Archive for November 2013

Auckland Racing Pigeon Federation Update 2, Old Birds 2013.   2 comments

In part one of this series of articles I promised to write next time about the two ARPF Federation races which we have had recently, here is the first one.

At basketing for the Auckland Racing Pigeon Federation (ARPF) on Thursday night, 3rd October in the Pearce St, Onehunga Hall there was a lot of buzz and excitement. Having not flown the Young Bird Season earlier in the year I was pleasantly aware that there were new faces aplenty which is fantastic for pigeon racing in Auckland! John Muir, Colin Chang, Sugi Wanto, Alois Verstraeten to name just a few fairly new fanciers.

Interestingly enough, two factors amplified both the sound and the scene of the fliers in the crowded room. It was a smallish hall and sounds echoed extremely well. Secondly, it must also be a dancing hall, as the back was mirrored, quite naturally giving the impression of a vast number of fliers i.e. double the number. In fact, Kerry Frazer made a joke about that! But regardless of this, it was a great atmosphere; people were turning out to have their pigeons compete for the top North Island trophy in the ARPF Flock and Yearling Champs from both the East and West sections.

The Raumati ARPF race was scheduled to be held on Saturday the 5th of October this year, however the liberator wisely held the pigeons over and indeed talking to the driver the following night at strike off, a Mr Fred van Lier of West Auckland said ‘due to the very low cloud, drizzle and general murk that he doubted whether the pigeons would have cleared’ i.e. it was totally closed in! Had it been a delayed liberation between 10 and 11am I doubt very much that the day returns would have been very good, perhaps half at best, so you might say that a pigeon friendly liberation decision was made and good on the liberator, well done!

Interesting enough, there were several fliers which I spoke to at strike off who wished the pigeons had gone up in what I would describe as ‘pea soup’ and there may have been up to a hundred miles of it (or variations on a pretty murky theme). Some pigeons would have hit wires, trees, deer fences e.t.c. so once again, what a great decision by the liberation team!

Surprisingly enough there was a liberation by a Federation to the south of us from Blenheim the same day Auckland pigeons didn’t go up. To their credit the liberation was delayed until 9.30am (presumably anticipating the murk in the lower North Island to clear by late morning), the conditions over the Cook Strait were fair, i.e. high cloud, however the pigeons may have had up to 100 miles of poor visibility conditions to go through soon after crossing. The question that comes to my mind is, ‘is that good?’

Some fanciers around the world believe that if you don’t release the pigeons when there’s this sort of weather enroute and instead holdover, then the pigeons suffer as a consequence since they get less experience flying through this type or similar ‘pea soup’ drizzly conditions with very poor visibility. What do you think, are they right? Or, should we set limits, other than just holding over when there are very bad storm conditions in which the pigeons are not liberated? Certainly food for thought and I’d appreciate your feedback as the world is changing and with PETA on the prowl, what therefore is fair and indeed ethical to a flock of pigeons when considering liberation?

Incidentally, the feedback I had for day returns for this particular out of Auckland liberation was at the best only half and some a lot less on the day, with distances ranging from around 260 to 290 miles (420 to 490km), so not really a long way.

On the flip side, which some of you will already be thinking, those pigeons in the race will have benefited from the hours on the wing for later long distance races and all credit to the winners too!

Getting back to the ARPF liberation which became a Sunday lib and note, on Saturday morning, Sunday’s liberation forecast was no better for Raumati and the lower North Island up to as far as Whanganui. One might think that it may have been tempting to attempt a liberation on the Saturday as the other Fed did from Blenheim.

However, 24 hours can bring considerable changes and weather forecasting is not yet an exact science, so on Sunday morning the weather in Raumati was improving and Kapiti Island could be seen. So fortuitously liberation was achieved without the ‘pea soup’ conditions. Sure, there would have been fog and low cloud and patchy drizzle enroute, but the pigeons were able to get a good start and day returns were excellent, a great liberation and yet a good steady fly, likely favouring the back markers as it was beautiful in the Waikato and in Auckland by the time the pigeons got up there, so easier flying conditions at the home end and light winds enroute all the way in general.

From the ARPF website at aucklandracingpigeonfed.com I have selected the following- Liberation Report: Auckland Race Pigeons, together with those from the Whangarei and Manaia Long Distance Clubs, were liberated at 8:00 a.m. Sunday at the Raumati race point. They cleared away up the coast very quickly.

Obviously those of us that truly love our pigeons as extensions of our families and not mere chattels to ‘reward our egos’, were particularly pleased to hear this good news. Others may not have been so pleased as it likely would cut out the ‘luck’ factor of a poxy race and it wasn’t going to be a ‘last pigeon flying race’, which some give the impression they like. Can’t really fathom that if that’s the slightest bit true!

This reminds me of the comment I heard from one pigeon flier (somewhere in the world) about a middle distance race whilst they were waiting for pigeons to return. It was raining quite heavily and the pigeons had to come through strong headwinds and heavy showers/rain. His comment was, ‘that he was thinking, rain more!!’ That’s what he wanted, bucket down even more! I can’t really comprehend it myself, that sort of comment doesn’t fit in the 21st century we live in rather it echoes from the time of the Vikings, Genghis Khan or maybe even prehistoric times!

Will the pigeons learn any less than in a liberation involving enroute poxy weather conditions for a substantial part of the flight path, I doubt it! But you may have a different opinion, I know people do, however, shouldn’t the welfare of the pigeons come first and some fanciers ‘ego’ and perhaps ‘callous philosophy’ never, ever, be taken into consideration for a liberation decision? Won’t the pigeons be getting tested enough when the races get to 500 to 800 miles airline under any conditions?

In New Zealand this is especially true, as it’s seldom possible to have easy weather conditions the entire flight path from 500 miles plus and even rarer from 7 to 800 miles as the topography and variable nature of our climate seldom allows it.

Enough of that, down below is the race results in abbreviated form. You will see that in Auckland there are two sections, the East and the West. I flew in the West from 1990 to the end of 2002. The West section is tiny now. People in the East, especially new fliers, regularly say to me, why don’t the East and West combine, there are so few fliers? If you’d like to comment below feel free. Perhaps eventually they will combine and have a percentage clubs prize money like the East has. Although they adopted that when I flew in the West, in fact it was 75% going to the clubs in the end in the Western Union and the West Federation races so that even when I got the first ten prizes in the race that I could only win 40% of the prize money. This was totally gutless in my opinion. They even had club pools to prevent monetary losses to my loft too. I guess that this has happened to many fliers around the world. Interestingly enough, within 20 months of the Elley’s moving to a lifestyle block in the East Section, the West changed the rules to open slather and they’ve remained the same for about ten years now, although the likes of Barry Wilson of Hillsborough has given them a run for their money at times (near where I last lived in the West).

East Section ARPF Flock 6th October 2013 lib 8am 27 lofts 362 pigeons

Plc

Loft

No

Distance

Clock

Var

Flying

Pigeon

Velocity

Needed

1

Paul Millar

39

430969.7

14:11:24

6:11:24

SARPC-12-2392 BC C

1160.3923

0:00:00

2

Paul Millar

39

430969.7

14:11:29

6:11:29

SARPC-12-2393 BC H

1160.1320

0:00:05

3

Neale Maxwell

13

425132.9

14:08:08

6:08:08

SARPC-11-2098 BB H

1154.8340

0:01:46

4

W Arnold

20

420835.3

14:05:04

6:05:04

SARPC-12-2152 BB H

1152.7629

0:02:24

5

W Arnold

20

420835.3

14:06:46

6:06:46

SARPC-12-2174 MLY H

1147.4197

0:04:06

6

W Arnold

20

420835.3

14:06:57

6:06:57

SARPC-11-2584 RC C

1146.8464

0:04:17

7

Elley Family

45

400033.7

13:49:06

3

5:49:09

PUK-10-0250 BB H

1145.7359

0:04:25

8

Longvilla Lofts

11

418431.2

14:05:30

6:05:30

SARPC-12-2247 BB H

1144.8186

0:04:54

9

Elley Family

45

400033.7

13:49:53

3

5:49:56

PUKE-12-0328 BB H

1143.1712

0:05:12

10

Elley Family

45

400033.7

13:50:43

3

5:50:46

PUK-10-0231 BB H

1140.4553

0:06:02

11

Elley Family

45

400033.7

13:50:45

3

5:50:48

PUKE-12-0311 BCWF C

1140.3469

0:06:04

12

Elley Family

45

400033.7

13:50:47

3

5:50:50

PUKE-08-0436 BC H

1140.2386

0:06:06

13

Elley Family

45

400033.7

13:50:53

3

5:50:56

PUKE-12-0339 BB H

1139.9137

0:06:12

14

Rata Lofts

17

427710.2

14:15:27

-1

6:15:26

SAIPC-10-1109 BC H

1139.2441

0:06:51

15

Point View Lofts

4

441916.3

14:27:58

1

6:27:59

PHAK-09-3890 RC H

1139.0085

0:07:09

16

Neale Maxwell

13

425132.9

14:13:27

6:13:27

SARPC-11-2099 BB C

1138.3931

0:07:05

17

Point View Lofts

4

441916.3

14:28:28

1

6:28:29

PHAK-09-3887 BC H

1137.5425

0:07:39

18

Rata Lofts

17

427710.2

14:16:07

-1

6:16:06

ARPF-11-1191 MLY C

1137.2247

0:07:31

19

Tui Lofts

13

431157.8

14:19:17

6:19:17

EU-12-0158 BB H

1136.7697

0:07:43

20

W Arnold

20

420835.3

14:10:18

6:10:18

SARPC-11-2555 BCP H

1136.4712

0:07:38

Paul Millar took the winning honours here. Paul is a lovely guy. Paul has a fairly marked health disability. One of the features of his illness is a very limited vision which is of the tunnel variety and means he now cannot drive. I asked Paul the other day if he has someone else who cleans his loft (like I have due to my CFS). I expected to hear that someone in the family does this for him, but no, Paul still can do this chore and I got the impression he enjoys it! Not an easy life for Paul, but he loves his pigeons and his friends in pigeon racing help him with getting to the club and with some training of the pigeons.

What a great testimony to the sport, not just that Paul has the help of the community of fanciers, but rather that Paul has an outlet for his interest in animal life in the form of pigeon racing. Health situations like Paul’s and my own (due to CFS in my case) are indeed sobering facts that PETA need to ponder if they ever consider attacking pigeon racing anywhere in the world again. PETA U.K.’s efforts to malign the pigeon racing scene over there in my mind gave the impression that they were somewhat ignorant of ‘the sport’ to put it mildly and politely! But if you are a fancier reading this, feel free to think less positive thoughts about PETA as I would not blame you, especially if you race in the U.K!

I mention Paul in earlier blog articles, indeed he has had a pretty good year with his feathered friends and long may you enjoy it Paul, you are a true gentleman. Indeed pigeon racing is a great sport for people with different health challenges including older fanciers as their bodies lose the health of their younger years.

Win Arnold who often flies well also was right up there in this Fed Raumati race. Win won the ARPF Futurity this year. Win and Paul are good buddies. Neale Maxwell had an early pigeon too and he often does well, nearly always with a smaller team of pigeons with a good percentage of early pigeons on the first page of the ARPF East results.

East Section ARPF Yearling Championship 6th October 2013 lib 8am 23 lofts 158 pigeons

1

Paul Millar

7

430969.7

14:11:24

6:11:24

SARPC-12-2392 BC C

1160.3923

0:00:00

2

Paul Millar

7

430969.7

14:11:29

6:11:29

SARPC-12-2393 BC H

1160.1320

0:00:05

3

W Arnold

10

420835.3

14:05:04

6:05:04

SARPC-12-2152 BB H

1152.7629

0:02:24

4

W Arnold

10

420835.3

14:06:46

6:06:46

SARPC-12-2174 MLY H

1147.4197

0:04:06

5

Elley Family

15

400033.7

13:49:53

3

5:49:56

PUKE-12-0328 BB H

1143.1712

0:05:12

6

Elley Family

15

400033.7

13:50:45

3

5:50:48

PUKE-12-0311 BCWF C

1140.3469

0:06:04

7

Elley Family

15

400033.7

13:50:53

3

5:50:56

PUKE-12-0339 BB H

1139.9137

0:06:12

8

Tui Lofts

4

431157.8

14:19:17

6:19:17

EU-12-0158 BB H

1136.7697

0:07:43

9

Rata Lofts

12

427710.2

14:16:24

-1

6:16:23

ARPF-12-2495 BC H

1136.3686

0:07:48

10

Neale Maxwell

6

425132.9

14:14:09

6:14:09

ARPF-12-2356 BC H

1136.2633

0:07:47

11

Elley Family

15

400033.7

13:52:05

3

5:52:08

PUKE-12-0331 BC H

1136.0291

0:07:24

12

David Moors

9

436974.9

14:25:23

1

6:25:24

SARPC-12-2286 BC H

1133.8217

0:08:49

13

Rata Lofts

12

427710.2

14:17:16

-1

6:17:15

ARPF-12-2344 RC H

1133.7580

0:08:40

14

David Moors

9

436974.9

14:25:25

1

6:25:26

SARPC-12-2301 BC H

1133.7237

0:08:51

15

Tui Lofts

4

431157.8

14:20:46

6:20:46

SARPC-12-2022 BC H

1132.3412

0:09:12

16

A and K Lofts

11

433244.8

14:22:48

-1

6:22:47

SARPC-12-2051 BB C

1131.8278

0:09:25

17

Sterling Lofts

8

432955.6

14:22:50

1

6:22:51

SARPC-12-2099 DC C

1130.8753

0:09:44

18

J and G Lofts

8

420069.1

14:11:59

1

6:12:00

SARPC-12-2419 BC H

1129.2180

0:10:00

19

S and M Archer

5

446325.8

14:36:03

1

6:36:04

PHAK-12-2189 MLY C

1126.8956

0:11:26

20

K Malone

11

400853.8

13:55:56

-2

5:55:54

SWPC-12-0592 BB H

1126.3102

0:10:27

As you can see above, Paul’s first two pigeons were yearlings, so they took out honours in this leg of the Raumati race too. Two of Wins three early pigeons were yearlings too and they were entered in the Yearling Championship. Elley family had three good yearlings which may’ve been in leading bunches. Good to see Steve McCluskie (Sterling Lofts) with a reasonable yearling time. Steve is a fairly new flier.

ARPF West Flock Race from Raumati 6th October 10 lofts 160 pigeons

1

T and M van Lier

32

452879.7

14:41:56

1

6:41:57

WUAK-11-0247 BC C

1126.7066

0:00:00

2

T and M van Lier

32

452879.7

14:42:00

1

6:42:01

WUAK-12-0337 BB H

1126.5197

0:00:04

3

Jim Cater

14

449175.8

14:39:12

6:39:12

HENAK-12-0301 BB C

1125.1899

0:00:32

4

T and M van Lier

32

452879.7

14:44:10

1

6:44:11

HENAK-11-1069 BCP H

1120.4809

0:02:14

5

Jim Cater

14

449175.8

14:41:49

6:41:49

HENAK-11-1221 BC H

1117.8625

0:03:09

6

Ted Smith

8

444955.9

14:38:35

6:38:35

WUAK-12-0315 BCP H

1116.3435

0:03:40

7

Odeon Lofts

27

443688.2

14:37:35

2

6:37:37

WUAK-11-0017 BCP H

1115.8692

0:03:49

8

D and T Campbell

23

461701.2

14:53:50

6:53:50

WUAK-11-0255 BB H

1115.6694

0:04:03

9

Odeon Lofts

27

443688.2

14:37:40

2

6:37:42

HENA-12-0328 BB H

1115.6354

0:03:54

10

Odeon Lofts

27

443688.2

14:37:47

2

6:37:49

WUAK-11-0566 BB H

1115.3082

0:04:01

11

T and M van Lier

32

452879.7

14:46:22

1

6:46:23

WUAK-12-0333 BB H

1114.4150

0:04:26

12

T and M van Lier

32

452879.7

14:46:24

1

6:46:25

WUAK-12-0338 BC H

1114.3236

0:04:28

13

Odeon Lofts

27

443688.2

14:38:34

2

6:38:36

HENA-12-0185 BC H

1113.1164

0:04:48

14

Eric Billington

13

455996.3

14:49:47

6:49:47

WUAK-12-0260 LBC H

1112.7741

0:05:04

15

T and M van Lier

32

452879.7

14:47:17

1

6:47:18

HENAK-12-0157 SLT H

1111.9069

0:05:21

16

D and T Campbell

23

461701.2

14:56:34

6:56:34

WUAK-12-0100 BB H

1108.3489

0:06:47

17

T and M van Lier

32

452879.7

14:48:53

1

6:48:54

WUAK-12-0016 BC H

1107.5561

0:06:57

18

Jim Cater

14

449175.8

14:45:43

6:45:43

WUAK-11-0518 BMLY H

1107.1170

0:07:03

19

D and T Campbell

23

461701.2

14:57:07

6:57:07

HENAK-12-0034 BC C

1106.8874

0:07:20

20

Eric Billington

13

455996.3

14:52:19

6:52:19

WUAK-12-0263 SLTP C

1105.9371

0:07:36

Theo van Lier who flies in partnership with his wife Monique took the honours in this Flock race and they were 1st and 2nd in the West Yearling Championship too. Theo is the most consistent pigeon flier in the West and was good competition particularly in these North Island Classic races when I was there up until the end of 2002. He wins a lot of these Classic races and he won both the Henderson Classic from Christchurch (roughly 500 miles) and the Federation Timaru (heading up towards 600 miles) last year also. Jim and Theo live relatively close, only 3.7km separating their airline distances.

ARPF West Yearling Championship Race from Raumati 6th October 7 lofts 66 pigeons

1

T and M van Lier

14

452879.7

14:42:00

1

6:42:01

WUAK-12-0337 BB H

1126.5197

0:00:00

2

Jim Cater

5

449175.8

14:39:12

6:39:12

HENAK-12-0301 BB C

1125.1899

0:00:28

3

T and M van Lier

14

452879.7

14:46:22

1

6:46:23

WUAK-12-0333 BB H

1114.4150

0:04:22

4

Odeon Lofts

6

443688.2

14:38:34

2

6:38:36

HENA-12-0185 BC H

1113.1164

0:04:45

5

Eric Billington

12

455996.3

14:49:47

6:49:47

WUAK-12-0260 LBC H

1112.7741

0:05:00

6

T and M van Lier

14

452879.7

14:47:17

1

6:47:18

HENAK-12-0157 SLT H

1111.9069

0:05:17

7

D and T Campbell

17

461701.2

14:56:34

6:56:34

WUAK-12-0100 BB H

1108.3489

0:06:43

8

T and M van Lier

14

452879.7

14:48:53

1

6:48:54

WUAK-12-0016 BC H

1107.5561

0:06:53

9

D and T Campbell

17

461701.2

14:57:07

6:57:07

HENAK-12-0034 BC C

1106.8874

0:07:16

10

Eric Billington

12

455996.3

14:52:19

6:52:19

WUAK-12-0263 SLTP C

1105.9371

0:07:32

Those two pigeons neck and neck in this West Yearling leg too.

Next time we cover the start of the South Island Federation series with a race from Ward. Recently the ARPF sent club pigeons down on the small truck and trailer which Peter Longville senior and Win Arnold looking after the pigeons. Pigeons were dropped off at Blenheim (I presume the trailer was left there at the liberator’s) and Peter and Win drove onwards to Christchurch. Both the Ward race of the 19th October and last weekend’s Blenheim and Christchurch races were pretty quick flies.

Last weekend also a Westport race was cancelled due to insufficient numbers by the cut off date which disappointed some fliers, most of which simply sent their Westport candidates to the Christchurch race. Perhaps next year this race will be organised in a different way on a separate weekend.

Henderson had their Henderson Classic Race from Christchurch the same weekend with 14 lofts competing. Theo and Monique van Lier won, so that’s two years in a row now. Hopefully sometime in the future this race will be opened to the whole of Auckland in a way that is workable, indeed food for thought.