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Report On The London International Race, FCi Olympic Event 2012


Report on the London International Race, FCI Olympic event 2012



1st and 2nd International Old Birds

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th and 8th Yearling International

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th and 10th Open International in the combined result against 6,940 birds

The international convoy was made up as follows: Germany 2,300 birds, Belgium 1,757 birds, Holland 1,465 birds, Hungary 839 birds, France 389 birds, Slovakia 141 birds, England 49 birds.

A very poor show of support from the British fancy can only be blamed on the UK organisers who were unable or unwilling to publish well in advance details of marking stations and full details for this race in plenty of time, so fanciers could fully understand what they were dealing with, also the fact the cost of £15 per bird was off putting for a lot of fanciers.

However a few brave UK fanciers did decide to commit to the race, even though full details were unknown, and take on the Continentals in a reverse roll of the usual international format when we in the UK have to fly the Channel and our continental competitors stay on the dry land! 

Anyway the appointed day duly arrived, Saturday August 11th, and the 6,940 birds were liberated at Bovingdon, the closet official liberation site to London, at 0815 local time, 0915 continental time. These birds were flying all sorts of distances from 100 km in the South of England, 250 to 400  km to the North of England, 200 km to the North of France, 350 to 450 km to Belgium, 500 and 600 km into some parts of Holland and Germany and even up to 1,000 km into Hungary! A very diverse race indeed and as always the wind would have a strong influence on the nationality of the international winner, which is why the FCI insisted that entry would be by advance ticket purchase only, so fanciers would have to commit to enter the race before knowing the likely wind direction and it would stop a late rush from the most favoured country wind wise on the day of basketting. As it so happens the wind on the day was East South East, this being a disadvantage for the continentals to add to the first disadvantage of having to fly the Channel.

The 2 competing Premier Stud lofts now found themselves with an advantage over the continentals in this East wind. However, being located on the East Coast of England they were also at a distinct disadvantage to just about every other loft in the UK. Anyway, like everyone else, all they could do is sit and wait for their 12 entries to arrive home and hope for the best.

First bird to be clocked in the race was to R Auker in the Midlands of England at 0941hrs; only flying 104 km, this set a velocity of 1211 for the longer flyers to try and beat! Next birds to arrive were to the Premier Stud lofts at Patrington Haven in at 1107 hrs flying 220 km giving a velocity of 1272. The next birds reported were to the Premier Stud lofts at Bridlington, another 30 miles up the East Coast of England; this bird timed in at 1131 hrs for the 265 km journey giving a velocity of 1346 and would turn out to be the eventual International winner! The best continental velocities into Holland were returned by Burg & Ward and Verhagen Bros at 999mpm closely followed by Jos Thone in Belgium and then further decreasing velocities as the distances increased out to places like Hungary.

The above result is compiled from Internet reports and early times printed in the De Duif magazine of the various National results. However, we still await the official international result and news of the prize distribution which the FCI rules stated would be half the entry fee, which is a potential fifty thousand Euro prize pot!

Now some details of the winning lofts. Firstly Mellonby & Wheelhouse of Bridlington. Kerry Mellonby works full time at Premier Stud in Patrington, and with the help of Rick Wheelhouse and Kerry's wife Lisa, they manage a loft of birds owned by Premier Stud that is located at his home in Bridlington, which amounts to 30 pairs of roundabout old bird racers and 60 young birds each year from Premier Stud. They entered 8 birds and won 1st 2nd 3rd 5th 6th 7th 8th and 12th International. Dave Walker also works full time at Premier Stud, and manages a loft of racers owned by Premier Stud, located on site at the stud in Patrington, that amounts to 20 pairs of roundabout old bird racers and 40 young birds. Dave entered 4 birds and won 4th 9th 10th and 13th International.


Report submitted by Derk Nicholls.