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C & D Smyth & Sons Win Skibbereen Derby And S & K Duke Win Talbenny Derby




Reports by Clifford Browne

C & D Smyth & Sons win Skibbereen Derby

and S & K Duke win Talbenny Derby

Before we get down to this week’s column which is going to be longer than usual a word of explanation for the several weeks' lack of Combine news and apologies to all the regular contributors for the late appearance of their articles but the fact is I was off on my travels, this time to Austria where our town Bangor is twinned with Bregenz.

Because I have about 4 races to report on I will just touch on the two Derbies this week with more next week and concentrate on the two earlier events - 1st Mount Charles and Fermoy, but first a brief word on the Derbies flown on Saturday Sept 1st, one from Skibbereen and the second from Talbenny.

Both sets of birds were released at 9am on September 1st, the wind being mainly SW, which was a great help for the Skibbereen birds down in the SW corner of Ireland but was not so favourable for the Talbenny birds and this is reflected in the velocities.

Colin & Dorothy Smyth and sons of Ballylesson have been enjoying a great spell of racing having topped the Combine from the 1st Mount Charles race and they now take top spot with one of their Busschaert team from Skibbereen on a velocity of 1992, closely followed by Newtownbreda’s M & A Johnston on 1990.6 and K & B McConaghie, Ballylesson 1990.3 with the top twelve being:

East Down Combine Open 01/09/2012 1st Skibbereen YB Derby 101 Members 1251 Birds Wind South West

1 W1 C & D Smyth & Sons Ballylesson HPS 1992.528 abcd £49.00 £246.13

2 W2 M & A Johnston Newtownbreda HPS 1990.670 £0.00 £152.34

3 W3 K & B McConaghie Ballylesson HPS 1990.363 cde CD £128.40 £252.66

4 W4 R.Irwin Dundonald HPS 1989.015 d £18.63 £114.80

5 W5 B & H Marshall Newtownbreda HPS 1957.604 abcde ABCDE £156.21 £229.69

6 W6 S.Brown & Sons Dundonald HPS 1948.927 £0.00 £63.48

7 E1 R Moore & Son Bangor RPC 1947.056 £0.00 £103.40

8 E2 Harper & Young Cloughey HPS 1943.665 £0.00 £92.72

9 E3 R Moore & Son Bangor RPC 1942.811 abcde ABCDE £217.49 £299.53

10 W7 R.Irwin Dundonald HPS 1942.415 d £11.18 £74.66

11 E4 R Moore & Son Bangor RPC 1939.945 abcde ABCDE £166.05 £227.41

12 E5 R Moore & Son Bangor RPC 1939.809 £0.00 £57.80.

The Talbenny velocities reflect the effects of the wind with a clear winner to the Combine Secretary Sam Duke on 1371 followed by fellow Crossgar club members Alex & Ann Cheevers on 1364 with Dundonald’s Stephen Brown & sons 3rd on 1356. The winning pigeon of S & K Duke’s was a blue pied hen, a darkened youngster racing to the perch from Sam’s own family of mainly Busschaert and Soontjens, her grandmother being one of Sam’s most prolific breeders of good pigeons for him from Skibbereen to St Malo. I will have further details on both of these Derby races for next week.

Going back now to the 18th of August and the first race from Mount Charles which saw a good racing day with the birds up at 9.15am into a South South West wind and resulted in a fast race with good returns. Colin & Dorothy Smyth & sons take the top spot and 1st West Section with a blue Busschaert cock now called “Spitfire”. He is a full brother to “Blue Boy” that topped the Combine from the 2nd Mount Charles Old Bird race this year. The Smyth's 2nd bird takes 6th open, a great result for this dedicated partnership. Stephen Brown & sons of Dundonald had a terrific race with 4 birds together to take 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Open and Section. Good to see Clifford Healy in at 7th open and winning the East section. The top places in open and section were:

East Down Combine 18/08/2012 1st Mount Charles YB 170 Members 4851 Birds Wind South S West

1 C & D Smyth & Sons Ballylesson HPS 1843.1

2 S. Brown & Sons Dundonald HPS 1839.8

3 S. Brown & Sons Dundonald HPS 1839.8

4 S. Brown & Sons Dundonald HPS 1839.6

5 S. Brown & Sons Dundonald HPS 1839.4

6 C & D Smyth & Sons Ballylesson HPS 1837.8

7 C J Healy Killyleagh Central HPS 1836.6

8 A Cousins & Sons Ballylesson HPS 1831.4

9 A Cousins & Sons Ballylesson HPS 1831.4

10 R. Irwin Dundonald HPS 1830.5

11 R. Irwin Dundonald HPS 1829.7

12 R Moore & Son Bangor RPC 1828.8  

West Section 60 Members 1630 Birds

1 C & D Smyth & Sons Ballylesson HPS 1843.1

2 S. Brown & Sons Dundonald HPS 1839.8

3 S. Brown & Sons Dundonald HPS 1839.8

4 S. Brown & Sons Dundonald HPS 1839.6

5 S. Brown & Sons Dundonald HPS 1839.4

6 C & D Smyth & Sons Ballylesson HPS 1837.8

East Section 110 Members 3221 Birds

1 C J Healy Killyleagh Central HPS 1836.6

2 R Moore & Son Bangor RPC 1828.8

3 R Moore & Son Bangor RPC 1828.3

4 G & P. Brown Annsborough HPS 1826.5

5 J Crossan Downpatrick HPS 1823.2

6 J Crossan Downpatrick HPS 1822.4

Around the Combine Clubs - The Best From The Clubs (1st Mount Charles)

Annalong K Rooney & son 1721, 1709, B Higgins 1701

Annsborough G & P Brown 1826, M Croskery 1821, 1820

Ballylesson where 10 members sent 230 birds for this the 5th young bird race. 1st and 2nd this week for 1st Club 1st Open 1st Section 2nd Club 6th Open 6th Section were the lofts of C& D Smyth & Sons with their winner flying the 156 miles in 2 hours 29 mins to record a velocity of 1843.7 ypm. Their second pigeon recorded a velocity of 1837 ypm. 3 & 4 A Cousins & Sons 1831.4, 1831.4.

Ballynahinch J Gillespie & sons 1808, R Hunter 1791, J Gillespie & sons 1783

Ballywalter 1st and 2nd Winston and Hugh McMaster with two darkness pigeons, the first a Blue Pied hen and their second a Blue w/f cock. This is this bird's third top three place with the club. In 3rd is last week's winner Junior Orr and son with a Pied Hen velocities 1801, 1784 and 1759.

Bangor R Moore & son 1828, 1828, Burgess & Brennan 1790

Cloughey Harper & Young 1813, 1812, M Adair & sons 1810

Comber Burns Bros 1782, Halliday Bros 1770 and K Tompsett 1764

Crossgar A & A Cheevers 1816, McCartan & Woodsides 1811, 1802

Donaghadee McCormick & Muckle 1808, Angus & son & McConkey 1805, 1805

Downpatrick J Crossan 1823, 1822, T Smyth 1821

Drumaness E McLoughlin 1793, R & K O’Neil 1775, J Kirk & son 1775

Dundonald S Brown & sons 1839, 1839, 1839

Dundrum A McNamara & ptnrs 1756, J Maguire & ptnrs 1746, 1735

Killyleagh Central C Healy 1836, McComb Bros 1806, C Healy 1794

Millisle J Rankin 1801, 1777, 1773

Newcastle E & A Rogan 1763, J & J Rogan 1729, R McVeigh & son 1712

Newtownbreda M & A Johnston 1820, T Marshall & son 1817, M & A Johnston 1793

Tyrella S Milligan & dtr 1775, C McManus & dtr 1760, D McNabb & ptnrs 1740

I was on a train between Innsbruck and Vienna when I got the text to tell me that the birds were up in Fermoy at 10.45am on Sunday August 26th. The weather forecast for the Saturday had been poor and it had been decided to race mark on the Saturday night for this Sunday race, which proved to be a good decision and again with South in the wind velocities were well up. The top places were:

East Down Combine 26/08/2012 Fermoy YB 151 Members 3773 Birds Wind Light South S East.

1 M.Foulis Dundonald HPS 1702.5

2 J.Young & Ptnrs Dundonald HPS 1702.0

3 J.Young & Ptnrs Dundonald HPS 1701.5

4 J Patterson Ballylesson HPS 1699.9

5 B. Hogg & Sons Newtownbreda HPS 1699.6

6 M & A Johnston Newtownbreda HPS 1698.8

7 D & R Topping Ballynahinch HPS 1697.3

8 S.Brown & Sons Dundonald HPS 1692.1

9 R Moore & Son Bangor RPC 1688.6

10 B. Hogg & Sons Newtownbreda HPS 1687.5

11 J.Kirk & Son Drumaness Mills HPS 1686.5

12 R. Johnson Comber Social HPS 1681.9

West Section 55 Members 1426 Birds

1 M.Foulis Dundonald HPS 1702.5

2 J.Young & Ptnrs Dundonald HPS 1702.0

3 J.Young & Ptnrs Dundonald HPS 1701.5

4 J Patterson Ballylesson HPS 1699.9

5 B. Hogg & Sons Newtownbreda HPS 1699.6

6 M & A Johnston Newtownbreda HPS 1698.8

East Section 96 Members 2347 Birds

1 R Moore & Son Bangor RPC 1688.6

2 P McCartan Annsborough HPS 1680.9

3 R Moore & Son Bangor RPC 1675.4

4 R Moore & Son Bangor RPC 1673.9

5 G & P. Brown Annsborough HPS 1664.8

6 G & P. Brown Annsborough HPS 1664.3

Around the Combine Clubs

Annalong - K Rooney & son 1586, 1586, 1586

Annsborough P McCartan1680, G & P Brown 1664, 1664

Ballylesson J Patterson 1699, A Cousins & sons 1674, 1667

Ballynahinch the winners were D&R Topping with a Blue Pied Hen from the Soontjen family. The dam is full sister to 3x1st including 11th Open EDC Mount Charles 2 this year. The winning velocity was 1697, 2nd was W McVeigh 1644 with J Abernethy 3rd 1640

Ballywalter 1st, 2nd, 3rd Sam Regan 1537, 1532x2. All three birds same way bred Cattrysse/Lambrecht via D.L&E. Jones, Llandudno N. Wales.

Bangor R Moore & son 1688, 1675 and 1673

Cloughey Gordon bros & sons 1612, 1611, 1600

Comber R Johnston 1681, F Gilmore 1631 ,R Johnston 1615

Crossgar J McGreevy 1671, C & G Adair 1670, McCartan & Woodsides 1664

Donaghadee Angus &son & McConkey 1662, A & P Trimble & Sons 1631, McCormick & Gray 1615

Downpatrick T Smyth 1639, 1638, P Lue 1616

Drumaness J Kirk & son 1686, 1616, 1616

Dundonald M Foulis 1702, J Young & ptnrs 1702,1701

Dundrum J Maguire & ptnrs 1570, 1570, 1527

Hillfoot D Brennan 1521,1501, M/M E Spence 1450

Killyleagh Central Gordon Bros & sons 1662, 1662, 1662

Millisle R Strain & son 1642, J Rankin 1620, R Christie 1616

Newcastle W McNeilly & son 1548, R McVeigh& son 1493, 1493

Newtownbreda B Hogg & sons 1699, M & A Johnston 1698, B Hogg & sons 1687

Tyrella S Milligan & dtr 1620, 1548, 1548

East Down2bird News

The result of the 2 bird club from Tullamore was: 1st T Marshall &son 1385.3 (1st open), 2nd Mackey & Lockhart 1360.8, 3rd D Croskery & son 1357.9, 4th D Croskery &son 1357.5, 5th R Moore &son 1346.2, 6th R Hunter 1345.2.

From Mount Charles: 1st A Cousins & sons 1831.4, 2nd McCormick& Muckle 1808.2, 3rd S Brown & sons 1801.9, 4th S & K Duke 1791.8, 5th R Hunter 1791.1, 6th T McKelvey 1786.8  


by Sam Regan

With a stiff East wind on the coast for the Tullamore race restricting the velocities it did not stop the “form” loft in the Amalgamation of Gordon Brothers and sons from getting another excellent result. The only other loft on the sheet was the Donaghadee winning partnership of Angus and son and McConkey clocking two Braspenning youngsters from Louella in 5th and 14th - well done chaps. In total 40 sent 1260 birds. 1st to 4th, 6th to 13th Gordon Bros & sons 1339x4, 1325x2, 1321x3,1320x3. Angus & son & McConkey 1329,1319. 3 bird club 16 sent 48. 1st Gordon Bros & sons 1320 A.B.C & nom. 2nd Angus & son & McConkey 1319 A.B.C. 3rd Gordon Bros & sons 1263. A.B.C.

Harper and Young Tops from Fast Mt Charles

Well done to Drew Harper and Martin Young on a great card from Mount Charles with six pigeons in the frame in the fastest race of the year. Full result 35 sent 1024 birds. 1st, 2nd, 7th, 11th, 12th,13th. 1813, 1812, 1804, 1791, 1790, 1790 Harper & Young. 3rd M.Adair & sons 1810. 4th McCormick & Muckle 1808. 5th & 6th Angus & son & McConkey 1805x2. 8th W.McMaster & son 1801. 9th J.Rankin 1801. 10th Gordon Bros & sons 1792. 14th A&P. Trimble & sons 1785. 3Bird Club 11/33. 1st McCormick & Muckle A.B.C. 1808. 2nd Angus & son & McConkey A.B.C. 1805. 3rd J&J.Hollinger 1765 A.B.C. and the Nom was won by H&A.Keenan 1726. Next race, number six of the young bird season, takes us to Fermoy an average 200 miles home. Good luck to all.

The Peninsula Amalgamation where in Fermoy for the last race prior to the first young bird Derby of the season and basketing was delayed due to a poor forecast for Saturday and the pigeons when up in a East south east wind, not the most favourable for the Ards Peninsula on Sunday and another good race for the Combine. The winning team of Angus and son and McConkey of Donaghadee clocked a near white Roland Janssen young bird bred by Alec Trimble fellow club member for the youngest member of the partnership and this victory gave them their first win in the Amalgamation - very well done. Full result. 30 sent 789. 1st Angus&son& McConkey 1662, 2nd&9th R.Strain & son 1642, 1608. 3rd A&P.Trimble & sons 1631. 4th J.Rankin 1620. 5th B.Christie 1616. 6th McCormick & Muckle 1615. 7th, 8th, 10th to 14th. Gordon Bros & sons 1612, 1611, 1600, 1599x3, 1598. 3 Bird Club 12/36. 1st & 2nd Gordon Bros & sons ABC.1599. ABC.NOM.1599. 3rd. D & K.McCutcheon ABC. 1569.

Next races Talbenny and 1st Skibbereen Derbies, both on the same day weather permitting.

SOUTH DOWN FEDERATION with Brendan McLoughlin

Mickey Croskery wins East Section from Tullamore

The East Down Combine moved on to Tullamore for their fourth race of the young bird programme. The birds were released at 9.30am in an east south-easterly wind which isn’t the most favourable for South Down fanciers, but the leading Fed pigeons still managed to secure Open positions. As expected the leading Open positions were taken at the to the north of the Combine with Newtownbreda’s T Marshall & Son and Dundonald’s Mark Foulis taking the first eight positions between them. The winner of the South Down Fed this week by the smallest of margins is Annsborough’s Mickey Croskery who takes over from last week’s winners D Croskery & Son. Mickey had another fine race here with another bird at 6th Fed. Both birds make the Open result at 24th and 30th Open but even better they were 1st and 6th East section. This is Mickey’s second Fed win in the young birds having been 1st and 2nd in 1st Navan, and after missing out on the result card last week he is back to form here. Mickey’s first bird is a son of the ‘Bolden’ cock when paired to a Harthog obtained from Gary Shaw, Grosvenor. This pair has bred several prize winners for both Croskery lofts over the past few years. The pigeon at 6th Fed this week has a good record over the four races so far having been 2nd Fed, 16th section, 21st Open 1st Navan, and 6th Fed from 2nd Navan. The sire of this one is a direct Walter De Rijck while the dam is a daughter of the Bude hen. 2nd Fed this week are J McNally & Son Annsborough who take 2nd East section, 25th Open. This has been a great year for Jimmy and Brendan with many fine positions over the year in both old birds and young birds. The pigeon timed here is Soontjens x Vandenabeele with the Soontjens coming from Alfie Williamson’s Downe Lofts while the Vandenabeele is from their own stock. Last week’s winners D Croskery & Son take the next three positions at 3rd, 4th, 5th Fed, 3rd, 4th, 5th section, and 28th, 29th 30th Open. All three birds were in last weeks result so are all in top form at the moment. The first bird was 4th Fed last week from Mullingar and was 2nd Fed, 38th Open the week before from Navan. This youngster is off a Walter De Rijck cock when paired to a hen from Eddie Nelson of Durham Amalgamation. Their second bird was 9th Fed last week from Mullingar and was their second pigeon the previous week from 2nd Navan taking 3rd Fed, having been 10th Fed from 1st Navan. This one is a direct youngster from Eddie Nelson having been bought at the Annsborough Moot earlier in the year. Dominic and Dolen’s third pigeon was last weeks Fed winner and was also 7th Fed from 1st Navan and 4th Fed from 2nd Navan. The breeding again is from a De Rijck cock and an Eddie Nelson hen though not the same pair that bred their first pigeon. Annsborough’s G & P Brown are 7th Fed here to continue another good season for them. This one is the same way bred as the bird that was 5th Fed from 1st Navan being Lindelauf from K Rooney & Son Annalong. It is off a son of ‘Wonderboy’. M Croskery & Son Annsborough are 8th and 9th Fed to leave all the Croskerys in the result. This is Sean’s first time in the result in the young bird programme but he has been knocking on the door. Both pigeons are from new birds brought in last year, which is always very pleasing. They are Janssen based pigeons from Paul Keegan, Dublin. Annsborough’s Telford & Brown complete the result in 10th position. This has been a promising start for the new partnership having been 9th and 10th Fed from 2nd Navan, and 5th Fed from Mullingar. The pigeon timed this week is another Soontjens from the Colin Gibson stock.

Full Result: 1, M Croskery Annsborough 1360.78; 2, J McNally & Son Annsborough 1360.77; 3, 4, 5, D Croskery & Son Annsborough 1358, 1357.9, 1357.5 6, M Croskery Annsborough 1356.4; 7, G & P Brown Annsborough 1335; 8, 9, M Croskery & Son 1332.7, 1332.5; 10, Brown & Telford Annsborough 1328 Draw for Semi-Final of Loft KO: 1, D Croskery & Son v R McDowell & Son; 2, M Croskery v M Croskery & Son; Pool race this week from Fermoy. Talbenny and Skibbereen Derbies will both have a £2 Nom. One bird per loft winner takes all.  

Geraldine & Patrick Brown back on top

The East Down Combine pigeons moved on to Mount Charles just south of Nenagh in Co Tipperary for their fifth young bird race of the season. Liberated at 9.15 in south southwesterly wind the birds romped home in speeds of well in excess of 60 miles an hour. It used to be when there was west in the wind the pigeons were over the South Down coast in droves but last weekend we didn’t even see 20 birds all day long. With the first six positions in the Open going to Ballylesson and Dundonald it was never going to be a race to suit the coastal clubs. Having said that the first six pigeons in the Fed result were all in the Open result. G & P Brown Annsborough are 1st Fed, 4th section, 14th Open for another great result. Geraldine and Patrick have had another super season but this is their first young bird win. The pigeon timed is out of Geraldine’s Delight, their Skibbereen Classic winner when paired to a Busschaert on loan from K Rooney & Son, from the pigeons they obtained from D Shiels Son & Dtr from the north east of England. These Busschaerts have done well for both the Browns and the Rooneys. Mickey Croskery Annsborough has another good race here with three birds in the result at 2nd, 3rd and 5th Fed, 8th, 9th and 15th section, 18th, 19th, 32nd Open. Mickey has been having a good young bird season having won the 1st Navan and Tullamore. His first pigeon this week is a Walter de Ricjk on the sire’s side while the dam is another of the new birds introduced from Eddie Nelson of the Durham Amalgamation. The second pigeon is one that was brought in from his good friend in Kilkenny, while the third bird is off another De Ricjk cock paired to a Willy Thas hen. Annsborough’s P McCartan is 4th Fed, 13th section, 29th Open this week for his first result of the season but he follows this up with 1st Fed from Fermoy. The dam of his Mount Charles pigeon is a Willy Jacobs from Furphy Bros Lurgan Social while the sire is a Soontjens from the McKinstry Bros stock. This cock was 6th club Skibbereen National this year. R McDowell & Son Annsborough are having a very consistent young bird season and are 6th Fed, 17th section, 35th Open this week. This youngster is out of a full brother of the French hen and was a very good racer himself. The dam is a hen from Billy Lecky of Ards. Brown & Telford had another good race here with three birds in the result at 7th, 9th and 10th Fed. Their first bird was 10th club, 10th Fed from Tullamore and is a Willy Jacobs from Robert Major, Lurgan. Their second bird was 8th club, 9th Fed from 2nd Navan and is from a pair on loan from K Rooney & Son, Annalong. Their third pigeon taking 10th Fed here is a Soontjens from their Colin Gibson stock. This has been an impressive start for the new partnership racing in their first young bird season in Annsborough. The result is completed by Annsborough’s Benson Bros at 8th Fed. The pigeon timed here is an M & D Evans Vandenabeele. These birds have been a good introduction as they feature regularly in the Fed result.

Full Result: 1, G & P Brown Annsborough 1826; 2, 3, M Croskery Annsborough 1821, 1820; 4, P McCartan Annsborough 1811; 5, M Croskery 1810; 6, R McDowell & Son 1807; 7,Brown & Telford Annsborough 1802; 8, Benson Bros Annsborough 1801; 9, 10, Brown & Telford 1799, 1797: Both races this week from Talbenny and Skibbereen will have a £2 Nom The Final of the Loft KO will be flown from 2nd Mount Charles and is an all Croskery match with M Croskery & Son against D Croskery & Son. There will be no DTW this week but it will resume from 2nd Mount Charles.  


Fantastic weekend 18/8/12 for Harmony Lofts

Philip McCall of Markethill HPS wins 1st Section E, 1st Open NIPA with bird ring No. 11232 velocity 1849, 22, 200 birds competing. This bird collects £50, 2nd and 3rd Hot Spot goes to A & A Cheevers, Crossgar winning 1st Club and a good Open position with bird ring No. 11286 velocity 1816 and wins £30, for good measure they clock their second bird 11385 for 6th club velocity 1798 to lift a further £20.

Weekend 26-08-12
A good weekend for the loft of P. Brown & Sons winning 7th Club Annsborough and 1st Hot Spot with bird ring No. 11166, vel. 1625, to collect £50. Second place goes to Ronnie Williamson taking 1st Club Newry and District, 7th South Fed. with bird ring No. 11358, vel. 1617, winning £30. The Gilford Loft of Trevor Greenaway collects £20 for 3rd Hot Spot with bird 11209, vel. 1604 and 3rd Club Gilford.

Harmony Lofts Mid Week Racing 22-08-12
Our first race from Mullingar got off to a flyer with great support from all three main organisations. Birds were race marked at Harmony Lofts on the Tuesday night for the Wednesday race. Birds were liberated at 12-30 in a west wind making for a fast race. Brown and Telford, of Annsborough, had a super day clocking the top 3 positions to collect a total of £130. Top racer Rob Hunter, Ballynahinch, put a great result together taking the remaining 6 positions to collect £70.

Weekend 01-09-12
High speed weekend for the up Ireland birds. The top racing loft of J. Young & Partners, of Dundonald, takes the top spot with bird ring no. 11084, vel. 1916 to collect £50. This bird will take a top 30 Open position in the Skibbereen Derby. Second hot spot is won by David McIlhone, of Wheatfield, with bird 11323, lifting £30, vel. 1909 and winning 2nd Club. The loft of W. Catherwood and Sons wins £20 for 3rd place with bird 11469, vel. 1833, and 7th Club Ballynahinch. Well done to Ronnie Williamson on winning 1st Club, Newry & District, and finishing 2nd Fed. from Talbenny, with bird 11345, vel. 1426.

Dougie Moore

I was saddened to hear of the death of Dougie Moore from Newtownards at the age of 89 after a short illness. Dougie was one of the old school of fanciers having had pigeons for over 80 years from early childhood and a fancier I had known and respected all of my 50 odd years in pigeons. He particularly loved the long distance races and even this year finished 19th West Section East Down Combine St Malo Old Bird Derby timing on the day competing with the Comber Social Club. Dougie as well as his love of pigeons was also known for his fine singing voice and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. To his wife Joan, son Mark and the family circle I extend sincere condolences at this sad time.

Well that’s it for this week. This week’s race is again Mount Charles.