A goodbye in style
When Gaston decided over the course of 2019 that 2020 would be his final year as a pigeon fancier, he never could have guessed that corona would turn 2020 into such a dramatically different racing season. After a very long wait, fanciers were eventually given the green light from the authorities: they were allowed to release their pigeons for training flights again, after which the racing ban was fairly quickly lifted as well. Gaston and his son Kurt were of course very relieved. Can you imagine your very last season as a pigeon fancier getting cancelled entirely due to Covid-19?
Gaston and Kurt had high hopes at the start of the 2020 season. And it has to be said, this has been another fantastic year for them. The Van de Wouwer family celebrated its first major result in early July, with the fastest bird of 5,148 young birds. And the racing team continued to deliver, right until the last national race of the season, which took place last weekend. Here are the results:
Chateauroux Nat. Zone B1 - 5,465 young birds
This is yet another zonal victory for father and son Van de Wouwer, and a rather special one too: claiming victory in your very last national race as a pigeon fancier, this is something only the greatest champions can pull off. It almost looked like a final tribute, a last major effort from the racing team to honour Gaston. The winner of the day was a half sister of New Kim, a super class racing hen with a excellent palmares:
- - 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon longer middle distance YBs KBDB 2018
- - 2nd Nat. Chateauroux - 17,280 pigeons
- - 12th Nat. Argenton - 16,496 pigeons
- - 21st Nat. Chateauroux - 12,855 pigeons
- - 52nd prov. Blois - 2,923 pigeons
Palme Kim - BE20-6188059 - 1st Nat. Zone Chateauroux - 5,465 young birds
Palme Kim, which is the new name of their race winner, took the win in Chateauroux Zone B1 finishing well over a minute ahead of neighbouring fancier Wim De Troy, who won a 1st-2nd-3rd Nat. Argenton two weeks earlier.
This victory from Chateauroux was not the first top result for Palme Kim; this is her palmares so far:
- - 1st Nat. Zone Chateauroux - 5,465 pigeons
- - 95th Nat. Zone Bourges - 9,844 pigeons
- - 890th Nat. Argenton - 23,280 pigeons
Her sire is a summer youngster and an inbred grandson to Gaston's famous stock breeder De Kaasboer.
And her dam is an excellent breeding hen as well. As you know, she is also the dam of New Kim, a 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon longer middle distance KBDB YBs 2018 and winner of a 2nd-12th-21st Nat. Her parents are Jan and Dina, two grandchildren of that same world famous Kaasboer. Her dam Dina is also the sister of that other Kim, winner of a 1st Nat. Gueret.
A piece of world heritage
When Gaston Van de Wouwer has put his loft coat away for good, a piece of world heritage will inevitably disappear as well. The fancier from Berlaar who surprised us with several impressive results over the past decade and who introduced racing with the hens to many fellow fanciers, is soon about to enjoy his well-deserved retirement together with his wife Maria. Meanwhile, the entire pigeon family of this always warm-hearted champion will be auctioned off on PIPA this year. Although this will not be the end of the Kaasboer dynasty; we reckon the descendants of this fantastic stock breeder will continue to deliver in pigeon races across the globe. And Gaston Van de Wouwer will always be a terrific pigeon fancier. Congratulations to Gaston (and his son Kurt) on a goodbye in style!