So it’s now the end of January. The pre training flights before the Christmas period were a success. A number of shorter training flights out to 35km. there were 1,505 birds at the lofts pre-training and between BOP and other obstacles through the pre training and the start of training there is a respectable number of birds still at the lofts that will be ready for the races soon coming up. Its looking very exciting so far with a lot the international standings from the results. As we know similar to other one loft races there are points allotted to birds as they arrive both on an international level and also on a national level. This really gives fanciers a feel for the type of birds they have entered. It allows comparison with birds both from other nationalities against their own as fanciers and also against birds from friends or neighbours that are competing on a level playing field where the best birds hopefully shine through.
The latest trainer was a sea training at 70km from a boat with a wind direction being south easterly with some cloud cover. There were 1,148 birds entered at basketing time. Returns at the time of writing this 1,054 birds. Considering the terrain and also the area the birds are racing too not to mention the fact that they have their own issues with the dreaded BOP the numbers that are still present in the Gran Canarias OLR are exceptional. You can compare this with other OLR’s around that may have such similar Island status and, I feel, will not find such high percentages after so many months at the lofts and the pre-training then to the full on training of going more distances including sea training.
So with training ongoing we will soon be entering the race program where there will be 150km, 210km, and 270km with prizes from a car to the value of ?6000 to ?100 for the top 10 positions in each hotspot. These dates are to be as follows 10th Feb, 18th Feb and 25th Feb with the culmination in the final race of 450knm being held on the 22 March. As with all of these dates there has to be a little flexibility and basketing and release will weather dependent. As always the birds welfare is paramount in anything that is carried out at the Gran Canarias OLR. I’m sure not one person would disagree with this sentiment.
When we think about the International Ace Pigeons the league table started at a training distance of 18km. in the leader board 20 there is quite a bit of jockeying going on. In first place international standings is a Welsh bird, Loz 63 GB 16Z 52163, owned by Team Baglit. So a congratulations to you team Baglit. Within the top 20 are also 9 English birds the first of these placed 2nd internationally, Mayo 097 BELG-16-6129297 is owned by Mayoshezz. Jock Ross of Scotland is 3rd International with his bird Sky, GB 16F 31556. Jock’s is the only Scottish bird in the top 20 believe it or not. I also cannot finish this part without mentioning the first 4 Nations Bird that is standing at 22nd internationally, IHU 16S 058932, TS1 is it’s name. Lastly I would like to mention in the international standing at 24 Billy Wallace and Hamell of Cork with their bird Helen IHU 16S 095367. I have to say with the international standings staggered like this at present it really is anybody that could scope the big one.
So now look at how the birds are standing nationally. We will start where it is only right to with Wales as it is from this country that we find the 1st international bird that is obviously 1st Welsh bird also. Again this bird is Loz 63 GB 16Z 52163, owned by Team Baglit so really a hearty congratulations to you on this achievement to date in the GC OLR. 2nd Wales and holding 20th international is Mon 6 WHU 16D 03561, owned by Mon Roberts. 3rd Wales and 128th internationally is Team Baglit again, this time with GB 16Z 10644. Team Baglit are also 4th Wales with Alissa 02, NWHU 16B 7202. Over all a good team performance from Team Baglit. 5th Wales and 157th Internationally is Rich and Linda with their bird WHU 16D 9816. So Wales topping the international league and holding its own with the birds still in the competition with another 49 birds still in with a shout.
Next we go to my home in the Emerald Isle to see the standings of the Irish contingent. As mentioned the best Irish International bird is Helen IHU 16S 095367, owned by Billy Wallace an Hamill of Cork at 24th International and 1st Irish Bird. So a big congratulations to you guys doing so well at this early stage. 2nd Irish Bird holding 47th international is Bronski 18, IHU 16S 032326 owned by our very own Alan Knowles of Millbrook Dublin. Alan’s birds over all have been doing well throughout the program and they are also 3rd and 4th Irish birds holding 58th and 176th internationally respectively with Bronski 16 and Bronski 8. A great team showing from Alan’s birds. 5th Irish and 271st international is yours truly Safe Haven Lofts with Lucy, IHU 16S 138143. So the Irish Birds are still doing well and there are another 40 other Irish birds still in the competition.
Team England are next. It without doubt at present the English birds that are shining at the GC OLR. Already mentioned was 2nd international, Mayo 097 BELG-16-6129297 is owned by Mayoshezz. This bird currently is top of the league for team England. A great achievement as we all know that we do not send rubbish to these OLR’s. so a big congratulations to Mayoshezz on this result. 2nd England and holding 4th international is Paul Smith and Derek Nicholls with Premier Strike, GB 16P 28081. 3rd England and 4th International is The New Cut Heroes with their bird NC4, CHN 16 0524785. 4th England and 6th International is Phil Leighton & Son with L8 NWHU 16C 2549. Lastly for the English Team is 5th England and 9 International is Ritas Syndacate with a bird from Mark Williams of Dyserth Lofts U.K. with one from his team of Kees Bousa FVW Families. Really an outstanding performance by the Birds from England on the international league I’m sure you will all agree. Also to note there are still also 301 other birds from England in the competition.
Team Scotland we check in on now and we find that Jock Ross is holding 1st and 2nd Scotland with his birds Sky GB 16F 31566 and Superbitty2 GB 16F 31565 1st international and 71st International respectively. A great performance from Jock in the Scotland team. 3rd team Scotland holding 239th international is Eric Willis with SU 16P 1198. 4th and 5th Scotland are the Scottish National Flying Club with their birds SNFC RAB and Blue Blitz GB 16B 41410 and SU 16 3353. These birds are holding 239th and 262nd international standing also apart from their national standing. There are also another 19 birds from team Scotland still in the competition.
I will lastly talk about the 4 Nations Syndicate. This is a syndicate of individuals that are from Ireland England Scotland and Wales. As this syndicate has in fact not one country of origin but 4 there has been a nation result produced for this also. Currently this syndicate of which I am a part of are holding 22nd, 32nd, 35th, 55th, 59th,69th and ongoing in the international standings. There are still 38 birds still in the competition from the syndicate. A great team effort from all involved from this syndicate and hopefully the syndicate will finish well in the final race and the hotspots also.
From here on out the reports will be weekly with results from the training tosses and also the races?
Until next time
Safe Haven Lofts