Race 7 was flown from Noupoort (608km) back to the lofts on 21 September 2020, driving down to Noupoort it was very hot and the pigeons drank plenty water I even had to buy 30litres of water when we reached Colesberg as the water supply we took with us was nearly finished. We knew the next day according to the weather profits would be a cool day with a strong tailwind. We settled in for the night at the bed and breakfast after letting the pigeons drink again at Noupoort with quite a number of onlookers that was interested in the race the following day.
At 05h30 we left the guesthouse and proceeded to the golf course of Noupoort or what is left of the golf course. The wind was already strong so early the morning and it was actually cold out there in the open. We opened the pigeons at 06h30 and then headed back home, they circled a few times as the clouds started moving in over the mountains but then took direction home. We stopped a few times along the road back and the wind was south east all the way I predicted an arrival time of just before 13h00. I was expecting good and quick returns with the weather conditions on the day. At about 13h00 Danie phoned me and said that the first few pigeons arrived back at the lofts.
4 pigeons arrived together and the first pigeon to walk over the Benzing antenna was the nest mate to a pigeon that won the final race at Diaz olr earlier this season for Pietersen Family Lofts. Two olr winners in one nest are just super results! The mother was purchased from Carnival Lofts as well, a great achievement from Pietersen family!! The 2nd pigeon to cross the antenna again another top position by Marianne Kruger from “Prada’s Pride” followed by another team that has excelled this year Johnston Hokke, Andre and James are also having a top season here at Carnival Lofts. It will definitely go down to the last race to see who will be the single bird champion as well as the all bird averages winners! The 4th pigeon that also managed a 4th on race 6 bred by Rudolph Holtzhausen from Balfour. He bred a team of pigeons for Jagters syndicate. 5th position went to GVR Hokke that is always in the top few as well, Johnston Hokke takes 6th position, 7th position is Pasella lofts of Petrus Harmzen, 8th another top performer at olr’s JJJ van der Linde, 9th position one of our strongest contenders the last few years Willie Munnik and in 10th position Palm Ridge ODRA Lofts (Koot van der Walt) that has also had a number of top positions this season!
The pigeons returned at a steady pace but still not nearly how I was expecting them to return, in the past on a velocity of 1550mpm I would have had 80% home in quick succession but this season they just do not seem to be racing home, the top pigeons seem to race home and they always have a few other pigeons with them but then once they have arrived there seems to be no urgency in the rest of the kit to make it home in a good time. We keep on losing pigeons race after race as well and I know that most of them make it back at least the next day so they have the stamina to do the distances but they just seem to lack the urgency to race back home, did they perhaps get injured on that day when the north easterly wind blew them to pieces I am not sure. They have been tested often, I have had them on all the treatments that I could think off and have called in a few top fanciers to have a look and give me advice but there still is something missing that I cannot pin point! I took a decision to race the next race from Colesberg to give the pigeons enough time to recover and not have to fly the extra 70km from Hanover. The season has been a very long one already and it will be good for them to get a bit of a break before the final race on 16 October 2020.