Bangkok, 9 December 2006.
For many years already, exotic Bangkok has been the meetingplace for a large number of European pigeon fanciers: they cross swords with friends from Asia and especially Thailand. This encounter takes place in December. The Bangkok One Loft Race is without any doubt a classic in the current large offer of one loft races.
The combination of our cherished hobby, international contacts, adrenaline as a result of the competition and the exotic holiday destination of Thailand is almost perfect. As a result, many people look forward to this yearly event, also because everything is handled perfectly and the Thai are notorious for their hospitality.
The programme :
The pigeon event takes place on two locations: the luxurious Montien Riverside hotel, a beautiful 5-star hotel on the banks of the river Chao Phraya, located 10 minutes away from the very centre of Bangkok. The other location consists of course of the lofts which are located at a relatively short distance of the hotel. The organisation provides a free bus service which allows everyone to easily travel from one point to the other.
December 8, 2006
morning: opening ceremony
afternoon: basketing the pigeons for both races
evening: welcoming reception
December 9, 2006
arrival of the pigeons
December 10, 2006
the competition is closed off at 12:00 AM
December 11, 2006
afternoon: pigeon sale
evening: solemn distribution of prizes and “farewell dinner” graced with singing and Thai dancing.
The programme was beautifully put together and provided spare time for the accompanying partners who did not necessarily want to be confronted with pigeons all day through. So there was enough time to make excursions, to shop and to sniff up the Thai culture.
The races :
Two races are being organised, release takes place on the same day.
1 - first race :
Utraditr-Bangkok: 430 km. This is a typical long middle distance race on easy ground in which mainly the pigeons’ speed, motivation and orientation are being tested. This race is flown according to the rules of the FCI races as far as the number of prizes and the distribution of the prize money is concerned. The greater part of the pigeons participating in this race is European.
2 - second race:
Chiangmai-Bangkok: 580 km. A one day long distance race, the track is more hilly and the stamina of the pigeon is being put to the test.
This last race is clearly of bigger value to the Thai fanciers and lots of them participate in this heavy race. Its prize money is fixed and guaranteed, the first winner takes home 15.000 US Dollar. This is also the race in which the much sought after Kings and Princess Cups can be won. Both of these cups are made of solid silver and are very valuable. The Kings Cup goes to the winner. If the winner is a Thai, the Princess Cup is won by the first foreign pigeon. If the winner is a foreign pigeon, the Princess Cup goes to the first Thai pigeon.
The race :
The pigeons participating in both races were basketed on December 8 amid great interest, especially of Thai fanciers. The basketing procedure happened according to a certain ritual. The rubber capsule which was slid over the metal ring of the pigeon was cut off. The purpose of this capsule is to maintain the anonymity of the pigeon. Then, the chip ring was read, the metal ring was read out loud and the wing of the pigeon was stamped. All this was repeated once more to avoid mistakes. If all was seen and approved, the pigeon was put into the basket. The identification of the pigeon was shown on the computer system as soon as the pigeon was basketed so that everyone could see which pigeons had already been put into the baskets.
Then, the baskets were sealed and two trucks were off the to point of release. Release itself happened in the presence of foreign witnesses.
Tension mounted the next day. The weather gods were well-inclined towards the organisation and everyone expected a relatively easy race with a normal course. A slight tail wind had to make things easier for the pigeons.
The pigeons that flew the Utraditr race were expected to return around noon. In the meantime, the square in front of the lofts was filling up with a varied group of pigeon fanciers. There were lots of Asians and not only Thai but Chinese, Korean, Filipinos, Taiwanese and a single Japanese as well. A Chinese TV crew was filming. The Dutch in particular attracted attention among the western people because of their noisiness. There was a large number of Germans, Belgians, Swiss and some Australians and Americans too.
The food and drink stalls were doing great business, there was a lot of noise but more and more people were starting to watch the sky. Tension was high and everybody knew that it would not take long before the first pigeons would start to fly in...
A group of 13 pigeons came flying over high in the sky shortly after 1:00 PM and headed straight for the lofts… Everyone was pointing at the sky, the pigeons were a little startled by all the people making noise and flew an extra round. Then, they decide to settle on the landing shelf and everyone awaited the first recordings which happened in quick succession: the first 4 pigeons were registered within 5 seconds: 1 Thai, 2 and 3 Germany, 4 Thai, 5 Australia, 6 Thai, 7 Switzerland, 8 and 9 Germany, 10 Holland, 11 Germany, 12 Thai and 13 Germany again. The top prizes of the short race were divided. Joy and sorrow are emotions that are very close to one another... Speed of the first pigeon was 1131,29 metres/minute.
Then, gambling started: when will the first pigeons participating in the Chiangmai race arrive? Pigeons of the short race were coming in now on a regular basis so it was impossible to tell whether the birds were returning from the Chiangmai race or from Utraditr. Everyone was watching the data on the many computer screens with eagle eyes. Eventually, the winner of Chiangmai-Bangkok arrived at 2:48 PM, at a speed of 1223,72 metres/minute. The Thai combination Tanapong-Sutida won the Kings Cup by a large margin. The winners were extremely happy of course… We had to wait for an extra half an hour for the second pigeon to come in: the Thai-Belgian combination Sampong-Verbesselt-Van Riet ended up in a nice second position. Louis Van Riet, who is a true veteran in the Bangkok one-loft race, completely lost his head. Now all we had to do was wait for the first foreign pigeon to win the beautiful Princess Cup…
Emiel Denijs won this magnificent cup at 4:13 PM, he obtained the 9th prize and beat all his foreign competitors. A superb winner and a nice conclusion of a successful year (2006) for Emiel and his family.
The race was a total success and no less than 127 pigeons (of the 172 basketed birds) returned home from Utraditr at closing time (12:00 AM on the second day) and 207 (of the 803 basketed pigeons) came home from Chiangmai.
These are the results of both races :
Utraditr-Bangkok 430km 172 pigeons basketed:
1. Boonserm-Somrak-Somwong Thailand
2. Team Sylt 2000 Germany
3. Fitzner Roland Germany
4. Sin-Narong Thailand
5. Denaro & Lurato Australia
6. Permsak Singsomboon Thailand
7. Ditzler Benita Switzerland
8. Team Sylt 2000 Germany
9. Werner Horst Germany
10. M Sangers-P Ung Holland
11. Gehrken Harry & Sons Germany
12. Narong Siripat Thailand
13. Hartmuth Bierwirth Germany
14. Virat-Tossapong Thailand
15. Dieter Siebert Germany
16. Ken & Kerry McCall Australia
17. Virat-Tossapong-Kampanart Thailand
18. Lang Karl-Heinz Germany
19. Virat-Tossapong Thailand
20. Altmiks J- Eggert G Germany
Chiangmai-Bangkok 580km 803 pigeons basketed
1. Tanapong-Sutida Thailand winner Kings Cup
2. Sompong-Verbesselt-Van Riet Thailand
3. Paisarn Wijakantool Thailand
4. Pornchai Sudayuworn Thailand
5. Montri Suwanvanichkij Thailand
6. Chaiyut-Nuchit-Hussarangsri Thailand
7. Virat-Tossapong Thailand
8. Sermsak Srichavana Thailand
9. Emiel Denijs Belgium winner Princess Cup
10. Kamphon-Suthep-Angun Thailand
other foreign pigeons:
21. Daum Thorsten Germany
32. Waldow Werner Germany
39. Brett Caracella Australia
53. Daum Thorsten Germany
87. Steve Cini Australia
102. Emiel Denijs Belgium
145. Lang Karl-Heinz Germany
150. Team Sylt 2000 Germany
Prize distribution :
The organisation had spared neither trouble nor expense to give all the persons present a wonderful good-bye. The distribution of prizes took place in the ballroom of the Montien Riverside Hotel and was accompanied by a delicious buffet dinner, the necessary music and a beautiful show with female and male Thai dancers… Everyone kept on talking until late that night, people made contact and told eachother tall stories.
This successful happening was closed off in style and everyone entered into an agreement to be present again in 2007.
Recreation and vacation :
As we mentioned before, the programme of the One Loft Race is drafted in order to provide everyone with enough spare time to focus on some non-pigeon-related activities such as exploring the rich cultural and historical life in Thailand, exploring Bangkok, its city, its temples, its shops and its famous and/or notorious nightlife. A short vacation related to this pigeon happening was mapped out again in 2006 and a trip of about 10 days was organised.
Some very appreciated excursions were organised, such as a visit of the temples in Bangkok: the highlight was a visit of the Buddha made of massive gold. There was time for some shopping in the city and at the notorious Patpong night market, right in the middle of the Bangkok night life, as well. Another highlight was without any doubt the daytrip to Ayutthaya, the former capital city of Thailand, with its temple ruins and the return by boat over the mighty Chao Phraya river was memorable too. The last days were spent in the wellknown tourist seaside resort Pattaya. Then, the day to leave had come and we were daydreaming about the extremely successful combination of pigeons and holidays. We will certainly be returning…
Thailand One Loft Race 2007
Want to sign up ? Read more :
The Bangkok one-loft race will be a smash once again this year. Two races are being organised again and the programme is running from December 7 up to December 10, 2007. Once more, a group travel will be organised on the occasion of this race for the participants in the race… You wouldn’t want to miss this, would you?
Sending pigeons to this race costs € 120 per pigeon, including subscription and transport.
Pigeons will be sent on different days between mid March and mid May 2007.
You can find some extra information about the race on this website :