The British International Championship Club was scheduled to race from Fougeres on Saturday 26 May 2012. However, due to to strong easterly winds across Northern France and the English channel the Committee made the decision to move the birds seventy miles eastwards to Alençon in order to ensure the best race for the birds. One thousand nine hundred and four birds were released at 05.45 hrs into bright sunshine and a light easterly wind on site. They cleared well into the north and hopes were high for an excellent race.
With the easterly wind it was always to be expected that the west section would dominate the provisional result and so it proved with many of the first verified birds clocking into this section. Next up was the central section with the birds then making their way up into the northern half of England. Predictably the east section was the last to verify arrivals. Undoubtably some of these later birds had a difficult race and did well to record the velocities they did.
First open went to Les J Fry of Dorchester who clocked a yearling to record 1606.6 ypm. His family of pigeons are based on stock from Gary Inkley of Uxbridge. Les feeds simple corn and fresh water and lets the birds exercise freely round the loft. The pigeon taking second open is a cock flown on widowhood - the first time Les has flown this system as he usually prefers natural.
Second open was won by A Ware and Daughter from Pontypridd in South Wales, 1606.3 ypm. No stranger to the winners podium Adrian's pigeon was a yearling widowhood cock that has completed every inland and channel race available this season, the channel races include Carentan, Falaise and now Alençon.
Third open went to Steve Luscombe of Plymouth clocking a yearling cock. Steve won the Falaise National just two weeks ago and it was the same bird that did the business from Alençon. What a fantastic pigeon! The winner was bred down from the bloodlines of Bob Brown's Tarbes hen crossed into Terry Luscombe's five times Tarbes hen, these being Janssens x Busschaert.
Fourth open went to Preece Brother and Sons of Cwmtillery, 1585 ypm. They clocked a yearling blue cock flown on roundabout and the partners also finished ninth open from BICC Falaise earlier in the year so are on cracking form.
R E Taylor and Sons of Bedminster, Bristol took fifth open on 1556 ypm with a yearling chequer cock sent sitting about eight days. This pigeon had only raced two times before, once as a young bird from Carentan when he took a month to return and one channel race three weeks previously.
Brooks Brothers of High Littleton clocked a three year old to take sixth open with a velocity of 1546.9 ypm. Their bird is a great grandson of Geoff and Cath Cooper's Farm Boy.
Seventh open went to Bradshaw and Family from Swansea, 1546.2 ypm. They have previously won four BICC races. Their winner this time is a three year old mealy cock bought at Ken Jones' clearance sale. This pigeon was at Fougeres with the NFC the week before.
Les Nicholls of Bedminster, Bristol clocked a three year cock raced on the natural system to take eighth open, 1546 ypm. Les is a double national winner and is having a cracking season in 2012. His BICC open bird is bred from stock purchased from Nigel Templar and had won as a yearling.
In ninth open, John Ludlam of Nelson in the South Wales Valleys recorded a velocity of 1546 ypm. The bird in question is a full sister to John's Welsh national Tarbes winner and he has previously had a Welsh national winner from Tours.
Tenth open was won by Charlie Bradshaw Jnr from Ystradgylais on 1540 ypm. Charlie is brother to Dave who took seventh open. Charlie clocked a two year old widowhood cock of Van Bruaene x Nouwen Puessen lines.
First to clock into the central section was Scott Storie from Poole who took first section and twenty fourth open, 1483 ypm. This was a five year widowhood cock which has plenty of prize cards to his name having featured in the result with the Central Southern Classic from Messac and the National Flying Club from Poitiers in previous years.
Second section and thirty ninth open was Mannor Lofts from Southampton, 1388 ypm. These are the lofts of the Norman Family and the pigeon clocked was a yearling widowhood hen gisted to them by Guernsey fancier Mick De Carteret. This pigeon is of R & M Venner bloodlines.
Third section was Bartlett and Jones from Southampton, 1284 ypm, who was forty fourth open on the provisional result. Top class fanciers their first bird in the clock was named Damage as he was twelth open from the NFC Fougeres race the week before.
First into the east and provisionally eighty ninth open was John Pennell from Bishops Stortford 943 ypm. John also topped the east section with the BICC from Carentan and his bird this time was a Marijke Vink x Koopman.
Second section and nintieth open went to W Joyce of Theydon Bois, 939 ypm. Bill has been a fancier for eighty years and his timer was a hen flown on the natural system sitting fourteen day old eggs.
Third section and ninty second open was to the loft of C Simmons of Basildon, 930 ypm. Charlie's bird was purchased from John Redfern of Doncaster.
First into the north section was a pigeon for Graham Jones of Cannock, 1402 ypm. This bird was thirty seventh open and was a dark chequer cock of Houben bloodlines.
Second section and provisional 42nd open went to Davenport and Roberts of Chirk, 1341 ypm. This was a cock bred by Darren Robert's mentor Cameron Stansfield and it also scored from the NFC the weekend before.
Third section and fifty fifth open was to the loft of T Collier of Coventry, 1208 ypm.
In conclusion, the BICC Alençon national proved to be a challenging race, especially for those on the eastern side of the UK. Once again the wind proved a deciding factor and those eastern section lofts that made the provisional result should be congratulated on having pigeons with the stamina and performance to battle against the prevailing wind for upwards of six or seven hours on the wing.