The story of Perpignan 2018
The race from Perpignan had all the ingredients to make it a great success for Team Limbourg. Expectations were high, since top class racing bird The Barcelona was about to be basketed as well. This talented racing bird had come into prominence in 2017 by winning a 5th National Barcelona (7,874 pigeons) and a 30th National Valence (6,843 pigeons), followed by another 5th National from Barcelona (7,441 pigeons) this season. Perpignan was a tough race, just like Barcelona. And that is exactly the type of weather that racing bird The Barcelona is so fond of. He arrived at the loft by 11am, and it soon became clear that he would be winning another 5th national from Barcelona this season, now against 3,966 pigeons. On top of that, The Barcelona was set to win the title of 1st National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB. But then fate struck. This is what happened:
10u48: The Barcelona arrives home from Perpignan
10u49: 1st time check with the control system, which Erik opened himself. He explains: "If there is a chance of an early arrival, you inevitably get a bit nervous. The control gummi is usually checked by our caretaker, and that day I plainly forgot to write down the number on the gummi. I had no option but to open up the clocking device to take out the gummi."
10u54: 2nd time check with a different control system. But this was not a valid check, since it happened with a device from the club in Gooik (for the race from Angoulême), instead of the club in Anderlecht. Erik: "I asked Geert (De Clercq) what I should do, and he wanted to know if I had another control system in the loft. I did have a second device but it came from the club in Gooik. Geert assumed that it would be okay."
11u24: 3rd time check with a new control system from the basketing club in Anderlecht. Erik explains: "I called with the club in Anderlecht after the second time check, and they told my I could only use a device from their club. I eventually drove to the club for a third (and final) time check."
It was this final time check that would eventually set the official time of arrival for The Barcelona in the international race from Perpignan.
But the damage was done: this final time check set racing bird The Barcelona back from this initial 5th national to a 17th national. And to make things worse, it also meant that The Barcelona was no longer 1st, but 2nd National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2018. This is very unfortunate, and it raises the question of whether we should look for alternative time checks. It has been a lively debate, especially now that the KBDB is aledgedly set to reintroduce the control gummi in the longer middle distance (see article).
The bets have all been confiscated as well. This is another decision that Erik struggles to understand and to get on terms with.
Barcelona Triple 5 - BE14-2151081
This is a unique name that matches a unique feat. He was initially basketed as "The Barcelona" but he got a better suited name along the way: Barcelona Triple 5. This top class racing bird from the lofts in Brussegem surprised friends and foes both in 2017 and 2018 with some excellent results:
Barcelona 2017: 5th National of 7,874 pigeons Barcelona 2018: 5th National of 7,441 pigeons Perpignan 2018: 5th (17th) National of 3,966 pigeons Valence 2017: 30th National of 6,843 pigeons
And he could have won even more national top 50. However, he got injured in the 2017 race from Perpignan, where he still managed to take home a 230th national. We reckon he missed out on another top result that day, again due to external factors.
A picture of Barcelona Triple 5, after his arrival from Perpignan in 2017
Barcelona Triple 5 won the title of Bronze Wing in 2017 and Silver Wing in 2018 in the Bruges Barcelona Club. He also won the title of best pigeon from Barcelona 2017-2018. He ended the season as 2nd National Ace Pigeon (instead of 1st) Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2018.
The following ace pigeon titles were added to his palmares:
1st International Ace Pigeon Barcelona '17 - '18 3rd (instead of 1st) International Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance (first Belgian pigeon)
His pedigree is quite phenomenal as well. His sire is a son of the brother of a 2nd National Limoges (Marcel Vandenabeele), and he is also a grandson of Super 209, another Marcel Vandenabeele, winner of a 2nd National Irun and a 10th National Pau.
The dam is a sister of Witpen Patron, 1st National Ace Pigeon PIPA Ranking Long Distance and the dam of Black Magic, 1st International Perpignan of 17,965 pigeons. She is also a granddaughter of De Patron of Marcel Aelbrecht, 1st National Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2003.
Barcelona Triple 5 has won an impressive number of top results indeed, even in the knowledge that his 5th national was in fact a 17th national Perpignan. He really deserved that title of National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2018. Unfortunately, a human error (in the heat of the game) has put a damper on an otherwise great season. We think this pigeon should still be celebrated as the moral winner.