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Sigogne - Liberation & Convoyer Report - 21st July 2018
Exactly 24 hours ago our Racing Pigeons were at Caen docks resting and being watered after their channel crossing. Around midday, Tours, once a Gallic-Roman settlement, was their resting and watering hole. The Chief convoyer and pigeon fancier, for over 6 decades, Barrie Smith, rested them for an hour at the beautiful liberation site of Sigogne, before feeding and thereafter liberally watering from 3:30pm onwards.
Today the sun poked its head out around 6am, to greet the NFC Transporter, in thankfully a clear dry sky with very high clouds that were broken and not going anywhere for several days over the Northern hemisphere. The team decided to cut the strings and give the birds their freedom at 6:30am in a sunny 4mph Southwestern wind. The flock cleared the site in less than a minutes and headed home in textbook fashion, as Barry and Bob our responsible driver watched them high tail it back to England & Wales.
On their way home, they should have light variable winds of no more than 4 to 9mph, and very little gusts, including the channel, which makes a welcomed change. Temperatures should get to around 24 degrees in France and even hotter in England. Our winners should encounter no more than light showers as they disperse to their home lofts but in most cases, these will be easily avoidable.
Barrie reports that Sigogne is the perfect liberation site for the NFC as it has extremely friendly French pigeon fanciers, that make the team very welcome on its large home football pitches. There are open skies with no obstructions, it is on high ground and no water courses to lure in mist and fog.
Best of luck and great racing to all our valuable and appreciated members.


The National Flying Club winged battleship released her bravest contestants at 6:15am into a cool 16 degree and cloudy sky above French soil. A distinct crack of pigeon bloom erupted from her ports and slid along the 4 mph Westerly, as the pigeons gained height to head for home and a personal victory for the best amongst them!

The normal historic strategy is to cover the 365 nautical miles (420 miles) up to the French peninsular at Cherbourg before crossing the bedeviled wate...rs ahead. Their journey should be a constant driving North Easterly wind of around 6 to10mph, and temperatures along the way from 15 to 22 degrees. This epic battle may reveal something new and special in the way you play this game, but only for one lucky soul that entered this race of over 2200 birds.

Many a skirmish has been won in the English Channel and today's bout could be just that day. Winds will be 18 to 24 mph NE, till they hit English shores, where there will be a welcomed lull of 4 to 10mph. Here we will possibly see the powerhouse birds pull ahead with their superior strength, stamina, and unique abilities.

May your best warriors go forth today and conquer this beast on your half, to win the greatest Grand National Pigeon title in the United Kingdom, today!

Best of luck to one and all, for the NFC Tarbes 2018 Race.

 ANCENIS 16th June - The birds at Ancenis have been liberated at 06.10 hrs in a 2 to 4 mph North Westerly wind in a temperature of 10' celcius.

 MESSAC 2nd June - The birds at Messac have been liberated at 6.00 hrs in a 3 mph North wind with clear skies and about 11' celcius.

COUTANCES 19th May - The birds at Coutances have been liberated at 07.15 hrs in a 8 mph in a temperature of 9'. Chief Convoyer Trevor Cracknell informed us they cleared well in to blue sky. Good luck everyone.

Events & News

Sigogne Race Marking at Congleton

Workers at the Congleton marking station having a much needed break, re the Sigogne race marking: -

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2018 Race 5 Sigogne National Press Officers Report

The National Flying Club final old bird race of the season took place from Sigogne

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Champions of Champions Result at present...

Sigogne is to be taken in to account before finalising the results, click onto National or Section result: -


Champion of Champs National Result


Champion of Champs Section Result 

Tarbes Press Officer Report 2

The weather for the Grand National this year was against us from the start and we would like to extend our apologies for that but looking to the future we will take on board the many constructive suggestions that have been given. As it transpired the winds in the channel were stronger than expected and coupled with the heat wave we are experiencing it proved too much and it was not going to change over the following days. The cloud cover reported was considered fine for liberation but one thing for sure, we will learn from this and did not release the birds without due diligence or consideration to their welfare. A meeting with all the National and Classic clubs is being held with the RPRA to discuss the way forward, our Chairman will be in attendance to consider the future racing in such conditions.

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2018 Race 4 Tarbes Grand National Press Report

The Tarbes Grand National for 2018 will be remembered as one of the toughest in recent years but as ever, top performances by class pigeons and fanciers prevailed. To those farther flyers in the club I feel for you because some things are insurmountable for our birds and the combination of the dehydrating effect of the east winds with high temperatures prevented them reaching home in race time. I am in no way condemning the birds, it is just making a point as I know the high quality long distance pigeons are there, it was just that on this occasion everything was against them. When they do return home, they will be given complete rest and recuperation in preparation for yet another chance to shine in one of the greatest races in the UK. It is a difficult yet unpredictable race which is why we love it so much. Birds of the highest calibre can rise to the forefront year after year to make themselves famous in the Racing Pigeon world and reduce their owners to tears after yet another nerve racking seasons build up from the first trainers to the clocking in.

Wearn Bros 1 & Neilson knew that when they timed early in the morning there was every chance of them being beaten further north. They had calculated that if the birds had roosted overnight on the north coast of France, it would be around three hours after sunrise before they got to the south coast. Eric still made the journey to the loft situated at Jimmy’s home very early the next morning and after rounding a few stray calves off a roundabout on his way, he got there around 5am. Jimmy was already up and waiting but at that time it was cold enough to require a fleece sweater and a hat, but after a while it warmed up and sure enough, around three hours after sun rise, they saw their pigeon come. It was verified with the club secretary who gave them the verification number of 3, so Jim thought theirs was the third bird verified and the race would build from there. History shows us that many hours can go by before the Grand National winner is announced and it could be anywhere in the country mostly on the second day.

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2018 Race 3 Ancenis Press Report -

If ever there was any doubt about the magic of racing with the National Flying Club the Ancenis race flown on the 16th June would sum it all up. Fanciers from all over the country competing against each other with the top of the leader board changing as the birds went further up country. As the race reached its climax it developed into a real nail biter, with the top three open positions all on the same velocity split on decimals and to indicate the fairness of the race, all three were winners of three separate sections with 70 miles between them. What a great race!

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Ancenis Race Advisors -

Liberation Detailed Report.

Our birds were liberated this morning (16/06/18) at 6:10am from Ancenis in a 10° temperature and a wind that was North Westernly and only 2 to 4 mph. The Convoyer reported clear skies and one large high cloud that prevented an earlier liberation. The birds broke well but we had one small batch that had a mind of its own but cleared the site within 5 minutes of release.

As Race Controller, I ideally wanted to get the birds off and on their way at least 40 minutes early. The reason being that all the data I had collected showed we could beat the weather over to the UK, instead of dodging it. Although we started off in a very light North Wester, the French wind will change to a South Westerly, as we approach the coast, where there may be very light scattered outbreaks on French soil. The fresh channel winds will remain predominately South West for the crossing and mostly shower free. The winds in England are hugely variable with light directions from West to South South West and speeds of 4mph to 22mph. Unfortunately due to the delayed liberation, some members will have birds going around the isolated showers. Those that fly directly through to their lofts, will be the winners today. Best of luck to all our Members.