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A report on the BICC race from Barcelona in conjunction with the international

25,348 pigeons were entered in the international race from Barcelona, including 279 pigeons from the UK entered with the British International Championship Club. They were liberated at 13.00 hrs UK time into a strong south to southwesterly wind with good visibility and a temperature of 25 degrees.

When the birds were released in Barcelona the vast majority of the United Kingdom was under heavy cloud with torrential rain in places. The international committee made the right decision to release the birds at 13.00 hrs UK time in order to ensure as fair a race as possible for all those competing. Given that the weather in the United Kingdom was patchy on the Saturday with cloud, rain and very little sunshine, all those UK birds featuring on the result deserve many congratulations on their performances.

CENTRE AND EAST SECTION

In first centre section, first open was Mark Gilbert of Winkfield near Windsor, a well known competitor in the nationals and internationals, Mark's pigeon recorded a velocity of 1028 ypm over a distance of 707 miles. Mark's winner from Barcelona with the British International Championship club is a five year old widowhood cock named Southfield Tiger, bred from a son of Emiel, first international Dax and a daughter of Dewerdt's champion Magnus. This cock has had five races in preparation for this performance in 2012: three inland, then Messac, 255 miles and Tours 288 miles. Last season he was tenth British International Championship Club from the Pau International and 33rd from Agen, again with the BICC in the international. He has also been tenth open London and South East Classic Club from Tarbes and 303rd open National Flying Club, again from Tarbes. In short, he has scored consistently whenever sent to races over five hundred miles.

First east section and second open went to the lofts of H & P Archibald of Dover, flying 672 miles and at a velocity of 1000 ypm. This was a seven year old chequer cock who was previously fourth open BICC Barcelona in 2011. The loft's birds are mainly Jan Aardens and this bird was no exception, being bred from the bloodlines of R O Jones of South Wales. Preparation consisted of two channel races, Le Mans and Tours, coupled with regular twenty mile training tosses.

A J Hadlow of Whitstable was second east section, third open, flying 687 miles at a velocity of 871 ypm. His pigeon was a five year old hen who has had two channel races this season from Cannapeville and Pithiviers. She was sent sitting eggs overdue to hatch.

The Hockley lofts of D Hales clocked third east section, fourth open from Barcelona, 869 ypm over a distance of 709 miles, with a three year old Bruggemann x Hagens Brothers widowhood cock. A brother to this pigeon was sixth open BICC Pau international in 2012.

Ray Hammond of Albury, near Guildford was second centre section, fifth open, 789 ypm over 690 miles. This was a five year old hen which was a gift from Malcolm Parker of Reigate. She was sitting fourteen days on her third round when she was sent and has previously flown Bergerac this season. Ray also timed fourth centre section, fourteenth open with a five year old blue pied cock bred down from his own family of pigeons.

In fourth east section, sixth open we have Sheavills and Hunter from Ashford, Kent flying 674 miles at a velocity of 831 ypm. This was another five year old hen with the bloodlines of Wim Muller via Luc Milissen of Stokkum through the partner's friend Lee Humphreys. This was her third time flying from Barcelona and she was 40th open BICC in 2010 from the same racepoint. She was sent sitting twelve day eggs and has now been named Sole Aim.

Also from Ashford, R Dove clocked the seventh UK pigeon home, flying 674 miles at a velocity of 823 ypm. His pigeon was a six year old blue cock sent feeding youngsters. His bloodlines are Jan Aarden, down from a bird gifted to him by Duncan Harvey of Cornwall and it was his third time flying from Barcelona. Ron clocked a second pigeon to also take nineteenth open.

In eight place we have Mr and Mrs Rhodes of Aylesham, Kent, flying 680 miles at a velocity of 820 ypm with a four year old Jan Aarden hen via a Roger Senecourt cock crossed with a Fear Brothers' hen. Until this 2011 this bird had been used as a widowhood hen and therefore wasn't raced. In 2011 she returned from Cannappeville having been hawked, once recovered she was sent to Tarbes for only the second race of her life at 560 miles. This season she has had a couple of races with the local club to 100 miles and then into Barcelona.

Third centre section and tenth open were the lofts of last year's Barcelona winner, those of Crowley and Green from Calne. Their pigeon this time was Meteor who has previously won fifth open British Barcelona Club from Barcelona. He is a full brother to Minx which was last year's winner.

WEST SECTION

First west section and ninth open was the Padfield Family of Abertillery in Wales. Timed just after 05.00 hrs on the third morning of the race this was a four year old dark chequer hen at a velocity of 789 ypm over a distance of just under 758 miles. She contains the lines of Wim Muller which the Padfield family obtained direct in the 1990s. This pigeon was flying to the most westerly location in the 25,000 bird convoy and had to contend with head winds and heavy rain showers in the last 200 miles.

Second west section and twenty second open was to the lofts of Geoff and Catherine Cooper of Peasdown St John. This was a six year old widowhood cock called Daybreak Junior. He flew 719 miles on a velocity of 548 ypm. He has previously scored eighteenth Tarbes BICC international and fifty fourth BICC PAU international as well as federation and National Flying Club positions.

That concludes the report of the BICC race from Barcelona with the international.