Sennen Cove 2
On Wednesday the 16th June all roads in the North East led to Toft Hill marking station for a 4.00pm start.
After a stiff opening race 2 weeks earlier there was a lingering uncertainty about the level of entries for this race. In the end 11 members entered 47 birds with many members again giving the race a miss because of the myth that racing into the North East from Cornwall is suicidal!
On a factual point I have to say that the influx of new members has made a positive change to the Sportsman Club atmosphere on marking days. I am confident that the new members will bring a tremendous boost to the Club and expect them to turn out in bigger numbers when we basket for Guernsey. One thing for sure was the refreshing sense of optimism and excitement around the marking station and the enthusiasm for national racing was palpable.
As Marking Station I/C. it does at times get a bit hectic but we have a group of members who have all stepped up to the plate and share marking jobs. This really makes my life easier allowing me time to step back, check member entry forms and collect Club pools as well as keep a weathering eye on all proceedings.
On marking day, the weather forecast for race day looked promising, adding to the buzz of optimism which is great to experience. When race day arrived, it was no surprise to hear that the convoy of 3477 birds had been liberated at 6am into beautiful sunshine and light north wind. The Video of the liberation posted Dom McCoy on the NFC website confirmed the conditions and provided hard evidence of an excellent start.
As the day progressed it became obvious from the early times posted on the NFC website that the fast times achieved by the shorter fliers would not be sustained. And despite the good start the birds faced a tough journey back to the North East.
Late Saturday afternoon word filtered through that one of our new members Kevin McFarlane, from Boldon Colliery, flying 381 miles had timed a Yearling at 15.50pm followed by a second bird at16.03. On reflection their velocities of 1136 & 1112 ypm were excellent given the conditions they had endured.
Kevin wins 1st Sportsman & Section N he also takes 232nd & 276th Open. What a brave effort and not a bad way to break your National/ Sportsman duck! Big well done from all your fellow club members Kevin.
In addition to picking up club & section prize money Kevin scoops the £150 pools.
Taking 3rd Club & Section and 290th Open was the ever-consistent loft of Dave McSween & Jim Sexton, flying 377 miles into Sunderland.
It was no surprise to hear that Tony Lyons at Middlesbrough who had a brilliant 1st Sennon Cove 1 race taking the first 4 positions in both the club and section was at it again timing a double to collect 4th & 5th club and section. John Weldon at Guisborough and Mr & Mrs Murphy at Saltburn, also timed excellent birds on the day.
Race Sponsorship Prizes
There were some excellent prizes on offer for this race. Kevin McFarlane wins both the Vanrobaey Feeds corn/supplements and £300 in vouchers from Formula1 Lofts. Big thank you to John Gladwin for his generous support. Formula1 Lofts have established top winning team of Frans Zwols birds and their website is well worth following.
We are now looking forward to the 1st of 3 Guernsey nationals. Let’s hope the weather is kind and we see a big entry.
2022 Continental Racing
As we stumble through the 2021 race card there remains much uncertainty about the future of Continental racing. It is important that all fanciers are kept up to speed with developments at RPRA/Governmental level. If information is not forthcoming, then all you get is falsehoods circulating on social media which is disheartening for fanciers. These uncertain times if not handled sensitively by Administrators across the Sport could simply see more fanciers calling it a day and leaving the Sport especially National racing.
The NFC/BICC have a common thread in their strategic objectives and are fishing in the same dwindling pool for members. Should the absence of Continental racing continue next season there could be a significant loss of members. National organisations should not lose sight of the fact that local Saturday clubs/Federations and Specialist clubs with less disrupted race cards and cheaper entry charges could increasingly prove more attractive if they don’t sharpen up their acts.