take on a 5 euro stake as to who would guess the nearest time the winning pigeon crossed the line to claim top spot  with  the drinks and food going down a treat !! it wasnt long before the first whistles could be heard as around twenty pigeons  or so were spotted approaching from the bottom of the road heading straight for us, and with a short twist and turn the first two pitched the landing board and roof above the traps to be joined seconds later by the remainder of the bunch  .,as silence was adhered to and whistles of encouragement pierced the air  these winning pigeons entered the loft just ahead of the second batch of arrivals that  were pointed out  circling high in the clouds, as we awaited news of the winner and other positions to be announced ,to show 100% transparency  throughout all this the arona team like everyone else waited patiently amongst the crowds for the digital screen to announce the winners they do this  during the race to show that  the only encouragement given to the pigeons to enter the loft  is via  the whistle that is used on a daily basis implementing that the pigeons start and finish the race under their own speed with no human intervention applied, resulting that the first pigeon to cross the line is the  a true winner


The moment of joy for team  Leyen-Segers-Paloma Racing

as everyone waited  for a few seconds for the computer to generate the final positions , which seemed like a lifetime for some participating in the race ,the eventual winner of the 2017 derby arona tenerife one loft race was announced and for the second time in three years  screams of joy could be heard from the belgium gathering as  Team Leyen-Segers-Paloma Racing from belgium with pigeon martha 3 claimed  the ultimate prize of 120,000 euros with  a winning time of to the delight of the syndicate and fellow belgium fanciers  , with cameras directed at them and everyone wanting to be the first to congratulate them on their performance i think it took a while for reality to sink in however there  joy was clearly seen in their faces and shared by everyone present
in 2nd place and rewarded with the second  major  cash prize of 25,000e were team gregg from slovakia as pigeon named gregg 1234, crossed the pad to record its arrival on ,less than a second behind the winner ,but of course was amongst the first to congratulate the winner in true sportsmanship ,for the third prize and the cash sum of  15,000e we go to team germany as  pigeon snowman 5 entered by  gunter schneemann finished with a time of,with the three major prizes claimed within the first two seconds there was still plenty to fight for in the next few positions , Team Bacskai Sandor-Kellner Andrea complete a successful year in 4th place with pigeon istike and the prize for such  being 10,000 euro,just ahead of team Netherlands as pigeon named karin came in for   Team Borger pigeons in 5th position and credited its owners with 6,000euro prize money on, for 6th  place and the 5,000 euro prize money we go outside europe to china as participant  Team Haiye Bai Fuqing with pigeon nikon timed in at 7th position we return to the winning country as  Team Batenburg- v.d. Merwe / PEC (pipa elite ) recorded their entry Derby Laureaat 375 on the 3,000 euro prize, in 8th and 2,000 euro we head to team italy  as team Dumitru Danci`s pigeon bianca timed in at ,whilst team gregg this time representing team poland timed in his second arrival as pigeon  gregg 919 came in in 9th to add an additional 1,000e to his prize cheque on and finally in 10th position we remain in eastern europe this time with team czech republic and an entrant who has flown a consistent  pigeon in past campaigns Lubomir Kubacek recording  his pigeon shalie to claim 900e 

a  successful belgium team 

the winning pigeon "MARTHA 3"being verified shortly after is arrival 

as you can clearly see by the times  the pigeons came high and fast as many more were amongst the leading bunches and when timing in there were only seconds between them and the winning pigeons however this is a pigeon race and the time is recorded once over the line but was so pleasing to see for the benefit of the race was within three minutes 67 pigeons were recorded on the clock and as the day wore on more and more were timed in to the delight of everyone present  so congratulations to everyone in the top ten this year and everyone with pigeons timed in the race that can claim to have completed and conquered the "hardest race in the world"  ,as mid afternoon approached, and more arrivals were recorded the leading pigeons where brought forward so that everyone could view the pigeons shortly after their arrival ,this also gave the arona team the opportunity of searching amongst them for the winning pigeon, so that all security checks could be carried out as to verifying the wing stamp and ring number in front of everyone once again showing no relaxation in transparency even at this late stage of the race..  in past years this race has been noted for being the hardest race due to lack of returns on the day due to the conditions and elements of open waters the pigeons have to overcome not only in the final race but in races leading up to such, however the team have since improved the returns percentage over recent years and have come across a winning formula to overcome the course to  everyone's delight,   we must congratulate the  arona team for  providing such a worldwide spectacular and enjoyable pigeon race as  143 brave and courageous pigeons from the 179 entered were safely home by nightfall and  by the close of race a respectable  87% returns ratio had homed  as for team uk /ireland after a successful hotspot challenge winning two cars, hopes were high for the final as a nation  the first pigeon to trap  was for deneside lofts with pigeon deneside ace timing in in 24th place on a time of just seconds behind the leading pigeons 

             Team Leyen-Segers-Paloma Racing

                       The winners of the derby arona 2017

saturday night  and everyone was invited to attend the gala evening at the prestigious mare nostrum hotel in the central of playa las americas to congratulate the winners of all races and present them with their rewards ,as everyone waited patiently outside the venue the ledesma family were once again the ultimate hosts as they welcomed everyone in turn to the evening ,as  all the women received a red rose on entry which is   always is a nice personal touch by the organisers  , with everyone  shown to their places ,the evening opened with a hot and cold three course buffet meal consisting of  a menu to suit all tastes and nationalities which certainly went down well with everyone present    positions were taken to read out and  reward  the winners as they  came forward in turn  to the stage to receive their traditional glass  prizes for the  leading  positions taken in each of the  hotspot races and final race additionally  to this every pigeon in the  final race  that returned and leading positions in the hotspot races  were also  reward with a presentation diploma with the formal one due to be sent out to them in future weeks once fully completed and printed  for completing the programme in addition , the first ten winning pigeons /fanciers in the final race ,each  received the traditional 18 c  gold pigeon ring on the night as a personal memento to mark their achievement   with all the race winners rewarded it was time for the  average winners to be called forward  to be  presented with their trophies in turn ,


in regards to such trophies the  ace pigeon award ,the main one of course for the best average  from start to finish  competing in all the races against an initial starting number of 3,037 pigeons,  the winners  trophy  goes to pigeon les paul and fancier Alois Wiefler from austria with an average of 72,488 points  accumulated, and a cash sum of 5,000 euro, in 2nd place its our final race winner martha 3 for     Team Leyen-Segers-Paloma Racing belgium with 72.007,and 3rd goes to team croatia  and  Team Stojak-Jenjic with pigeon picolo fiore with 70.203pts 


as for the new race introduced this year "the king of the atlantic" which covers the three hotspot races and the final race with a cash reward of 1,000 euro this was claimed by last years winner beniamin neag with his entry herro on  44,080pts 2nd was team germany and Team BBKB Racing with 43.840 pts and 3rd Team Bacskai Sandor-Kellner Andrea from hungary with pigeon istike on 43.710pts

teams belgium holland & germany at the gala evening 

fev flyers uk 1st semi final car race 2017

car race 1 winners Team Sovic Barbara & Miha


Denmark   Team Anita & Tage Gravesen 2nd car race 2 

there was also the knockout competition which has been running during the latter stages of the programme which was again won by the final race winners Team Leyen-Segers-Paloma Racing with martha 3 , and finally there was the three bird averages award running again this year and this was dominated by last years winner beniamin neag 

        carnival band part of the entertainment at the derby arona gala evening 2017 

  so thats it for another year ,im sure you'll agree that in whole it's been  another roller coaster of a year in regards to the racing in general, and as always there was  highs and lows during the past months something that  makes this race so unique to the many one loft races around the world, the organisers however have never claimed that the race is easy  or  the biggest or the greatest race in the world because the race speaks for itself however they do lay claim to being the "hardest" due to the geographical position of the island and the terrain the pigeons have to overcome to return home however they do their  utmost to ensure the best possible racing possible but unfortunately tenerife is a small island in the atlantic ocean and to achieve any distance and create the ultimate challenge   then the pigeons need to be transported overseas to neighbouring islands a route that presents  the biggest fear  in pigeon racing having  to overcome    miles of open waters to return home.  

Beniamin Neag Austria  having another successful series in the derby arona 2017

before signing off for another year ,without doubt we must congratulate the ledesma family for providing one of the most profiled and enjoyable  one loft race  in the world ,which has been watched on live stream on various occasions by record numbers and consists of a following on social media sites unmatched by any one loft race during 2017 ,so to jose ,gladys ,abel and the ledesma family and the lads who help out on a daily basis around the lofts ..from fanciers everywhere we thank you for your commitment and look forward to rejoining you in 2017/18 as for myself this report puts closure on another years write-ups and reports  , i hope its been as enjoyable for you the readers and winners to see your names and photographs published in various weekly magazines and social media websites as its been for me writing on behalf of the derby arona tenerife one loft race organisation ,a big thank you also to the british homing world ,the  racing pigeon  elimar pigeon sites in the uk and various websites around the world that has assisted me in profiling such results and information and the race in general  over the past months... if all goes well i hope to  be back next year,  and hope we can rely on your support during the next campaign


Deneside Ace 1st uk/ireland derby arona 24th international 

finally as one door closes another one opens ,as the derby arona tenerife will soon be open for this years in take of ybs in the improved extended loft now capable of housing approx 4,200 in comfort ,for transport dates and any enquiries regarding sending to the race this year  a full list of coordinators from many countries around the world is available on the website who are  standing by willing to help  you or alternatively ,contact the arona team at who will put you in touch with the nearest  shipping agent to you

               the derby arona team 

so on behalf of the derby arona team ,country co ordinators and of course myself and everyone else involved in the race, we thank you for your participation  and hope to see you all back here in the coming year 

"every ones a winner" 

for uk/ireland fanciers we are preparing the shipping dates for this years campaign ,we are scheduling the first shipment around the 2nd week of june followed by a second shipment around the 2nd week of sept anyone wishing to reserve their placement please contact chris sutton on 07792356330 or myself on 07443040056 prices are 220 euro for a team of 5 pigeons (1 paid and 4 reserves )plus carriage at £30 per pigeon from the uk to tenerife ,carriage charges may alter due to rate of exchange at the time ,activation of reserve pigeons in dec after a min of 5 training races  this is without doubt  The Biggest Race in the Atlantic with 49 counbtries /regions participating offering the biggest prize money in europe estimated to be  120.000 euro 1ST PRIZE IN THE FINAL RACE ..AGAIN IN 2017/18   

Tom harris