Blackie Swart claims overnight race

Loading the baskets onto the GPU race truck on Thursday.

BLACKIE Swart’s (Riverpark Pigeon Club) winning bird took 11 hours six minutes and 53 seconds to make it home at the weekend.

Gauteng Pigeon Union (GPU) liberated the pigeons from Victoria West in the central Karoo in the Northern Cape in a combined liberation at 6.50am. Victoria West is an average distance of 763km for Riverpark Pigeon Club members.

The club had 14 members flying 159 pigeons in this race.

The pigeons were liberated with clear skies and a light south-easterly wind blowing. There were light north-westerly and south-westerly winds on the way back to Kempton Park for the pigeons, but the telling factor for the overnight race was the unusually high temperatures for this time of the year.

For example, Bloemfontein had a high of 31 degrees on Saturday. Late on Saturday afternoon, the GPU advised that the clock closing time was 6.28pm and the opening time 5.56am.

Any birds clocked between these times would only be calculated for positions after 5.56am. Riverpark had five pigeons through on the day and the first pigeon in the morning to clock after the clocks reopened was at 6.23am.

It took four hours 41 minutes and five seconds to fill the top 30 positions on the result sheet.

Blackie Swart’s Blue Check hen, GPU 15 3825, was the race winner. Hilton Pitout’s Blue Bar White Flight ZA 15 77124 hen was second.

The full results were: Blackie Swart 1st, 15th, 16th, 30th; Hilton Pitout 2nd, 6th, 12th; Reinhold Brichta 3rd, 4th, 9th, 27th; G & E Lofts (Graham Cheary & Elaine Russell) 5th, 11th, 23rd; Fred van Rensburg 7th, 13th; Doves Nest Guest House (Gawie Botha) 8th, 18th, 29th; Tallies Lofts (Johan Taljaard) 10th, 17th, 20th, 21st; Pine Pienaar 14th; Beano Daschner 19th, 28th; Pieter van den Broeck 22nd; Connie Coertse 24th, 25th and Flip van Staden 26th.

On Saturday the pigeons will be liberated in a combined liberation from Cradock in the Eastern Cape, which is about 705km away for Riverpark members.

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