Thailand Grand Pigeon race 2009

In December 1st our group (Jos & Pol Veulemans, myself and Sophie) went off to Bangkok via Wien. The official name of Thailand’s capital is “Krung Thep”.
The full name of the city is listed as the world’s longest place name. The ceremonial name is : Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit, it translates to "The city of angels, great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarm".
That’s quite a mouthful. “Enough is enough”, that’s why Occidentals prefer to use Bangkok.
After a smooth night’s flight we arrived at nine o’clock –local time- at the airport of the city of Angels.
We were heartily welcomed by our friend Terapol Technavichan, a well-known face in our country as editor of the two-yearly “Worldstar-Collection” and member of the second oneloftrace’s organizing committee (director international affairs) .
Arrival of our group and welcomed by our friend Terapol
Although it was winter the temperature was over 30°C. What’s in a name?
A chartered van brought us to the centre of Bankok, where we arrived after having weaved during one hour through the heavy traffic. The “Montien Riverside hotel” located on the banks of the Chao Phraya river became our operating base during one week.
A refreshing bath and a night’s rest cheered us up in our hotel
A refreshing bath and a night’s rest reduced the discomfort caused by the jetlag.
On December 3rd we set out quite early for the basketing of the pigeons for the final race.
View of the building on which the pigeonloft is build
On the top deck of a nine storey high building from the family of Sornthep Gomutputra, vice-chairman of the organizing committee,  the loft seemed very quiet. No one could suspect that the next day this would be the place to be.
The loft where the pigeons have been living
Because of the sticky heat we soon sheltered in the oval room, the nerve centre of the whole organization during the last months. Around noon the fanciers who wanted to be present  at the official basketing arrived little by little.
The oval nerve centre of the whole organization
Under the burning midday sun the mercury even rose some degrees. This seemed to be the signal for the start of the official basketing of the remaining pigeons. The initial number of 1639 was reduced to 544 birds.
The natural selection had been effective after the different training flights. The bad weather conditions during hotspot 2  caused many damage to the participants.
The pigeons were gathered in a chain of baskets
But let’s proceed to the order of the day. The pigeons were gathered in a chain of baskets and taken one by one. After the electronic basketing  each pigeon was stamped on the underside of its left wing. One half of the stamp was apposed on the wing, the other half was stamped on the official enrolement form.
Each pigeon was stamped
The foreign pigeons had a great deal of attraction and admiration. 67 pigeons from Belgium, 25 from the Netherlands, 9 from Taiwan, 8 from French, 4 from  Romania en 3 Switzerland competed against the Thai opposition.
The pigeons were basketed under the supervision of about fifty present persons.
After a few hours all the pigeons were basketed under the supervision of about fifty present persons.
The pigeons were loaded and transported to Chiangmai in North Thailand under the control
of Mr. Tchaichai Technachian (vice chairman)
On Friday morning, December 5th, the pigeons were released at 7.05AM, under optimum conditions.
Finally the pigeons where released
A moderate NE-wind announced a difficult though fair race.
The pigeons that would reach the top of the results had to be  well prepared.
A flight above hills and valleys was awaiting the pigeons
The usually so quiet top deck of the building changed completely. Around 3 PM the crowd had taken place.
The crowd had taken place in the stand.
The organizing committee assembled in the VIP-lounge and welcomed some dignitaries. During the last months and days, the organizing team had really done all in order to have this second oneloftrace in the best conditions.
Yet they have no hold on the grand finale. They also had to wait anxiously.
Theo organizing committee posed proud of the excellent organization
The expected arrival time was about 4 PM but the first arrived 24 minutes later.
Suddenly the people at the first floor of the oval nerve centre got nervous .
There they were
Two pigeons appeared in the skyline.
Rapid flight to the loft
After two rounds around the loft, they fell together on the board. After some moments of hesitation, probably because of the buzzing coming from the excited crowd, they prepared to enter. They behaved courteously, as the one let the other go first.
An act of courtesy-Who let the other go first?
This “after you” –scene probably wasn’t appreciated by the owner of the second price.
Although it appeared later that Mr. Viboon Kulwuthivilias had carried away the jackpot.
The first prize and King Cup winner belongs to Mr. Vinai Kamolkasemsilp, who was congratulated in presence of the media press.
First pricewinner Mr. Vinai Kamolkasemsilp
As Pipa has a great international reputation, doors open easily and that’s why I had the pleasure
to hold the winning pigeon and to congratulate the winner on behalf of Pipa. 
I was one of the first to hold the winner
The top had arrived and it would take long minutes before the third bird suddenly appeared.
The Thai-Belgian combination “Technavichian-Veulemans” was the owner of the third pigeon.
B. Potje and Jan Van Wanrooij
The first pigeon from abroad arrived fifth and belongs to Mr. B. Pot. “Potje” –as he is called by his friend Jan Van Wanrooij – started to strike up the “Wilhelmus” (the national anthem of the Netherlands) . His compatriots joined.
The sound of  the “Wilhelmus filled the skyline of Bangkok
The next pigeon came very soon. It was the first Belgian pigeon from Loft 24, a little red hen breeded by Firmin Wiame (Attenhoven).
17 pigeons arrived at the loft before dusk:
1-Vinai Kamolkasemsilp (16u24:39.50)
2-Viboon Kulwuthivilias (16u24:44.30)
3-Technavichian –Veulemans (17u15:31.40)
4-Thongsuk Chuprachak (17u16:34.50)
5-B. Pot (Netherlands) –(17u26:54.00)
6-Loft 24 (Belgium)-(17u27:52.00)
7-Technavichian-Veulemans (17u34:32.80)
8-Kittikhun-Jirath-Pasith (17u35:49.30)
9-Adisak Kajorn Boonchai (17u36:22.90)
10-Verbesselt Racing Team (Belgium) –(17u37:08.20)
11-Belgica-Deweerdt (Netherlands) (17u40:15.50)
12-Verbesselt Racing Team (17u40:15.90)
13-Technavichian-Veulemans (17u45.10:50)
14-Dhanin-Narong (17u58:54.20)
15-Thawee Patrawong (17u59:54.90)
16-Manomaiphibul (18u06.07:50)
17-Somptong-Verbesselt (18u24:21.90).

The Thai-Belgian formation Veulemans- Technavichian had several prices : 3rd, 7th and 13th (+26th and 27th).
Verbesselt Andre outstanding
The Racing Team Verbesselt Andre also shined in this race with his  Marcel Albrecht hens coming in 10th and 12th. The Netherlands with “Potje” and the combination Belgica-Deweerd stood  at 6th and 11th.
The next morning at 6.06:07 a pigeon of last year ‘s winner Chris Hebberecht arrived 19th.
By 10.18 AM, all 60 prizes were filled. Marc en Geert Pollin were 60th.
The Netherlands and Belgium performed well, a result that bears repetition:
25th: G&C Koopman (NL);
32nd : Harry Van Boxmeer (NL);
33th-50th - Deno-Herbots Gebroeders;
39th Dr. H.J.M. De Weerd (NL);
41st H. Eyerkamp & Zn (NL);
51st: Vercammen Jos;
56th : Veulemans-Ceulemans.
To conclude the oneloftrace  edition 2009, the different trophees were presented in the garden of Montien Riverside Hotel.


THIRD PRIZE-3-Technavichian –Veulemans
So far our adventure in Thailand. In a few months we will inform you about the third edition.
My conclusion : Pigeon racing is an international sport .
Thai, Dutch, Belgian having a pleasant time together while waiting the pigeons. The best one will win.
Tired but ……satisfied