The Racing Pigeon - 5th April 2024




With the intense island training program coming to an end, we now look forward to the most serious part of the series, which now includes island-to-island hotspot and endurance races starting from the neigh- bouring island of Gran Canaria. The first Hotspot race, commonly known as ‘The Survival Race’, is staged from the official liberation site used by Federations on the west coast of Gran Canaria. This is the first time the birds take a look at

Team Henriksen Denmark 1st International Hotspot 1 The Survival Race and 2nd International from Endurance Race 1 with pigeon ‘Rosa’, and current leaders in the King of the Atlantic Averages.

The first arrivals from The Survival Race.

overnight in preparation for the following morning. Race day, with Abel and Goyo up and about from early light checking on the birds and awaiting for the sun to rise. They, at the planned time of 09:30 and with everything perfect for a liberation, sent the birds away into broken skies, with variable winds out over the Atlantic. As in previous years, the birds instantly batched together, making several attempts to leave the security of land below and adventure out over the open waters, only to return to the island, regroup, and make another attempt. This went on for a few minutes until such time the batch disappeared along the coast- line. At the loft, with the new camera on the trap giving a clear view of the approach, the Arona team consisting of Jose and Gladys, along with Jairo, were at the home end to welcome home the pigeons. With nerves rattling due to the uncertainty of the race, both the team as they paced the loft looking for a first sighting and participants watching the skies via the live feed weren’t disappointed as a batch were seen coming over the hills heading for home. Taking

Abel & Goyo keyside at Porto Santa Cruz prior to loading onto the ferry for Gran Canaria.

the route in front of them across the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean back to Tenerife. With 672 birds leaving the loft at midday Sunday for the first leg of the journey along the TF1 motorway to the northern port of Santa Cruz, there was an uneventful sailing across to Gran Canaria. Upon disembarking, the birds had a short drive to the liberation site, arriving early evening where they were watered and left to settle

the honours of 1st International, we see the Henriksen team from Denmark first over the line with pigeon ‘Rosa’ on the clock at 10:55:18.65, winning the Survival Race winners trophy, diploma along with €2,000 prize money. In 2nd position, winning the runner-up trophy €750, we see the Welsh team of Greenway Lofts, first-time participants to the Derby Arona from Wales, with pigeon named ‘Force 27’ on 10:55:19.75. We stay within the UK with Team Lanarkshire Lads from Scotland in 3rd, also winning a trophy and €500 prize pot with pigeon ‘Wee Blue’ timing in on 10:55:20.20. Team Ad Fortuin PEC/Batenberg and Van de Merwe from the Netherlands

Team Greenway Lofts, Wales, 2nd International Hotspot 1 The Survival Race with pigeon ‘Force 27’.

take the 4th International with pigeon named ‘Fortune 071’ on 10:55:21.20, they also bank the prize of €220, which is paid out to pigeons from 4th to 10th. Team England saw two more arrivals for 5th and 6th, headed by Team Lancaster Bombers with pigeon ‘Stephenie Ann’ timing in on 10:55:21.45, followed closely by Team Maja with pigeon ‘Maja’ in 6th on

Pigeon ‘Wee Blue’ 3rd International Hotspot The Survival Race for Lanarkshire Lads Syn Scotland.

Birds from Hotspot 1 braving the Atlantic.

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