The weather once again in France was variable from when we arrived on Friday early morning. Upon our arrival, the birds were given a light feed and all water troughs were topped up. We stayed on the docks for nearly two hours giving birds plenty of time. We left the docks and drove for about three hours before driver taking his driving break, giving me time to top up waters. After some three quarters of an hour we continued driving to our liberation site, Sigogne.
As soon as we arrived, I was very impressed with the site, situated high up with excellent all round visibility, as far as the eye could see. The wind on site on Friday was West South West. A quick call to the French agent was made to confirm our arrival, then it was down to business, feeding and replenishing all water drinkers. After birds had finished eating, the food was removed. All birds were relaxed in the crates and there was lot's of room for birds to move around. Due to the heat, the decision was made by the race committee to reduce the number of birds per crate by two thirds of the maximum allowance. The birds were now all set for a nice rest. The outside temperature was still very high and the humidity was around 70%. At 7pm., the French agent visited us and stated that tomorrow, Northern France was not looking very good for a liberation. We then walked about 50ft to the showers and toilet blocks and nestled next door was their pigeon club and the members were busy basketing for a race from Northern France. We were in a perfect secure location with a pigeon club on site, perfect.
Saturday morning, the weather overnight had taken a dramatic change with heavy rain, thunder and lightning not stopping until after sunrise. A holdover until Sunday was looking the call of the day. The French agent had informed us that his organization were holding over. After numerous calls to our race delagates in the UK, our weather man and most importantly, our Race Advisor Tony Adams, we all decided that Sunday was looking a much better day. So with everything taken into consideration a call to our secretary to confirm no liberation. With the decision made the birds were fed and watered. Around mid-day, the agent called again to inform us that two French transporters that were to arrive early Saturday would now be here Sunday, early morning, due to cloud and rain in various parts of the country.
Two tranporters arrived early Sunday morning before sunrise. We were already parked in a perfect liberation spot and the wings were fully extended at 5 am local time. All drinkers were checked, all ok. 7am local time, the birds were liberated into clear blue skies and all cleared the site in one large flock. Cameras were flashing and a crowd of around 20 local pigeon people were delighted to see our NFC pigeons above them. Dom McCoy, Chief Convoyer.
P.s. - Just for the record the French organizations liberated a couple of hours after us and this can be seen on NFC website, thanks to our Secretary.