Yves Vandepoel is a full-time pigeon fancier, with a great love for Barcelona, but now also for the longer middle distance and the light long distance: winner 1. National Chateauroux (2014), 1. National Chateauroux (2017) and 1. National Perpignan (2016). For Yves, 2020 was not a great season. “Because of those corona conditions we didn't play much here, it was a strange season and we also started (much) too late. On top of that, if you have your best racing pigeons in the breeding lofts, then you know that it’s not gonna be a great season", says Yves.
If I still ask for a brief review, he immediately responds: “From Barcelona I played 51st and 54th National against 6,178 pigeons. They arrived with barely three minutes difference, at 6.55 pm. and at 6.58 pm. to be precise. From Issoudun I play 17th National against 10,603 pigeons, and furthermore, 100th, 158th, 205th,… “
In the former attics of his grandparents' farm, his beautiful breeding pigeons are kept in their new boxes. And there are a lot of youngsters in 2021. “A fantastic team that makes me look forward to the Nationals, and of course also the classics for the yearlings and the old birds,” he announces.
Yves got a keen interest in the pigeon sport in 1973, as a 15 year-old: “Dad raced with pigeons, same my two grandfathers. I have never actually seen anything else but pigeons, and I liked to see them, too” says Yves, in his carefree style.
Yves has always been passionate with the extreme long distance, but in 2007 that was over: the racing team was sold and Yves opted for the longer middle distance and the light long distance. And then names such as Bart Geerinckx, Houben (Pinokkio), Heremans-Ceusters, Gaston Van de Wouwer, Dirk Van Dyck, Gaby Vandenabeele, Eyerkamp, etc. came into the picture, a long line of big names that have written, to a large extent, the history of the Belgian pigeon sport.
Yves Vandepoel has a truly outstanding collection of Van de Wouwer pigeons. “Powerful pigeons. But knowing what you are doing in the pigeon sport, that is what counts. Recognizing the construction of a pigeon, being conscious of the big differences between long distance and middle distance. Long distance pigeons have power, but not that explosive power of top-pigeons in the middle distance”, concludes Yves.