With 45.297 Bourges pigeons at the start the Brabant Union could clap their hands, as this was more than about 5.600 pigeons than last year. Now, the excellent Spring weather will have had something to do with it… hopefully this positive trend will continue in the coming national competitions on the programme. Weather wise it was once again a godsend, with extremely sunny weather above France… it was only cloudy in the western half of our country, with a few drops of rain in the afternoon… but then the pigeon books had been closed for a long time! The wind was definitely a deciding factor… which was blowing stronger and stronger from the ‘southwest’… as was forecast all week by the way! Conditions in which the fastest pigeons were expected in the east of the province Antwerp, and it was so. The fastest pigeon of the entire liberation of 45.297 pigeons, and also 1° National winner by the yearlings… landed at the trap of Jan Van Oeckel from Oud Turnhout and was clocked at 13h06’08” from a distance of 506,244 Km, which gave a velocity of 1576,43 meter/min! The 2nd place by the yearlings was for Marcel Wouters from Westmalle (1573,89 m), in 3 we find Jochems-Van Hasselt from Rijkevorsel, 4 is for Johan Bleyen (who also won 3 + 4 National o.b.!), and the national ‘top-5’ is completed by Daniel Timmers from Hechtel.
The ‘Raket’ from Jan Van Oeckel wins
Winner Jan Van Oeckel also had a marvellous series from Bourges. His national winner was clocked at 13h06… then it was a matter of waiting, but at 13h12 to 13h13 there was a real ‘cloud-break’ of pigeons above Oud Turnhout with no less than 7 pigeons (5 o.b. + 2 yearlings) within a minute… and it continued, with the following ‘spectacular performance’ as a result :
Bourges Provincial Antwerp 4.216 yearlings: 1-44-47-211-244-245-262-343-426-636-638-1196-1282-1326 Or 14/17 yearlings! Bourges National 20.646 yearlings: 1-65-70… etc. (preliminary forecast)
Bourges Provincial Antwerp 3.761 o.b.: 30-32-39-40-41-58-59-68-163-164-332-346-585-620-718-857-1025-1135 With here 18/20! Bourges National 24.651 o.b.: 45-52-61-65-66-98-99… (preliminary forecast)
A result to be framed! In total at provincial level it gives 32/37, a line which will be carried on…given the favourable location of the region from this Bourges… at national level!
The ‘Raket ‘ is then the proud national winner, a beautiful chequer cock… up until then a permanent prize racer with an exceptional peak to his name. His honours list looks like this :
-The ‘Raket’ B10-6173190
In 2011: 28/5 Bourges Nat. 20.646 p. 1 14/5 Dourdan 1.938 p. 51 07/5 Melun 1.972 p. 168 01/5 Noyon 915 p. 166 24/4 Noyon 1.108 p. 81 17/4 Quiévrain 783 p. 257 10/4 Quiévrain 1.006 p. 262 In 2010: won 8 prizes, including: 18/7 Noyon 912 p. 6 11/7 Quiévrain 907 p. 57 etc
On father’s side he stems from a pigeon from Luc, Bart & Jurgen Geerinckx from Wommelgem, whilst the mother stems from the line of Patrick Claes. The Jan Van Oeckel pigeon stock is mainly built up with pigeons from L-B-J. Geerinckx, Gaston Van De Wouwer, son Bart… supplemented with pigeons from various sport friends out the area .
It was waiting to happen
The Van Oeckel family is well-known in pigeon circles. Both father Jan as son Bart… who both race independently at a stone’s throw away from each other… have stood on the frontline of our national pigeon sport for quite some time. Over the last few weeks the performances were overwhelming, so much so that someone like a Gaston Van de Wouwer ascribed the Van Oeckel family a ‘favourite role’ well in advance… tipped them as men who could make a claim on a national top performance, maybe even the victory. That ‘alert’ Gaston got it right, proven by the performances at the Van Oeckel house over the last few weeks, something which didn’t escape the attention of the eagle-eyed opponents! That’s right, says Jan… the performances were hopeful, the pigeons were ‘solid’ and ‘round’ by the basketting, and that gives one hope… but to immediately think of national victory, is somewhat premature. Call it a dream that always lives… one which has finally come true! Jan remains down to earth… in order to win nationally everything has to be right, first and foremost the pigeons have to be ‘top’ and the conditions also have to be favourable. And that was the case for us last Saturday… we will therefore enjoy it to the fullest, ads an overjoyed Jan Van Oeckel !
Son Bart also performed marvellously with :
Bourges Nat 24.651 o.b.: 5-26-69… (and provincial 20/6 by the 3.761 o.b.) Bourges Nat 20.646 yl: 28-62… (and provincial 25/47 against 4.216 yl) l)
The festivity was complete then by the Van Oeckel family
Jan’s racing team consists of 24 racing couples (24 cocks and 24 hens) which are raced in total widowhood. It is on the advice of son Bart that Jan has adopted this system, he only used to race ‘classic widowhood’ with the cocks. The great advantage of this is that one has to house less pigeons over the winter (no stay at home partners necessary), to be able to race with the same number of pigeons. And it also gives a better look at the worth of the pigeon team, which can now present achievements!
The preparation for the 2011 season looked slightly different than usual. Normally the racing pigeons can complete a nest, and so raise a round of youngsters. This year they were not coupled until February, and could only brood for a few days. Given the favourable weather, the pigeons here also started their training early, they had 4 sprint races (2 x Quievrain and 2 x Noyon), to then start the middle distance at the beginning of May. They then raced Melun and Dourdan-Angerville consecutively . The hens were basketted for Vierzon last week, whilst the cocks were allowed to rest. A ‘rest week’ which appears to have done them good, not only resulting in ‘national victory’ … but a marvellous performance which has rarely been displayed… with, according to the first preliminary forecast, no less than 10 pigeons within the national ‘Top 100’! Phenomenal!
Congratulations Jan, Bart and family… this victory and corresponding ‘banging performance’ definitely taste moreish !