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Derby Arona Back on the Road

derby log



as training resumes

With the worldwide spread of covid 19 dominating the news and with restrictions being placed on movement and lifestyles, Spain including the canary islands were one of the first countries to close its borders and announce restrictions on unnecessary movement and travel to its residence in a bid to save the spread and lives ,this had a major impact on many life styles of residence within their day to day activities ,including the derby arona one loft race as it was during such lockdown that the 2019/20 derby arona final race events were scheduled to be held from the neighbouring islands of Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura.

With restrictions in place which implemented no local and travel to neighbouring islands suspended the team sadly had to resort to just loft exercising the inmates for the unformidable future as pigeon racing had been described by the local authorities throughout as unnecessary and non-essential travel.

As weeks turned to months and with the team giving weekly updates on the pigeons health and daily exercise programme it was close to three months later that by sticking to within the government guidelines that the arona team were hopeful to restart and conclude this year’s event.

As June approached Jose announced that following his application to the local authority being approved and by complying to the guidelines set out the government were soon to release a permit for the race to recommence within the coming days to the delight of the team and fanciers within the competition.

Being such a long time since the pigeons had experienced any basket work ,the arona management team made a revised programme indicating that they would first add a few additional Tenerife island training flights to ensure fitness and motivation prior to heading to Gran Canaria for the semi-final.

Were ready to go again.

2 ready to go

With permits now in hand and the return date of June 4th announced the latest loft list was published and as a result some participants seemed delighted to see late returns now within the list of entries whilst some were also slightly  missing the odd one or two from the last training result before lock down, this can only be due regrettably to the local peregrine population taking advantage during the daily exercising.

With 701 pigeons remaining in competition basketed and once again BACK ON THE ROAD , we head to the north of Tenerife and the 50klm release point just north of the Gumier Valley which runs from north to south of Tenerife forming a natural line of flight for the pigeons, with abel once again in control of the liberation he released his cargo at 10.30 in a light south westerly breeze ,indicating that whilst the birds orientated the liberation site shortly following the release a number of peregrines could be seen making their presence known to the birds just a few miles down which we expected to hamper the pigeons progress for home.

At the loft with livestream up and running with familiar faces were back online viewing the restart we awaited the first arrivals which were expected just under the hour mark.

3 lili

Pigeon “lili” 1st international training race 18 for team MAAS Germany

It was on fifty-five minutes that the first arrivals were seen at the lofts taking the top honour of 1st international representing team Germany we have pigeon “lili” entered by team Maas coming in at 11.24 43.90. In the runner up position we head to Belgium with team Geusens and pigeon “Colinc” on 11,24,45.05. 3rd international goes to the Bulgarian team with pigeon “Java” for team Vicont and Vicontesa on,for 4th we head further east into Europe with team Slovakia and pigeon “Joja” for team Tristignac on 11.25,33,30, team Poland take the fifth spot and fifth separate nation as pigeon paint me proud for team Tomasz Wiczling on a time of, team Slovakia record their second nation arrival for 6th international as Marian Svarc and pigeon Ivka records a time of, taking 7th we go to team Austria with team Alois Wiefler and pigeon Adjona 453 coming in on, team UK and Ireland take the 8th position as team Kings and pigeon “Major” representing team Scotland timed in on, the winning nation of Germany claim the 9th international position as team Klass & Son and pigeon “Disi” makes an appearance on resulting in team England rounding off today’s top ten with pigeon “Camtown Fella” for team Toto Buzi Lofts making an arrival time of

4 Team Geusens

4a Geusens Clonic

Team Geusens Belgium with pigeon “Cloinc” 2nd international training race 18

As expected with attendance of the peregrines shortly after liberation the pigeons returned at a steady pace throughout the day a total of 649 pigeons from the 701 liberated had overcome the restart by returning safely, as night fell it was a little daunting when you realise what these brave athletes had already overcome prior to the lockdown, but with such knowledge they have the team were confident that more pigeons would come through the following morning, this confidence was to be rewarded as dawn broke on day two early pigeons soon became visible on the clock, and with more pigeons coming through day 2, 3, and even day 4 a total of 673 pigeons were recorded indicating a loft percentage ratio of 96%.

5 b Vicont

 Pigeon “Java” 3rd international training race 18 team Vicont & Vicontesa Bulgaria

5 Java


6 majorPigeon Major 1st uk 1st Scotland 8th international

With minimal losses incurred on the first of the restart trainer race the team moved onto to their second outing just a few days later returning to the 50klm mark and with 673 now on board.

Once on site and giving time for the pigeons to settle the release went ahead at 11am into a moderate north easterly breeze with broken blue skies.

With the birds airborne we received information that on this occasion it was a clear lib with no obvious signs of the peregrines that played havoc last time visible the birds could be seen heading south in the direction for home.

At the lofts everyone waited in anticipation as slightly quicker with the first arrivals completing the journey some fifteen minutes quicker than the previous occasion this goes to show the impact the   attacks of the peregrines played on the pigeons had to overcome from the previous trainer.

7 team henrik

Team Henrikson Denmark 1st international with pigeon happy

7b team henrik

Taking the top honours of 1st international we go to Denmark with team Henriksen with pigeon “Harry” edging in front on a time of as todays winner. Taking the runner up position we go to Columbia with pigeon “Marcia” for team Colombia timing in on

8 hackfort

Pigeon Columbia 2nd international training race 19 for team Columbia

Team Hackfort & Wilpers from Germany with pigeon wild fire take the 3rd spot with a time of, whilst holding off the challenge from fellow countrymen team Soehne dr Milder for 4th with pigeon Wilson on, the previous year’s hotspot winning syndicate of Woodhouse Boys from England timed in their entry “Rudy 1” for 5th with a time of, holding off the challenge of syndicate W&S Sweet in 6th also representing England with their pigeon “I’ll Be There” on We head to Poland for 7th international and team Wrobel Michal & Patryk with pigeon “Wico” on We cross the Atlantic to the U.S.A. for 8th as Daniel Hash and entry brady came in on, team Segers and Coppens claim the 9th international position for team Belgium with pigeon “FP607”, resulting in the team Welsh Hopefuls representing team Wales taking the final top ten position with pigeon “Roxy’s Back” on . As can be clearly seen it proved to be a blanket finish today as over a hundred pigeons fought for the top positions on the same minute, a pattern that followed throughout the morning, as more arrived shortly after resulting by 1pm over 550 of the liberation were perched ,as for the remainder it can only be assumed that they encountered some interference on their journey from the peregrines as slowly but surely more returned throughout the afternoon.

9 b hackfort wild fire

3rd international training race 19 team Hackfort & Wilpers from Germany with pigeon “Wild Fire”

As the sun went down on the day 636 of the pigeons were home and with an additional 20 or so on day two this brought the returns to 657 from the 673 a current loss of just 16 pigeons and a 97.62 % returns ratio.

10 woodhouse boys

10 b woodhous pigeon

Team Woodhouse Boys 1st England 1st UK 5th international

So were finally underway in the long-awaited closing stages of the 2019/20 Derby Arona race series, as such the team have come to the decision to introduce some additional training races to motivate the pigeons. This will include a further Tenerife island training flight before heading across to Gran Canaria for another additional trainer from the 100klm mark prior to moving further east of the island for the semi-final and the final race scheduled for sun 5th July from Fuerteventura.

New loft progress news.

As we can all relate to the current situation around the world, in Tenerife the progress of the new loft build has also suffered, with no work progress for nearly four months the schedule has fallen well behind schedule for accepting this year’s entries into the new loft. This is a regretful situation for everyone concerned even more the Ledesma family as there was such high hopes and big plans to be up and running for 2020.

Final race.

With the prospect of international flights once again heading to the canaries from July 1st the team are hopeful that some participants may make the journey to Tenerife to witness the final race event on sun 5th July, if this isn’t possible the livestream will be running throughout the basketing procedure followed by the live feed on the day of the race, by staging the race on a Sunday more local fanciers will attend to see the pigeons on their return, which is what the team are looking for to oversee proceedings and to continue their policy of total transparency at the lofts whilst others watch from afar.

On finishing the Derby Arona organisation, the Ledesma family and fanciers from around the world all come together to pass on their condolences to the families of participants also fellow fanciers and families who have suffered from such losses and tragedy worldwide during the current pandemic, no more than learning the passing of one of the most frequent entrants in the arona race for many years Jock Ross from North Wales.

Derby Arona