Secretary’s Weekly Report
Fougeres National flown 22nd May
Well after a long wait the first National of the programme has come and gone and what a tester it proved to be for North East lofts.
A total of 184 birds were sent by 20 members to the race. It was disappointing that we faced a one day holdover yet given the prevailing weather it was to be expected. Personally I was slightly surprised that the birds were liberated at 9.30 am in a North West wind on the Sunday thinking Monday looked a better flying day. However I have every confidence in the Race Controllers and fully understood their decision. The MNFC who were flying a few miles less than the NFC did hold until the Monday and it seems they had a stinking race with many empty perches on the night. As Sunday progressed and after speaking with contacts further down the country it quickly became obvious that it would take something special to make it on the day. It was therefore great news when word came through that last season’s top loft in the Sportsman, Driver, Dawson & Dawson had timed at 20.48pm to not only win the club but 1st Section N.
Then shortly after I learnt that new members Armstrong, Shergold, Johnson & Moon had timed a cracker at 21.16pm to take the Second spot in the club, 3rd Section N. Great flying by both lofts.
With plenty to play for next morning it meant an early start and we soon had arrivals being reported across the North East:
- Allan Walker - Stockton just after 5.15am
- John Best - Stockton just after 5.30am
- Bob Mckie - Chopwell 6.26am
- Followed by Gordon Braban, Mcsween & Sexton, Mr & Mrs Jeff Murphy, Fred Mcluskey, Terry Unsworth, Jim Nicholson, Barrie Blackett, Tom Riddle, Malcolm, Heslington & Jones & John Fellows
Several of the above members timed in more than one bird. However overall returns were disappointing with less than 40% back home at clocks and not a lot back since.
Messac National scheduled for the 4th June
Once again the weather forecast is pointing towards unpredictable conditions with exaggerated solar activity likely to aggravate matters.
Nevertheless let’s hope we see a good entry and with this being the Show race there is plenty at stake financially. Best of luck to everyone.
Members may not be aware that “Sunny” Jim has been very poorly and last week and ended up in hospital with Pneumonia. I understand that he is on the mend and on behalf of the members I wish you a speedy recovery. Similarly Ann Murphy has been under the weather and ended up in hospital last Saturday on the eve of the race. Hope you feel better Ann and get well soon.
There has been considerable criticism voiced over the failures/problems encountered with the current system. This is not without some foundation but I would ask members to give Sid and our IT provider some leeway to improve performance. There are a vast amount of changes this season and you cannot really perform realistic stress testing until we are in a live testing environment ie. racing season. The capacity of the server has already been addressed the system needs running time to iron-out the wrinkles!
Believe me having worked on the largest IT systems in Europe nothing is straightforward when upgrading processes.