B.B.C. Barcelona 6th July 2012
We have a Team of six pigeons this year four of whom successfully flew Palamos last year. They will go in order of performance thus:
No’s 2 and 3, the newcomers, are highly speculative because although they have both flown well so far there is no way of knowing how well they can perform or indeed if they can perform at this distance. Time alone will tell. All I can say is that they all look well at this moment and I can only hope that appearances count.
Marking is on Sunday 1st July and the race hopefully will begin on the following Friday.
Friday 6th July 2012.
The convoy of in excess of 25,000 pigeons was liberated at 1300 UK time into what is described as good conditions. Visibility was good and they had a wind blowing from the South at about 10 mph. While the weather in the first part of the race seems good that in the second part is more dubious.
Barcelona can bring great joy and great sadness, highs and lows and within TEAM RML we have both this year. The high came quite early on when “EADHUN” GB09J31666 returned at 12:20:43 on the second day to take what amounts to 1st BBC National and 1st UK National with a velocity of around 1200ypm. The remarkably early times in France, Belgium and Holland clearly mean we might get early times here but it is always difficult to judge just how far behind we may be. It was quite a while before any other pigeons arrived in the UK or at the loft and it was as Roy Rowland, the member asked to verify “EADHUN”, walked towards the loft that he saw "CAEDMON” GB07V44141 arrive on the landing board, timed at 15:54:42 for provisional 2nd BBC National. The high’s ended there. A silly error with the ETS meant that “CAEDMON’s” time would not count and “EADHUN’s” would have to be taken from the conventional clock meaning a loss of a couple of minutes or so but fortunately he should retain his position. The low’s did not end there because we still have four of the Team out there and can only hope they find their way home over the next few days.
Barcelona, Platja de Llevant
Barcelona is of course the main race of the year for TEAM RML. This really is what all the rest has been about and it is not only the final test for the pigeons but a very real test indeed. While, mainly because of the geography, the UK does not figure high in the International result you only have to look at the Entrants in the I.P.R.R. Single bird nomination to see the quality of some of the birds going from the UK. Just to add to the challenge, as if things were not tough enough already, TEAM RML has also entered the "Friends of Barcelona” competition organised in Holland and Belgium and in which we have no realistic chance of getting anywhere near a prize, but what the heck, if we only entered what we thought we would win we would probably just stay at home.
The Barcelona race point changed last year and is now located down on the beach at Platja de Llevant. This provides quite a nice open area, especially out to sea, for the convoy to pick up before making their way towards the Rhone Valley as you can see below.
On Monday 9th July I received a telephone call from a farmer near to Caen in Normandy to say he had GB08R45948. His English was not great, although much better than my French, but we came to an understanding that I would try to arrange its collection. Jean Paul from near to Calais got a friend of his from the neighbourhood to collect him and then Jean Paul brought him back to his home when he went for his holiday later in the year. Jean Paul is now looking after him and will hopefully breed from him and I will collect in May this year.
Later still on 24th July GB05N07222 found his way home looking fit and well as usual. This is his third Barcelona/Palamos trip and will be his last. So that is four of the team of six accounted for.
GB08R45948 "DEORWINE" in a nestbox near to Calais.