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New Thinking Required

St Finnan Loft

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Barry has kindly consented to my republishing some of the article.


Once again this is just a concept to provoke forward-thinking in a stagnated sport. For

anything to move forward the first step must be taken, then another and so on! Most of the

problems in our sport can be overcome, problems only need solutions, but many will not

even attempt to try and develop a new idea or concept, I have now travelled and conducted many talks and discussions regarding new concepts for pigeon racing, I have listened to many people telling me their problems in their own

areas, but I must say, the same problems are happening everywhere!

Now let us look at a couple of things, people will always

make excuses as to why things need to stay the same, usually because they will not have or

maintain the advantage if something new is introduced, they do not want the racing to be


• Why do people who live in the eastern areas always have the best racing results?

• Why do people seek to move to these areas to race their pigeons?

• What and where is the drop zone?

• Why is it that the people who take the control of clubs usually live in these areas?

• Which direction do the prevailing winds come from?

• Can terrain play any part in the results?


I will now explain my thoughts on the line of flight of birds

when racing. I will look at the scenario everyone wishes to have and then explain the actual

flight paths of birds with wind interference, I hope it will help to explain my handicap system

better. It is hard for people that have been stuck in their ways to understand many of my

new concepts, but that is why nothing has changed in the past because these people are not

creative enough to be able to come up with new ideas that can benefit the sport.

It is only because I have been travelling around talking to many people about new concepts

over the past 7 years, those different people are now starting to see a light at the end of the

tunnel, even if it may seem small at this stage. For so long many people have left the sport

disillusioned at the poor management of organisations and lack of improvements, Yes the

sport will die if no one sets about to change the way things are done.

Let us assume that two lofts have exactly the same of the following:

• Quality of birds.

• Feeding

• Training

• Management

• Both lofts are equal distance from the release point in a straight line, this is the calculation that determines the placings in a pigeon race. A straight line to each loft.


Pigeons from each loft fly directly to their home loft without any interference from outside elements. In this scenario, birds should arrive at their home lofts at exactly the same time.

Now let’s throw in the prevailing westerly winds, this already has changed the playing

field dramatically in favour of the Easterly Loft. The birds will be pushed to the east and

then the westerly lofts birds will actually fly a much further path than the East loft as they

are pushed further into the east at the release point, thus the East loft will have birds landing

at their loft well before the West loft.

Now sometimes birds can break and head for their loft not far from the release point, but the east loft birds are pushed towards their loft and do not have to turn into a headwind which will also slow the birds heading towards the West Loft.

In effect, the East loft birds have not flown as far or as hard as the West Loft birds, but the

results at the end of the day mean that the East loft guy is patting himself on the back

for a good win, when in fact his bird had an easy run home, are they really the better birds?

Now let’s throw some more variables into the equation!

We can start by putting in ranges and hills; these could also be lakes or rivers, pigeons will naturally take a line of flight which is dictated by the terrain, fly around mountains, ranges or hills rather than flying over the top! They will look for gaps that they can get through, rather than try and expose themselves to open country where they can be spotted by falcons. Exceptions to this will be on days with clear skies, the birds can fly over obstacles such as I have mentioned, but this is rare.

During discussions, my words fell on deaf ears as east fanciers kept patting themselves on the back. It is great to win races, but when there is no one left to race against, then it is easy to win! This scenario does not deter the east fanciers as they seem to wish for this! In many of my travels, I hear people talking about the same problems in the sport, but this is the problem, many people talking about the problem, but no one trying to come up with a solution! Some people deny there is

a problem, these are the fanciers the sport does not need, and mostly they are old school and do not embrace change or progress, unfortunately.

Now on a visit to the Wagga Wagga some years ago, I was interested in an idea that, I

think the Albury Wodonga club were using. Now, this is where at least people are searching for solutions to problems and not just saying

“that is the way it has always beenâ€, “we can’t change anythingâ€. Now, this got me into

great discussions with John Clay, about what the Wagga Wagga Club were using and I

could see merit in their thinking. I then started to look at the scenario at my area and started

developing the idea to assist the guys that were disadvantaged by terrain and position. Now

upon studying clocking times and talking with the guys that were continually behind each

week a trend was appearing in the times, now what I did was worked on a drop zone,

basically where the birds were entering and then work out a formula to take time off the guys in

the West, which meant they would have their times very close to the drop zone guys, well

as expected they would never allow this. This is why the sport cannot go forward!

Now another example: The Stawell Gift - Australia’s richest foot sprint race. The guys

are racing off handicaps to keep the racing as exciting as possible, not to just give away

money to the fastest person, if this was the case, they would all run off scratch! This race

has thought outside the box and has reaped the rewards, whereas pigeon fanciers are

exactly the opposite, and only see people leave the sport disillusioned!

Now basically, what can happen is that when the birds reach the drop zone, they turn and

then head towards the west lofts, now if the birds sit on a steady speed, maybe 40 -45 mile

per hour, then the guys in the west have their birds cover a certain distance at that speed, so

, therefore, using a formula a time can be deducted from the West flyers. The same system

can also have time added to fanciers that have overfly, working on how much overfly

(direct line with drop zone) and once again the speed of 40– 45 miles per hour. You

need to experiment with these things but it is interesting how racing can be made more

exciting and keep people interested in the sport.

Some people may call this a breakpoint, but a breakpoint is different uses a different

formula to adjust racing, many times I have seen the breakpoint used totally incorrectly,

therefore disadvantaging fanciers and also chasing people away from the sport again. To try

new things are very hard for the pigeon sport with people who are too scared to even open their minds

to simple improvements to the sport, computers, GPS and release conditions monitoring, the

internet and computers are wonderful tools if used correctly. (Location can well account for 80%of a well-located lofts success.)

Yours in the Sport,

Barry Trewin

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