On 08 October 2019 we received the last few entries, I knew the move to the new and permanent venue from here on out would affect training tremendously but we decided to cut the distances a bit and host the race. It was to be a small kit we would start training and I could very early see that the move affected the pigeons as they were split between going back to the Vaal dam or staying here at the new lofts. The first few training flights they would take quite a bit of time to orientate but later in the season did better and better. Hot spot 1 turned out to be one of the toughest training flights for the season with the kit spending nearly 3 hours on the wing, but almost half of them arrived together which indicated that they are healthy, that day belonged to Midlands Lofts (Gavin & Jaco) who dominated the results by taking positions 1, 2 and 4! Hot spot was again almost a 3 hour flight and here Danie de Beer was the winner and had another pigeon in the top 10 as well! Hot spot 3 was the first time they encountered a bit of heat and it showed in the results as this was the hot spot that we lost more pigeons that anticipated, the hot spot was won by Salie (6711 Lofts) David’s, however the top 10 was dominated by Triple J lofts taking 4th, 7,8,9 and 10th position! Hot spot 4 was won by M & Y Klingbiel but again Triple J lofts would dominate by flying 4th, 8, 9 and 10th

The few days before the final the temps starting soaring and suddenly the midday temperatures would be above 32 degrees! The driver reported temperatures of above 30 degrees all the way to Tierpoort dam and that the pigeons drank a lot of water in the baskets. Friday morning early the temperatures was already in the low 20’s but quickly moved into the 30’s, at the lofts all the visitors were looking for some extra shade. I expected the pigeons at just after 13h00 but said to some of the fanciers if the first pigeons are not back by 13h15 we are in for a very long wait. It turned out to be a very long wait!

At 15h12 a lone pigeon appeared and made a few laps of honor before she dropped down onto the landing board and walked in over the Benzing ets, the results came up on the screen “Dieplaagte Testing Team” (father and son team Flippie & Chrissie Badenhorst from Witpoortjie in the West Rand) was the winners of the first summer race hosted by Carnival Loft here from Heidelberg Gauteng. Flippie did not want to believe me when I phoned him but was overjoyed when he realized it is not a joke! Well done to them and their partners on a break-away win! Then the waiting began and only at 16h55 the second pigeon would arrive, again a father and son team Croft Lofts would scoop the 2nd position, Neil was away on holiday and his phone was not charged due to load shedding so he could not be reached, he only got the message at 20h00 when he could get his phone charged but was also very happy with the results!

We waited till late that night in hopes of getting another 2 or 3 pigeons but at about 22h00 we knew that day 1 would only see 2 pigeons return. At 04h45 on Saturday I was outside setting up everything and getting ready for another hot day in the sun, just after 05h15 the first die hard fanciers arrived to wait with me for the return of the pigeons. The wait was at least not that long as the 3rd pigeon back would be the hot spot 4 winners from M & Y Klingbiel clocking at 06h18, at 06h26 a beautiful little hen from Berg Hokke (Andre Mills) clocked in 4th and at 07h08 the first one of Triple J Lofts clocked in 5th position.

The full results can be viewed by following this link