Archive for the ‘Auckland’ Tag

Fred van Lier RIP.   1 comment

It is with both sadness yet honour that I write this account of the life of our good friend Fred van Lier and his involvement in pigeon racing in Auckland, New Zealand.

I first met Fred in 1992 and my first short conversation with him was interesting. He may well have been long haired, with a beard and resembling a middle aged hillbilly dude, I can’t remember for sure! I’d been back in the sport two or three years and we were both flying the Henderson Classic race from Christchurch to Auckland, or should I say our pigeons were! It was the hardest Christchurch race I can remember in 25 years or more of pigeon racing.

My pigeon, a yearling homed sundown on the second day after enduring gale nor-east winds (a headwind and a dangerous wind from that racepoint to Auckland lofts) and rain for much of the weekend and Fred’s (which came second) around mid morning on the 3rd day. Fred’s comment to me at strike off was a blunt ‘prick’ and at the time I thought that he was serious having not got to know the man yet at that stage.

I guess that memory sums Fred up fairly well; he had a sharp albeit dry wit and was well liked around the New Zealand pigeon racing community. Many pigeon fanciers around the country were very gutted with his recent passing.

Fred loved to drive either of the Federation’s two trucks and after he and Bronie partnered up they would go down together to the South Island with Auckland and other Federations and clubs’ pigeons. Both he and Bronie enjoyed this activity immensely and Fred always looked forward to it.

Fred always kept many different sorts of animals and had an affinity with them, especially those that you could race, such as pigeons and grey hounds. He liked growing vegetables including giant pumpkins for showing and in recent years started bee keeping. His father Wouter started van Lier Nurseries which a younger brother Theo, (another pigeon man) has run for quite some years now. Fred learnt the nursery trade and later on had his own nursery in Hobsonville. There are accounts of Fred’s goats getting into glass houses both there and other places of abode, I guess not a good outcome for the flowers usually!

When Fred shifted to Hillsborough I got to know him quite well. Soon after in April 1998 my wife and I, almost having given up on buying our first home, managed to find one we could get finance on, a state house up for sale in Three Kings under the then National Government who were selling off a few. It had the potential for development and in late 2002 a doctor bought our house and plot of land and developed it thus allowing us to shift into our beautiful 3.5 Ha block and home here in the hills of Onewhero.

Fred built the bulk of my new loft in Three Kings which about four years later got shifted south to my current address in Onewhero. Like Fred, I did shift it with a few pigeons inside but unlike Fred, I paid professionals to shift it and didn’t have problems with the wind enroute and no pigeons escaped, unlike one of Fred’s loft moving experiences……

Fred liked me because I was a straight shooter; we had a lot in common and had some good conversations on many topics. We didn’t always agree on everything, including my philosophy on racing pigeon welfare here in New Zealand and how to go about changing the system within pigeon racing and yet he could see what I was trying to do. I guess that’s what friendships are all about, true friendships are democratic rather than autocratic in nature and free speech is to be encouraged within them.

Around that time I recall one pigeon tossing expedition which I went down with him in his flat deck pickup with our boxes of pigeons tied securely on the back. We got to Pirongia and it was overcast but still bright and we released Barry Wilson’s pigeons. We wanted to go further for ours, somewhere near the start of the Kawhia Road. It was very murky with light rain; we had young birds in our boxes so they needed at least some bright patches in the sky to help get a bearing. Fred said it might be better at Kawhia Harbour so to Kawhia we drove, but the weather was no better there, so we parked up by the Kawhia Maritime Museum and went in for a look-see. After some time and probably some food etc Fred said that we would head back home and see how the weather was enroute.

Back in the pickup we must have headed north up the coast to Raglan which is the harbour two up from Kawhia. We couldn’t let them go anywhere there and headed back east over the Four Brothers hills enroute to Whatawhata. There was a short passing lane in those hills but it was on a windy bit and Fred gunned it to get past a car that was holding us up and I heard a box or boxes fly off the back, across the road in the air and when we had stopped I was relieved that the two boxes in the ditch upside down were both Fred’s and not mine! Fred rushed across (no swearing if I remember rightly); a blood red cock got out as Fred righted the painted wooden boxes which Fred told me later had come home through all the murk. I guess it’s not usually ‘a given’ to share a joke about the departed but Fred and I had talked about that trip a few times and laughed, probably I more than him! After that he took his pigeons all the way home and mine went up at Whatawhata, as they’d been there before and there was one at home when I arrived, a vandie cross cock looking fresh as a daisy and others dribbled in the rest of the afternoon and some the next day.

Our conversations also included religion and for many years Fred wasn’t a believer in the Great I Am, but having terminal cancer can make a lot of people reassess their position on these matters and I believe ex Apostolic pastor Laurie Bull had an input there and I believe that he was also there at Fred’s home when Fred passed on.

Fred was cut down way too soon, only 63, while I being a little younger struggle with my own health issues Ad infunitum. He had a rock solid constitution and would be one of the few who would wear shorts all year around since I have known him the last 25 years or so. That type of resilient constitution is something to be envied by people like myself.

Fred was a bit of a jack of all trades and would give anything a go. He was likable, loved nature, animals, plants and people. He wasn’t a perfect man but that is one thing I liked about him, he didn’t live his life as a facade, was thick skinned in the pigeon racing scene here in Auckland, resilient, durable and very likable. He also worked tirelessly in many club, Western Union and Federation positions.

During his less than a year’s time of diagnosed terminal cancer he lived his life in many ways the same as before. Still helping his aged father Wouter in the veggie and flower garden, driving the Auckland truck down the South Island for our liberations with Bronie his partner whom he married two days prior to his passing and his pigeon racing career terminating with the winning of the last pigeon race he flew, the Old Bird National from Christchurch, a tough one.

Fred lived and died the same sort of person in many ways. I don’t know what his vision for the future was prior to his diagnosis but I do know that likely it would have included pigeons, poultry, plants, friends, family and others whose lives he touched and made a difference in.

Just like Mac Armstrong who passed on also with a terminal illness aged 85 prior to Christmas last year, Fred was a pigeon man who is well worth remembering. Those two were indeed generous with their love for their fellow human beings and I remember them both fondly and with a high degree of admiration. They both won their fair share of pigeon races and loved the long distance racing but really they must primarily be remembered for the quality of people they were and the lives they touched and that they loved people genuinely as the unique individuals they both were.

Some of the catch phrases of Fred.
‘The long and the short of it’.
‘At the end of the day’.
‘For all intensive purposes’.
A funny reply from Fred when we were discussing races where pigeons hadn’t trapped well.

‘If the dog hadn’t stopped for a crap it would have won the race’! He would say that with a big infectious laugh and a beaming smile and eyes asparkle like precious stones as if to say, “Stop making excuses Mr Elley!” He always, for some reason, called me Mr Elley, but whether that was out of respect or contained a glint of satire, one will never know! He loved reading about the likes of famous New Zealand icon Barry Crump and quite naturally they had a lot in common, perhaps I hear a few chuckles…..
Fred passed away at home on the 7th of March 2016, father of Walter and Marie and husband of Bronie, he will be greatly missed!

Now something that I’m sure Fred would laugh at, as he was always looking for the comedy in life. I got this from boardofwisdom.com it’s credited with an ‘unknown’ as the author.

On the first day God created the dog. God said, “Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty years.” The dog said, “That’s too long to be barking. Give me ten years and I’ll give you back the other ten.”
So God agreed.

On the second day God created the monkey. God said, “Entertain people, do monkey tricks and make them laugh. I’ll give you a twenty-year life span.” The monkey said, “Monkey tricks for twenty years? I don’t think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that’s what I’ll do too, okay?”
And God agreed.

On the third day God created the cow. “You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves, and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a life span of sixty years.”
The cow said, “That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. Let me have twenty and I’ll give back the other forty.”
And God agreed again.

On the fourth day God created man. God said, “Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. I’ll give you twenty years.”
Man said, “What? Only twenty years? Tell you what, I’ll take my twenty, and the forty the cow gave back, and the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back, that makes eighty, okay?”

Okay,” said God, “You’ve got a deal.”

So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, and enjoy ourselves; the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family; the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren; and the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.
RIP Fred; see you at the great party at the end of time! Thank you for being part of my life and of others who read this. We salute you for the good example you gave for us to follow and emulate.

ARPF Ward Race 18th October 2014.   2 comments

Steve Archer with his hard ARPF Ward winner 18th October 2014, a 3 year old BBH 639 .

Steve Archer with the Archer’s hard ARPF Ward winner 18th October 2014, a 3 year old BBH 639.

The Auckland Racing Pigeon Federation (ARPF) held its first Federation race of the South Island series on the 18th of October 2014. At basketing some fanciers were already picking that the weather would be pretty bad for Saturday if the pigeons were let up. However this wasn’t the forecast for perhaps the first 25 to 30% of the race depending on whether one was a back marker or a front marker.
The problem that some people could see was that a ‘weather bomb’ might hit the race birds in the later part of the race. For back markers that could be about 220km i.e. 35% of the race and for front markers considerably less, about 100km i.e. 20% of the race.

Of course weather forecasts do change and this was Thursday night. Weather forecast viewed just prior to liberation can also be wrong in some instances.

The night before the anticipated Saturday liberation I viewed the metservice rural and 3 day rain forecast to see how things were looking. It actually appeared like there might be a narrow window of opportunity for a race that produced a fair percentage of pigeons home on the day i.e. 50% on average to ARPF lofts. Call me ‘optimistic ferg’, but I think many of us are naturally of this ‘ilk’.

The next morning I rose early and assessed the weather online and thought, there is a possibility that the pigeons would be let up, however, for the mid and back markers pigeon’s sake, it could be seen as a bit risky. Of course the first 25 to 30% of the race was highly likely to be good weather (including the treacherous Cook Strait) and a later video of the Ward liberation shows that the pigeons went up in sunny conditions with plenty of blue sky in a light nor-west wind. So one could surmise that the most important box i.e. reasonable conditions over the Cook Strait was indeed definitely ticked.

When later a post was made on the Federation site my eyes and mind misread it, it said AUCKLAND – HAMILTON AND MANAIA LIBERATED AT 7.15AM, but I had to do a double take as I did not see the word Auckland the first time. I had been convinced that the Auckland pigeons probably would not go up. However, at the same time I could see that there was still a possibility of a fair race to the liberated pigeons. Perhaps those involved with letting the pigeons go had seen something others including myself hadn’t.

So, I hoped that it still would be a good race and that there wouldn’t be too many empty perches that night for everyone. On the closed Facebook pigeon chat site I wrote “Good luck everybody! 7.15am lib. 8 hours to my place maybe i.e. 3.15pm, earliest 3pm but very unlikely, more likely 3.45 to 4.15pm i.e. 8.5 to 9 hours. Keep watching the rain radar but they would have had a good start for several hours or so. Get your gumboots out!”

The Archer Loft. Steve and Magda have shifted since the 2014 Ward race.

The Archer Loft. Steve and Magda have shifted since the 2014 Ward race.

Well this is what transpired at my place that Saturday afternoon. By 2pm it was raining at my place, but just light. From 3pm it was on the light side of moderate. Also by 3pm my back was wet through (even though I was wearing a thick coat) as I was looking to the south and the wind was from the north. At 4pm the skies turned dark grey/black to the north about 8km away and the wind picked up to moderate to strong northerlies. At this stage I thought that we are now in for a shit dunger and that only a few pigeons would make it home on the day, even to my loft and I was the front marker in this race! It would depend how far down this ‘weather bomb’ was tracking and when family came down the farm I asked my wife to look at the rain radar. When she returned with a hand drawn diagram I could see it was down as far south as Pio Pio and even parts of Aria i.e. about 140km from my place in Onewhero.

After a while I started looking north, sitting down all the time since by this stage it had worn me out. Sure enough a few minutes before 6pm a pigeon could be seen a long way in the distance coming back from the due north and obviously it had gone through with other pigeons and likely once it had got to the other side of the Waikato River somewhere it then realised that it needed to turn around. That was a 2 year old BCC 314; he finished 5th Flock East Section. Another two pigeons came about a minute apart about 10 minutes after 314, they were both hens. Both pooled, the first hen 1118 had scraped her wing, so she had done really well.

So for me, just the three home on the day from 50 sent and it was an early rise the next morning to greet each pigeon that came home. In the end I lost 12 of the 50 sent. Usually I don’t lose any from this racepoint. Apart from the weather conditions enroute my losses can be explained also by a number of features.

Firstly the Federation programme had cut out the usual first Bulls two day basket race. We had had a not so good for quite a few pigeons Bulls race the previous Old Bird season and this had put some people off having Bulls on the programme. Secondly, (and I agreed with the principle of this decision), the first scheduled two day basket i.e. the 7th race on the Old Bird programme was cancelled due to a bad storm forecast for that weekend, so in my case the pigeons got nothing that weekend and I am not able to train them. However, full credit to the ARPF team they arranged a Bulls race the following weekend in addition to the scheduled shorter Raetihi race. Some Federation members took advantage of this and raced the Bulls. I didn’t as the first Federation race from Raumati was the following weekend and I didn’t want to flatten them. As it turned out we had a good Federation race from Raumati and that got a lot of pigeons off to a good start.

Here’s some food for thought, an alternative way to proceed with racing after a key race weekend is cancelled would be to race that racepoint the following week and thus return to the scheduled programme. This would lengthen the season by a week, however, I think it is something worth discussing in meetings by those with the health to attend them (until the ARPF provide video conferencing for the infirm like myself). Race fitness is attained by the steady, gradual build up of the distance. To me that would be a better method than putting a two day basket on the week before the first Federation race.

Jim Cater, a West Section flier had the best returns in the results after the two days allowed for this Ward race. The West had raced from Raumati the weekend of the storm when Auckland racing was cancelled. They hitched a ride with the South Waikato pigeons. They had a good race, as the weather, although showery, allowed a liberation on the Sunday. This obviously helped the West pigeons reach a better level of match fitness for a hard race like this Ward race was.

Full credit to Steve and Magda Archer’s pigeon which won this Ward race by a long, long way (almost an hour). The East Section Futurity Yearling was won by Peter Longville senior and Jim Cater did the double in the West Section which meant he had won 6 West trophies by this stage (and he wasn’t finished yet!). In fact, if there was an overall result, Jim Caters pigeons would have taken the next three places after Archer and with further distance to fly than many, an excellent effort!

Please have a look at the results for the East and West Sections of the ARPF Ward by scrolling down to the Ward result blog on the 28th December last year.

As far as the East result goes, of the 328 pigeons sent, there were just 13 pigeons home on the official result sheet on the day i.e. 3.9%. In the West Section, 5 pigeons from 198 i.e. 2.5%, of course in general their distances are greater, although not the greatest.

I think that everyone participating in the race would agree that this is not brilliant; however, it is likely that not everyone would have been in agreement as to whether the pigeons should have instead been held over. There is no way of knowing for sure that day returns would be so bleak for a race ranging from 505 to 626km’s i.e. it was not really a long distance race at least in my mind, even for the back markers, so perhaps the risk of a ‘weather bomb’ was under estimated. All the same, run the race another day with exactly the same forecasting and on that particular day returns could well be much better, so it’s a very difficult one.

Steve Archer outside the Archer's new loft at their new residence (looks impressive!) holding their 2013 ARPF Timaru winner and trophy it won.

Steve Archer outside the Archer’s new loft at their new residence (looks impressive!) holding their 2013 ARPF Timaru winner and trophy it won.

I think that there are two key factors why the race did not pan out as expected. Firstly, the misty, showery murk, probably from Whanganui northwards blanketing east to west across the island, with likely mainly less than moderate northerly headwinds and secondly the weather bomb, which perhaps exploded a bit earlier than expected into the final section of the race and travelled further south than expected, acting for many pigeons like a ‘gate’ between Kawhia Harbour and the west side of Hamilton City i.e. Mount Pirongia etc was completely hemmed in and to the south as far as Aria by around 4pm.

However, the bulk of the North Island looked reasonably good on the rain radar prior to liberation. With a front approaching from the north you are always going to get murky, showery conditions extending a lot further down the country. The weather was quite clear from Ward to somewhere perhaps almost as far north as Whanganui, so the pigeons had a good start and it was up to them whether they crossed the Strait with enthusiasm while enjoying the pleasant ferry crossing conditions in only light north winds. They also encountered these over land in the North Island for some time, perhaps to the northern border of the King Country i.e. just south of Aria. However as I mentioned before, there was this likely blanket of murk, mist and showers making it slow going through the many hills and valleys enroute.

I wouldn’t say that the liberation for this race was a poor one, it just wasn’t in my mind a really good one (due to the weather bomb risk factor) and it’s likely that every man and his dog in the ARPF both before and after this race would have an opinion on this one!

It could be that Steve and Magda Archer’s 3 year BBH 639 got around this ‘gate’ by taking a route through Hamilton with perhaps some Hamilton pigeons which were liberated with the ARPF’s, or it could simply be that it happened much earlier in the race somehow. All I know is that it was a terrific, gutsy effort by 639 and that all the other pigeons were ‘also-rans’ in this particular race. To win the East section against another 327 pigeons by 55 minutes is no mean feat and we must take our hat off to both the pigeon and the fanciers. Steve is blessed with a wife who enjoys the pigeons and they enjoy the many facets of the hobby together. Good luck to them at their new position over towards the firth of Thames! Also good luck fishing, Steve’s other hobby!

Steve and Magda Archer at the ARPF Young Bird Futurity prize presentation back in 2012. This was Steve's first year back in racing and view the article Stevo's back on this blog for further details. The Archers also won our second longest distance race in 2013 i.e. the ARPF Timaru. So 3 OPEN Fed wins in 3 years, no mean feat!

Steve and Magda Archer at the ARPF Young Bird Futurity prize presentation back in 2012. This was Steve’s first year back in racing and view the article Stevo’s back on this blog for further details. The Archers also won our second longest distance race in 2013 i.e. the ARPF Timaru. So 3 OPEN Fed wins in 3 years, no mean feat!

I’d like to thank all those involved in the running of this race. It wasn’t what most of us were banking on but it was another one under their belts for the rest of the South Island programme that lay ahead. I think it also shows that if say for instance when the little truck is down at Christchurch for a club race or the Old Bird National, then Ward is a relatively safe option for a plan b or c when we are presented with unfavourable weather conditions for our Christchurch races over any given weekend e.g. moderate or stronger east or nor-east winds in the South Island, Christchurch and north of, plus or minus one other factor e.g. gale headwinds over the Cook Strait any time during daylight on the anticipated day of release or drizzle and murk/mist along much of the South Island flight path corridors north of Christchurch.

This race showed that if the Cook Strait is good, then many of the pigeons return to their lofts within a few days of liberation, even if a worse case scenario weather forecast pans out as it did in the case of this Ward race. Assuming the overall losses from this race were 20 to 25%, then compared to the likely losses from last year’s Christchurch Old Bird National of perhaps around 75% given just 11.5% (34 pigeons) were clocked in three days from 294 pigeons released in the East Section race, then I think my argument of ‘if in doubt’, after trying for a liberation from Christchurch for two days then the little truck should drive to a shorter release point, somewhere along the Kaikoura Coast or even as far north as Ward for a possible mid morning release after watering the birds.

Incidentally we are looking at an extra 45 minutes or so in day length in late November early December than mid October and although an e.g. Ward race doesn’t guarantee freedom from heavy losses, if the Cook Strait is reasonable, then well over half the pigeons are likely to make it home in a few days. In the Ward race of the 18th October 2014 the figure was 57% to East lofts and that doesn’t take into account the situation where fanciers disconnect their clock well before leaving for strike off and any fliers that for whatever reason, don’t present a clock, even though some pigeons are home.

Your thoughts and wise comments are welcome below in the comments or on any of the Facebook forums this article is published in. Alternatively email me at ferguselley@gmail.com or message me on Facebook Fergus James Elley.

Any of you (including overseas readers) who would like to ask Kerry Frazer some questions about pigeon racing, especially the long distance please email them to me or pop them in the comments section below please. There are some blogs in the pipe line on our last year’s Invercargill race which Kerry won along with the Old Bird National from Christchurch.

Steve Archer outside the Archer's new loft from an another angle again holding their 2013 ARPF Timaru winner. Steve likes flying the long distance. Steve and Magda will fly the 2015 Old Bird season in the Pukekohe Pigeon club, the same club as the writer.

Steve Archer outside the Archer’s new loft from an another angle again holding their 2013 ARPF Timaru winner. Steve likes flying the long distance. Steve and Magda will fly the 2015 Old Bird season in the Pukekohe Pigeon club, the same club as the writer.

ARPF Ward Race 18th October 2014.   Leave a comment

Click on the pdf files for the labelled results. Use the bottom link for the Wikipedia Ward details including its location in nz.

FedWard18October2014.East Flockpdf

FedWard18October2014.East Futurity

FedWard18October2014.3×2 teams Eastpdf

FedWard18October2014.West Flockpdf

FedWard18October2014.West Futuritypdf

FedWard18October2014.West 3×2 teamspdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward,_New_Zealand

Ward Race report coming…………

ARPF Raumati 4th October 2014 race report.   Leave a comment

Our first race of the 2014 Old Bird season for the ARPF went off without a hitch there being a very good muster at basketing and things were run very smoothly.
One of the great things this year is the use of the screen to feed results to from Jim Cater’s pc. Jim certainly deserved to be commended for his excellent and diligent work and the other members working in well alongside him just like a well oiled machine.
There was a happy atmosphere that night and obviously the novelty of the system used to present the results and the fact that this was the first of our Federation races had much to do with it. A lot of us hadn’t seen each other for about 5 months, so it was good to catch up and talk pigeons amongst other things.
On the morning of the race after liberation the Federation site reported
“Auckland & Manaia Pigeons liberated 8am into clear skies Fresh NW wind
South Waikato 8.30am
Hamilton 8.45am”
And I wrote on my Facebook pigeon chat site
“up 8am, fresh nw and fine, should pick up a sw from King Country so fast finish if 4cast correct, wait and see”.
Checking out the metservice rain radar I could see that there was a good chance of some very big showers especially in the King Country i.e. centre of the race for front markers. Winds were pretty strong west with hail expected and later reported.
For most Auckland pigeons this was their first longer race for the season. For some reason prior to this race the programme this year only included one 2 day basket which are our North Island races of longer duration. Unfortunately due to a storm brewing 2 weeks prior our programmed Whanganui race which is a 2 day basket was not held. This disappointed a number of fanciers. I noticed that some of the later pigeons were pretty tired and either they got a bit lost or the fitness level was below par for this distance, however it was good to get the fly into them and those organising the transportation and liberation of the pigeons did an excellent job. Incidentally, a couple of the pigeons which were about 3 hours behind the front pigeons won for me the Westport Combine 4 weeks later, having been spelled 3 weeks after this race and then given a Raetihi as a ‘pipe opener’.
To new comers, we fly these middle distance races in sections. I posted the results yesterday and all you have to do is click on them and the pdf file will open up for you in that window and perhaps you can keep reading in another. Win Arnold took the first Yearling and first Flock in the East Section and gets his name on the overall trophy. Paul Millar was ‘bridesmaid in both legs. I told him he had to wear a bridesmaid dress the next Federation race but I didn’t see him in one!
I was happy with my 4 together that took 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Flock places. My first yearling came back from the north to finish 6th Yearling.
Jim Cater took the honours in the West Section in both legs of the race. He also took the same places in the Western Union race 2 weeks prior from Raumati, so he had won four trophies by this stage and was flying very well. You could say that he deserved it due to all the hard work he puts in for the Federation races even though he is not on the Committee now. However he did not finish at 4 major wins as you will find out in the weeks to come as I collate the race reports for the season just ended. He had a ‘magic’ season indeed.
Just going back through the East Yearling results it was very good to see Risto Gramov 3rd in that leg, 5 minutes behind on the slow by but he is 36km more than the winner, Win. Seeing Risto with 10 entries, that is a massive team for him, as often he has barely a handful but races quite credibly. Also one of our back markers had a good performance, I think i.e. Dave Driver to take 7th, one behind mine. I give Dave 120KM so Win gives him about 100km; I would say that the pigeons were finishing slower somewhere north of the Bombay’s, so good fly Dave!
Looking again at the East Flock race you can see that the pigeons were a bit split up and Gramov in the Harbour Club just pipped Camry Lofts which is the fancier Ray van der Riet. Other than that, David Moors having a good bird in a wind that is unfavourable for his loft location in the East Section. Elley Family (my family) having 59 pigeons in the Flock race of course having a better chance of getting a few up there and they were 2 two year olds and 2 three year olds and had never done anything at a Federation trophy race level. All medium to large and the sort of body type that can go well in the strong westerly side winds over here and in that particular race, although a few months later two of these went to Invercargill but have failed to return. One (337) was actually reported on Dog Island which isn’t that far from the race point. A government worker had caught him and looked after him and let him go 2 days later in Bluff and then rang Bill Beattie who handles and liberates the Invercargill pigeons when he gets the good to go. When Longville senior gave me the note with the bird’s number on it at the strike off recently he said ‘it’s on its way”, I wondered what he meant and initially thought he was getting brought up, but no such luck! Perhaps 337 thought the bottom of the South Island was the top.

ARPF Raumati results, 4th October 2014, East Section and West Section, Yearling, Flock and Teams races and South Waikato Result (seperate later liberation)..   Leave a comment

FedRaumati4Oct2014 east yearlings

FedRaumati4Oct2014.eastflockpdf

FedRaumati4Oct2014.eastteamspdf

FedRaumati4Oct2014.westyrlgpdf

FedRaumati4Oct2014.westflockpdf

FedRaumati4Oct2014.westteamspdf

South Waikato Raumati 4-10-14

more coming soon…………..

Invercargill, Timaru and Christchurch Old Bird National results.   2 comments

ARPFInvercargillOpen2Dec2014

 

ARPFOBNatChch6Dec2014

 

ARPF Old Bird National West.

 

ARPFTimaruOpen6Dec2014

Waikato 4 races in 2 days and ARPF Old Bird National Christchurch and Timaru.   4 comments

It is always a pleasure to announce good race results from the South Island. Last Friday and weekend the Waikato Federation flew four races from the South Island. The Timaru and Mosgiel were released early Friday morning, the Invercargill pigeons at midday Friday and Stewart Island early morning Saturday. The Auckland Federation flew two races from the South Island on the Saturday, Christchurch and Timaru.

I have the results from the Waikato Federation and to me they are very good, I’m sure that you will agree. Perhaps some of you reading will be able to add more info about the fliers and their top position scoring pigeons in the comments section.
Unfortunately the returns for the Christchurch to Auckland race were extremely poor and are a big concern for the fancy here in Auckland. The West Section did a bit better than the East Section with returns. The Timaru race although going up at the same time had a better percentage return.
Weather conditions for the ARPF Christchurch National and Timaru races were headwinds in the South Island and over the Cook Strait and the lower North Island. In fact the early morning forecast for the afternoon in the Cook Strait was a gale warning of nor-westerlies rising to 35 knots i.e. around 65 kmph and likely gusting double that at times. The conditions for the Ferry returning to Wellington from Picton were pretty rough with many people vomiting.
The unfortunate thing was that the nor-west winds of some significance were forecast for the Cook Strait until some time during Sunday afternoon so that any pigeons which hadn’t crossed on the day had a pretty big ask ahead of them.
However, further up the North Island from Waitomo it was mainly south-westerly on Saturday and Sunday with a fairly steady westerly wind pattern below this to the lower North Island’s moderate to strong nor-westerly.
One of my Christchurch pigeons was reported on the ARPF website, see email below.
Hi Emma

Many thanks for reporting this pigeon – we really appreciate your having done so. The pigeon belongs to Mr Fergus Elley, who is also receiving a copy of this email, and who will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Kind regards
Jim Cater
Auckland Racing Pigeon Federation
—–Original Message—–
From: Emma [mailto]-email addy removed
Sent: Tuesday, 9 December 2014 8:44 p.m.
To: Jim Cater
Subject: Found Pigeon

Message body:
Hello,

We have found what appears to be a racing pigeon on our farm. It has two tags, one reading ‘TAURIS 2000’ and one that reads ‘NZ PUKE 2012 0339’.
We have caught it and are giving it seed and water, but we would like it to get back to it’s owner as soon as we can. Any help you can give us would be great. We are located in Tiraumea in Northern Wairarapa. You can reach us through email or on -ph num removed.
Regards, Emma.
This pigeon of mine was dropped off in Palmerston North the next Friday at a friend Earl Hautapu’s place who is a fancier down there having not been back in the sport that long. This pigeon is a bit of a pet of mine; otherwise I would give it to him as he likes it! Thanks both Emma and Earl. Now I have to find out a way of getting it back here that is not too expensive. The pigeon should have been on the west coast of the North Island but has likely been blown off course, although it is great it got over the Cook Strait and hopefully many pigeons in this race did and they will work their way home in the next few weeks or so.

You’ll find the East Section and West Section results below and normally I publish the first 20 in the East and first 10 in the West, but since the returns are so sparse I have included the whole result.
The Timaru returns are a bit better even though it is almost another 140km. This could be because it is said to be an easier race point to orientate out of and also because fanciers are more likely to send out and out long distance pigeons which are in general more experienced.

East Section Old Bird National Christchurch 6th December 2014 6.30am liberation. 26 lofts. 294 pigeons.

Plc Loft No Distance Day Clock Var Flying Pigeon Metres/Min KM/Hour Needed
1 K Frazer 33 722880.0 1 19:40:49 2 13:10:51 ARPF-11-1119 BC H 914.0545 54.8433 0:00:00
2 Craig Gray 23 714048.1 1 20:21:23 – 13:51:23 MKU-12-2722 BC H 858.8675 51.5320 0:50:12
3 Craig Gray 23 714048.1 1 20:37:57 – 14:07:57 MKU-12-2755 BC H 842.0875 50.5253 1:06:46
4 B Roud 4 740196.8 2 7:10:02 1 16:14:03 MKU-11-1470 BC H 759.9166 45.5950 2:44:15
5 Tui Lofts 18 739349.2 2 7:35:40 – 16:39:40 EU-13-0330 BB C 739.5957 44.3757 3:10:48
6 Tui Lofts 18 739349.2 2 7:39:04 – 16:43:04 SARPC-11-2300 BB C 737.0888 44.2253 3:14:12
7 J and G Lofts 8 727962.7 2 7:36:09 1 16:40:10 SARPC-13-3132 BC H 727.8414 43.6705 3:23:45
8 David Moors 15 742623.0 2 7:59:05 1 17:03:06 ARPF-12-2457 GRIZ C 725.8557 43.5513 3:30:39
9 R & P Gramov 11 760466.2 2 8:26:58 -4 17:30:54 HARB-13-3356 BC C 723.6333 43.4180 3:38:56
10 R & P Gramov 11 760466.2 2 8:39:37 -4 17:43:33 HARB-13-3374 BCWF C 715.0263 42.9016 3:51:35
11 Tui Lofts 18 739349.2 2 8:24:24 – 17:28:24 SARPC-13-3422 BB C 705.2167 42.3130 3:59:32
12 Mac Armstrong 8 752294.6 2 8:49:49 1 17:53:50 MKU-13-3325 BC H 700.5692 42.0342 4:10:48
13 Camray Lofts 8 770156.0 2 9:19:55 2 18:23:57 HARB-13-3429 BB C 697.6367 41.8582 4:21:23
14 J and G Lofts 8 727962.7 2 8:44:40 1 17:48:41 SARPC-13-3105 BBP H 681.1772 40.8706 4:32:16
15 Race Duranski 11 760528.7 2 9:57:02 1 19:01:03 HARB-13-3381 BC H 666.5165 39.9910 5:09:01
16 K Frazer 33 722880.0 2 9:01:17 2 18:05:19 ARPF-13-3457 BC H 666.0545 39.9633 4:54:28
17 K Frazer 33 722880.0 2 9:01:39 2 18:05:41 PUKE-13-3182 BB H 665.8295 39.9498 4:54:50
18 K Frazer 33 722880.0 2 9:12:37 2 18:16:39 PUK-11-1239 BB H 659.1711 39.5503 5:05:48
19 S and M Archer 6 753277.5 2 10:21:43 1 19:25:44 PHAK-13-0012 BB C 646.1834 38.7710 5:41:38
20 Tui Lofts 18 739349.2 2 10:04:40 – 19:08:40 SARPC-13-3275 SLT H 643.6586 38.6195 5:39:48
21 Craig Gray 23 714048.1 2 9:36:45 – 18:40:45 MKU-11-1494 BC C 637.1163 38.2270 5:39:34
22 K Frazer 33 722880.0 2 10:11:30 2 19:15:32 PUKE-13-3341 BBP H 625.5813 37.5349 6:04:41
23 Craig Gray 23 714048.1 2 10:00:47 – 19:04:47 MKU-11-1294 BC C 623.7408 37.4244 6:03:36
24 Paul Millar 10 741214.5 2 10:55:18 1 19:59:19 SARPC-11-2053 RC C 618.0307 37.0818 6:28:24
25 Paul Millar 10 741214.5 2 12:10:20 1 21:14:21 SARPC-12-2009 BCWF H 581.6412 34.8985 7:43:26
26 Sterling Lofts 13 739740.4 2 12:07:52 1 21:11:53 SARPC-13-3161 DC H 581.6103 34.8966 7:42:35
27 K Frazer 33 722880.0 2 11:47:52 2 20:51:54 ARPF-13-3436 BCP H 577.4263 34.6456 7:41:03
28 Dave Brough 6 749830.9 2 12:42:13 -3 21:46:10 PHAK-12-2152 BB H 574.0698 34.4442 8:05:50
29 Craig Gray 23 714048.1 2 14:09:18 – 23:13:18 MKU-12-2767 BC H 512.4870 30.7492 10:12:07
30 S and M Archer 6 753277.5 2 15:34:49 1 24:38:50 ARPF-12-2461 SLT H 509.3728 30.5624 10:54:44
31 T Thum 10 754726.7 2 16:15:49 -1 25:19:48 PHAK-12-2042 SLT H 496.5961 29.7958 11:34:07
32 J and G Lofts 8 727962.7 2 16:47:58 1 25:51:59 SARPC-12-2425 BC C 469.0532 28.1432 12:35:34
33 S and M Archer 6 753277.5 3 9:35:19 1 34:14:20 PHAK-12-2194 BC H 366.6773 22.0006 20:30:14
34 Dave Brough 6 749830.9 3 13:16:28 -4 37:55:24 PHAK-13-0120 BC C 329.5381 19.7723 24:15:04

So what do we learn about pigeon liberations from last weekend’s racing in the ARPF? Firstly, we need to breed more pigeons off the lines of pigeons which returned from these races in race time and their parents and close relatives. The hen I got around 8.40am Sunday from Timaru scored 3rd Federation Timaru and had she not flown into the Rimu tree next to the loft, sitting there for a good three minutes, then she would have been second. However, the winning pigeon from Tui Lofts was on the day, good pigeon, good fly, well done pigeon and owner Alan Smith. My hen 301 will be paired to the cock which won the hard Timaru on the day in 2011 in 14 hours and six minutes. 301 was off a love mating; only two bred off them in the race loft and she flew Christchurch fairly well last year as a yearling.

Also congratulations to Kerry Frazer for his win in the National 1st OPEN and he also won the ARPF Invercargill. The West Section National being won by John Stavert i.e. Airforce One, he also was second Invercargill.

ARPF OPEN Race from Timaru on 6th December 2014. 6.30am liberation. 20 lofts. 89 pigeons.

Plc Loft No Distance Day Clock Var Flying Pigeon Metres/Min KM/Hour Needed
1 Tui Lofts 3 877978.1 1 20:04:55 – 13:34:55 SARPC-12-2323 GP C 1077.3839 64.6430 0:00:00
2 Craig Gray 15 854147.8 2 8:46:23 – 17:50:23 MKU-13-3150 BC H 797.9831 47.8790 4:37:35
3 Elley Family 3 848887.8 2 8:43:50 1 17:47:51 PUKE-12-0301 BB H 794.9504 47.6970 4:39:56
4 Craig Gray 15 854147.8 2 8:56:57 – 18:00:57 MKU-10-0227 BBP C 790.1825 47.4110 4:48:09
5 Tui Lofts 3 877978.1 2 9:46:04 – 18:50:04 SARPC-11-2317 BC C 776.9259 46.6156 5:15:09
6 Jim Cater 3 885600.2 2 10:46:14 – 19:50:14 HENAK-12-0115 BC C 744.0560 44.6434 6:08:15
7 K Frazer 4 862072.5 2 10:18:08 3 19:22:11 PUKE-13-3317 BCP C 741.7698 44.5062 6:02:02
8 T&M van Lier 2 887785.6 2 10:54:29 4 19:58:33 HENAK-12-0155 RC H 740.7164 44.4430 6:14:32
9 Colin Chang 5 895963.4 2 11:10:11 – 20:14:11 HENA-12-0227 BB H 737.9144 44.2749 6:22:34
10 Camray Lofts 8 906314.5 2 11:34:07 2 20:38:09 HARB-13-3408 BC C 731.9909 43.9195 6:36:56
11 B&F van Lier 8 885321.4 2 11:14:48 -7 20:18:41 PHAK-13-0265 BB H 726.4573 43.5874 6:36:57
12 B&F van Lier 8 885321.4 2 12:06:10 -7 21:10:03 WUAK-12-0284 BB H 697.0760 41.8246 7:28:19
13 Craig Gray 15 854147.8 2 11:22:46 – 20:26:46 MKU-11-1300 BC C 696.2594 41.7756 7:13:58
14 Camray Lofts 8 906314.5 2 14:40:01 2 23:44:03 HARB-13-3413 SLTW C 636.4345 38.1861 9:42:50
15 R & P Gramov 4 897283.9 2 17:19:03 -4 26:22:59 HARB-11-0787 BB C 566.8309 34.0099 12:30:09
16 Forest Hill Lofts 2 881936.0 2 17:55:28 3 26:59:31 WUAK-12-0211 DRC H 544.5674 32.6740 13:20:56
17 Craig Gray 15 854147.8 3 17:30:02 – 42:09:02 MKU-10-0226 BB H 337.7369 20.2642 28:56:14

West Section Results National. 10 lofts. 146 pigeons.

Plc Loft No Distance Day Clock Var Flying Pigeon Metres/Min KM/Hour Needed
1 Air Force One 20 744416.7 2 6:59:52 -2 16:03:50 ARPF-13-3438 SLT C 772.3500 46.3410 0:00:00
2 BMW Lofts 22 747606.3 2 7:40:33 -2 16:44:31 WUAK-13-3590 RC C 744.2448 44.6547 0:36:33
3 Jim Cater 20 749712.1 2 8:01:18 – 17:05:18 WUAK-11-0518 BMLY H 731.2124 43.8727 0:54:37
4 T&M van Lier 11 752312.9 2 9:24:21 4 18:28:25 WUAK-13-3557 BB H 678.7275 40.7237 2:14:22
5 B&F van Lier 20 750141.8 2 9:23:42 -7 18:27:35 WUAK-13-3586 BC H 677.2780 40.6367 2:16:20
6 Colin Chang 16 762196.8 2 10:18:21 – 19:22:21 HENA-13-3243 BB H 655.7378 39.3443 2:55:30
7 Colin Chang 16 762196.8 2 10:26:30 – 19:30:30 HENA-13-3002 GRZ H 651.1720 39.0703 3:03:39
8 Colin Chang 16 762196.8 2 10:26:44 – 19:30:44 AAK-13-3127 BBP C 651.0422 39.0625 3:03:53
9 T&M van Lier 11 752312.9 2 10:30:36 4 19:34:40 HENAK-13-3228 BB H 640.4480 38.4269 3:20:37
10 Air Force One 20 744416.7 2 10:46:10 -2 19:50:08 WUAK-10-0211 BBP H 625.4902 37.5294 3:46:18
11 D&T Campbell 9 760147.9 2 12:07:10 – 21:11:10 WUAK-11-0274 BC H 597.9923 35.8795 4:46:58
12 Air Force One 20 744416.7 2 12:46:25 -2 21:50:23 PHAK-13-0289 M H 568.0908 34.0854 5:46:33
13 Forest Hill Lofts 7 746221.7 2 13:21:58 3 22:26:01 PHAK-13-0255 BBWF C 554.3926 33.2636 6:19:51
14 Jim Cater 20 749712.1 2 13:36:13 – 22:40:13 PHAK-13-0172 BC H 551.1711 33.0703 6:29:32
15 Colin Chang 16 762196.8 2 14:15:31 – 23:19:31 HENA-13-3012 BLK C 544.6143 32.6769 6:52:40
16 Eric Billington 19 754870.5 2 15:05:19 – 24:09:19 HENAK-11-1062 DC H 520.8458 31.2507 7:51:57
17 Eric Billington 19 754870.5 2 15:11:23 – 24:15:23 WUAK-10-0379 LBC C 518.6747 31.1205 7:58:01
18 BMW Lofts 22 747606.3 2 14:58:29 -2 24:02:27 WUAK-13-3589 RSLT C 518.2892 31.0974 7:54:29
19 B&F van Lier 20 750141.8 2 15:11:11 -7 24:15:04 ARPF-13-3509 RC C 515.5378 30.9323 8:03:49
20 Air Force One 20 744416.7 2 15:44:04 -2 24:48:02 ARPF-12-2311 SLT H 500.2688 30.0161 8:44:12
21 BMW Lofts 22 747606.3 2 16:06:08 -2 25:10:06 WUAK-13-3596 BC C 495.0707 29.7042 9:02:08
22 Jim Cater 20 749712.1 2 18:21:48 – 27:25:48 WUAK-13-3488 BC H 455.5305 27.3318 11:15:07
23 B&F van Lier 20 750141.8 2 18:23:02 -7 27:26:55 WUAK-10-0467 BB H 455.4825 27.3290 11:15:40
24 Colin Chang 16 762196.8 3 7:12:45 – 31:51:45 HENA-13-3010 BB H 398.6906 23.9214 15:24:54
25 Eric Billington 19 754870.5 3 8:00:11 – 32:39:11 PHAK-13-0248 BC H 385.2986 23.1179 16:21:49
So genetics is the key because we never know when these races are going to come along, a bit like a thief in the night! You shouldn’t worry if you are in Auckland and you didn’t get a pigeon home in either or both races. Who knows, perhaps a pigeon of yours was doing well on the day and came to grief on a power line etc. There is always an element of luck in pigeon racing, with racing it can be the bad luck that we never know about and in breeding it can be the good luck at conception when the egg is fertilised that produces the fantastic racing pigeon.
Should the pigeons have gone up at Christchurch, that is the question some are asking and others are wondering i.e. exactly what has caused these very poor returns? It certainly seems to be that significant nor-east winds and easterly winds in Christchurch at liberation and to the north along the expected flight path of the flock can lead to poor race results/returns in the ARPF, but not always, hence the dilemma. Further, when a head wind race is anticipated, one of the liberation criteria is to get them released as early as possible or to hold them over. It is possible that the lower light intensity on overcast mornings can influence the pigeon’s navigation system and lead to a reduced confidence of the race convoy to clear the race point or head off in the right direction. A good start in a distance race or even short and middle distance race is essential, but as most of us fanciers know it does not guarantee a good race e.g. heavy widespread rain for many miles or even a ‘weather bomb’ can force pigeons down, thus delaying the return to their lofts.

The nor-east is the most common wind down there in Christchurch and then there’s all the Kaikoura ranges and foothills heading west towards the Southern Alps with blind ends and likely misty with possibly low cloud, these can be treacherous, just ask the pigeon fanciers in Nelson and Blenheim. Some years they abandon racing early due to difficult races through those areas from the south line resulting in the decimation of their race teams. Of course native falcons can upset a pigeon liberation too.
Sun spots are sometimes labelled as a factor also causing poor race returns and are said to affect racing pigeon orientation. However, the Waikato Federations three good races the day before (with the Invercargill not clocked till Sunday morning) may well rule this one out in this instance and their good Stewart Island race was liberated on Saturday too. In that race, as you can see by the results, six pigeons returned in race time from nine released! There were two pigeons on the second day and four on the third, truly tremendous results given the distance is almost 1200km!
The pigeons from the ARPF Christchurch liberation convoy, which made it to the top of the South Island and decided to cross the Cook Strait on the day, could very well have had their work cut out. I think even the earliest crossers had a fair bit of gusting nor-west wind to fly into and it would have been very hard to keep a straight course, as my reported pigeon found out.
These things aren’t planned for when you are responsible for a racing pigeon liberation. So I’m hoping there is a Special General Meeting to discuss this race in the future and perhaps a non Federation Executive working Committee elected to reduce the chances that it could ever happen again. Perhaps a couple of other Old Bird races can be discussed at the same time, such as the wet finish Ward and the very wet Mahunui, both involving weather bombs, a term that Jim Hickey our TV1 weather man likes to use.
I think that its great that we can share with ‘the world’ the proper functioning of a body of pigeon fanciers who are dedicated to their pigeons and at the same time have the privilege of being able to test the genetic potential of what they have bred each year through a fair racing programme with intelligently thought out racing protocols for very well looked after racing pigeons.
I’ll keep you posted with what happens. Thanks for reading. Like I said, if you have some knowledge of the Waikato pigeons and fanciers then please share with us on the site or if you are an Auckland fancier and would like to share something from last weekend, please feel free to do so. They say that ‘iron sharpens iron’ and this is what we do when we debate pigeon welfare concerns in any domain, be it a physical fanciers meeting, a small closed Facebook pigeon chat group or the internet. All are good forums, although I believe some beg to differ and of course that is their human right. However, seeing that the pigeons are not able to speak for themselves the likes of myself are given the onerous task of being their representative and of course I do that gladly and with much passion, after all, perhaps the ‘mighty pigeon’ has saved my life! Thanks to all that support me in this task including my dear wife Helen!

Next part coming soon…….

Please click on the 4 links below for the Waikato Federation great recent racing results from the South Island.

Timaru 5-12-2014

Mosgiel 5-12-2014

Invercargill 5-12-2014

Stewart Island 6-12-2014