Secretary’s Weekly Report
Well, all eyes on the “Big” this week. Tarbes the Blue Riband race of the season insofar as most National fanciers are concerned. The birds were picked up on Monday night for transporting early Tuesday morning to Sheffield. We have 6 club members racing with a total of 13 birds entered in a race where the distances flown fall between 760 and 814 miles. This is real marathon racing where our little “gladiators” have to be in peak condition and not just sent to make the numbers up!
When we arrived at Sheffield we met up with Ian Stalley and Phil Hickson who both make their annual pilgrimage to race marking for this event. The birds were race marked quickly and it was time for a big breakfast and a chat with some of the Yorkshire lads including Ron Dennett, Nick Adshead, Brian Denney and others. I also met up with Luke Gash a young fancier who hails from Meden Vale and is an understudy of Ron Dennett. Still at school (13 year old) he has already broke his duck and won in a very competitive club this season. I was delighted to meet him and presented him with a late bred direct from The Driver which hopefully will do him some good.
It was then back up the road where clocks and baskets were returned to members.
Although scheduled for a Friday liberation the weather was against us and they were held-over. Saturday morning was much better and word came through that the birds were liberated into clear blue sky at 6.10 am in a light variable wind, but with a northerly influence on route. They cleared well so now we just had to wait.
Watching the Tour de France cycling race you quickly get an understanding of how quickly the weather changes over there when near the mountain ranges. And it is going to take special birds to make the Channel crossing on day of release. I say this because of the shipping forecast at 17.25pm which indicated west south west winds with mist in places and some of this would be thick. All of this after a tough 500 mile flight through France.
Best of luck to everyone.