It takes the first kit of pigeons just over 4 hours and 20 minutes to arrive back here at the lofts; the 2nd pigeon to walk over the trap and finish in 2nd position is “All alone” from Alfons Klaas. only 9 days later, on 31 August 2014, it was time to have the final race for the Winter 2014 season, the first final race to be flown from the new venue here at the Carnival Lofts next to the Vaal dam! It is a tough day out for the team, racing home from Richmond (650km in the Northern Cape) with North North Easterly wind blowing from liberation point all the way and just changing slightly to East North East here at the lofts. The day turned out to be a brilliant spring day with the temperatures going up to 21-24 degrees. A decent crowd of spectators joined us here for a scrumptious Spitbraai lunch superbly done by Nyama Spitbraai.
Thank you guys - the lamb and other food you prepared was of top quality and we all had more than enough to feast on!
And then the wait began, and we waited and waited and waited! In the late afternoon the pair of resident African fish eagles flew high in the skies and made their familiar calling sound, a sound the kit of pigeons have become used to every afternoon. I thought to myself what a privilege it is to be out in nature and to hear and see such a graceful bird circling above the lofts and possibly even calling home the pigeons that were still on their way.
Some fanciers who were not able to join us gave us a call to ask if something was wrong with the live feed, as they could not see any pigeon appear on the results page. Little did they know we were still waiting for the first pigeon to arrive. At 17:11, with just over 10 hours on the wing, a little Blue Bar hen appeared from the western side of the loft, made half a turn and then dropped down on the trap, walked in and a name appeared on the screen: 1st Alfons Klaas Germany DV 0507 13 1293. He was 2nd in the race from Hot Spot 2 and he is now 1st in the Final Race Winter 2014! Click here for the pedigree of Carnival City winner 'All Alone'.
It was just before the last few lofts were broken down at Carnival City Johannesburg when I was sitting in front of the lofts watching the pigeons arrive back from the final race Summer 2014. Alfons walked over to me and we sat and chatted about the race. He did not do so well that day but he said to me: “No problem Herman, I will win the Winter 2014 final race”. At that stage I thought he was making a big statement, as the winter race does not suit the European pigeons very much. Or so we thought. This was a valuable lesson from the true legend and one loft race champion Alfons Klaas!
The next 4 pigeons arrived together about one minute after the winner. The pigeon in 2nd position was entered into the Pinda competition and so it did not qualify for the final winter race unfortunately. It was a pigeon that Marius and Yolande Klingbiel had bred for a friend, and it actually won the Pinda final race, after finishing in 4th in the Springfontein race the week before - another brilliant performance. The official 2nd prize was won by the syndicate called “Great one -Go down”, a group of fanciers who were missed yesterday at the final race, although we understand that they could not make the trip from Durban this year. We thank you for all your support.
The 3rd prize goes to the Boshoffs - well done oom Danie and Tinus! Flying the flag for Pretoria, we wonder why not more fanciers from Pretoria are taking part here? The 4th prize was won by the German Hans-Paul Esser, a newcomer here at Carnival Lofts and another top fancier who does well at the one loft races. In 5th position we have our friend Saville Penkin from Cape town! The number six and also the ace pigeon for 2014 is Harry Meyer, who has been on top of the results over the last three to four years. Congratulations for your top performance Harry! In 7th position we have uncle Don Thomson from Cape Town, a true gentleman and we are very happy to see his name appear in the top ten! The winners of the 8th prize and a well-known name in one loft races these days are Leon and Albert, who race under the name of Klerksdorp Racers. They have been doing very well consistently at all the one lofts they enter. Hennie Moll finishes in 9th and Willie Munnik completes the top 10. The full results are available on our website www.allflite.co.za.