by Drew Callan, Press Officer

May 6th 2013

Good evening folks, as I write this some of my team have had 2 races in anticipation of the first national race and the rest of the team were started yesterday. My fed were at Taunton which is 115 miles to me and given the wind it was no surprise at the speed they were doing. Most of the team pulled out where they should and were home by the 2 hour mark with just a few yearlings who went high, wide and whipping past and then had to work in to that wind to get home… but at least they are fitter now.

The first race on the national programme is less than 2 weeks away with a lib scheduled for the 18th but as always Paul Clements will have done his homework and will only have them up when conditions are at their best. In a perfect world they would be up in ideal conditions but that is not something that happens often, and to be honest we would be a long time waiting for a liberation if we waited for perfect conditions all along the line of flight. Rest assured that the birds are in very good hands with our race controller Paul and he is in constant contact along the line of flight from the convoyer in France right through to the top end of the northern sections.

Just a polite reminder to members that all the hard work you are putting in now with your prospective candidates might be in vain if you do not do your bit. Make sure entries are in on time please as they have been refused before so make sure that it’s not your birds that get excluded from the race. Also, please ensure that you indicate the correct marking station and clock station on your form and that this is the one you present your birds and clock at. It helps with the administration side of things and it helps to tie up your various race sheets and clock station sheets and all this helps Sid to get the result out on time. Can I also ask fanciers to get to the marking stations in plenty of time and if possible to lend a hand for 15 minutes as this helps speed up marking but more importantly it gives the team of markers a chance to have a quick break. I know that there are quite a few who do this any way but when I have been at Steventon I have seen members complaining about being in a hurry and not able to help and have seen the same folks 30 minutes later in the car park working on their tans and propping up cars. Don’t be shy gentlemen, just ask at any station and some one will find you a job… remember each marking station is working towards a deadline and wants to be ready to load when the transporter arrives so if we all do our bit it will all come together.

One thing about being at the marking station that has always surprised me is the number of pigeons who eat when the troughs are put on to the sealed panniers. I was talking to a double national winner about this last weekend and he was of the opinion that if you had done your job right the birds would not be hungry, but I suppose some of these birds have had an early start and were grateful for the opportunity to top up. egardless of your views on whether they should be wanting to eat or not, this year when they stick their heads into the troughs at any time before liberation they will be eating a different brand of corn. The National Flying Club have up until recently had the corn for the races sponsored and supplied by Bucktons, but with the company having changed hands we were informed  recently that they would no longer be supplying us with immediate effect. Now it doesn’t take me to tell you that 4 weeks before the first race is not ideal timing, but we are fortunate in that we have on the committee one of the main UK agents for Vanrobaeys and he moved quickly to secure sponsorship for the club from Vanrobaeys that will cover the corn for all the National Flying Club races this season. They have provided 100 bags of corn for use over the races with more if it proves to be needed. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Vanrobaeys on behalf of the committee and members of The National for this gesture of support and for supplying top quality corn that befits the top quality entrants in our races. I know that it is common for fanciers to feed the same brand of corn at home as  that which  is fed to their birds in the baskets and so I am letting you know now in case you are one of these fanciers.

Right then folks, that’s all from me now... I really only wanted to remind you about getting your paper work in order for the races. It’s only round the corner now and personally speaking I can’t wait. Nothing else in this sport compares to the feeling you get when you know the cords have been cut and flaps dropped on a national day… win or lose.

As always, I am on or 01926817796.

Drew Callan

PO The National Flying Club