In cycling jargon; a tough mountain stage was followed by a sprint stage. The pigeons consumed the more than 180 km under excellent conditions. Hardly any wind and very few clouds turned out to be ingredients to send the pigeons home at more than 1,400 meters/minute; so just over 2 flying hours and within 10 minutes more than 250 pigeons had already returned … on day 1 only 27 were missing in the evening … so an excellent race, in which the quick entrants could assure themselves of the medal.
Double win for HI-CAL-TBW Connection
The double victory, and also Fancier of the Week, went to the American HI-CAL-TBW Connection with two pigeons clocked within the second. A syndicate made up of John Timmerman (California), Stan George (Hawaii) and Bill Ensign (Nevada), with the latter breeding the winners. Furthermore, the top 10 is nicely varied with participants from 4 different continents:
2nd HI-CAL-TBW Connection, USA
3rd Ummbrika Loft, Qatar
4th Thone Pigeons, Belgium
5th Euro Syndicate, Belgium
6th The A-Team, Germany
7th All-J Loft, South Africa
8th Jesse Seguna, Canada
9th Triple J Lofts, South Africa
10th Olive Lofts – Lubomir Kubacek, South Africa
American winners Timmerman, George and Ensign have a formidable record at One Loft Races, winning from California to Hawaii. The 1st and 2nd prize winners were bred by Bill Ensign from his carefully selected breeding team, where breeding winners is the top priority. For example, the father of the 2nd prize winner is also the father of the 1st prize winner…
African Knoetze Lofts in the yellow jersey
In the ranking of the Best Fancier (Black Jacket) the total flight time is the determining parameter and after race 1 with large differences, race 2 with small differences in speed, throws less weight in the scale for this ranking. Coming races with perhaps greater differences in arrivals will again cause greater shifts. For this ranking, the two first clocked pigeons count every week, which is particularly good news for fanciers who already had to lose pigeons from the team … even those who would only have 2 of the 15 left are still in the running for this prestigious title.
The ranking of Best Fancier in the Africa Pro Series after two races does give an idea of which fanciers withstood both extremes well. The South African Knoetze Lofts of Len Knoetze currently takes the lead, followed by Nils Gerdemann (Germany) and Rudi De Saer (Belgium), who both clearly excelled on the first flight. Len Knoetze is based in Paarl in the Western Cape and for the past 2 years he has successfully raced against tough competition from 10,000 pigeons every week; on July 23, he still won the 3rd of 8,999 pigeons from 297 km with a speed of 1082 meters/minute. Len did a lot of research when building his OLR breeding team, for which he invested in pigeons from the late Giggi Gadin, supplemented with pigeons from Len's brother's dominant family of pigeons and Vandenabeele and Laureaat bloodlines. In 2022 entries were made for, among others, Africa Pro, Hoosier Classic and Dinokeng ... in Africa Pro, the Luke Donald (3rd final Million Dollar race 2013) bloodlines have been very successful so far, which are also the basis of 1st Million Dollar 2018 winner Mix. Bloodlines that have already proven their worth several times in South Africa!
After 2 races, the first contours are also formed for the ace pigeons … where the average speed is decisive and the ZA-21-TRPF-650 of the South African Team Silonque leads the ranking with an average of 1426 meters per minute. This pigeon has now settled in the top 30 twice and was entered by teammates Justin Le Roux and Stear Painter. Justin and Stear are good friends who work together in breeding and have already celebrated successes in one loft races in the Cape Town OLR (4th Ace pigeon) and the Diaz OLR (1st Endurance race 2021 and 1st Hot Spot race 2022). Stear bred the ace pigeon after 2 races from his formidable Painter Putteries stock. Stronger; this ace pigeon still comes from exactly the same bloodlines as the 2001 Million Dollar race winner from Stear's father (DS Painter). Justin: “Very strong pigeons that are originally unbeatable in very difficult race and which Stear has shaped with a few speed injections into exceptional all-round pigeons. With this top family Stear became combine champion 3 years in a row; a record!"
The BE21-5035964 of Thoné Pigeons is lurking in second place in the Ace pigeons for his chance to take over the lead; this pigeon won the 6th prize on race 1 and the top 50 on race 2 … striking; Thoné Pigeons has been winning top 10 for 2 weeks in a row. In the Ace Pigeons Rankings, South African pigeons are very well represented in the top 10 with 8 pigeons; Besides Thoné, Rudi De Saer is the only 'foreigner' in the top 10 ace pigeons.