Race 4 (Final Race) was flown yesterday and was more difficult than we hoped. As of now (end of Day 2) there are 65% of the birds home. Hopefully we get a few more back tomorrow. Not a terrible race but I was hoping for better on the last one. I will post a full Race Recap in the next couple of days. A handful of birds really excelled though including one pigeon that really outperformed the rest throughout the entire series.
Congratulations to R & D Racing (Dale Zehr & Rick Broere) for winning 1st Place @ 1308 YPM with their #1833. This pigeon was also on the first drop in Race 3 and did well in Race 1 as well. Being out overnight in Race 2 hurt it's chanced in Average speed. Also on the first drop was Birdhigh Ranch with #9206 that finished in 9th Overall Average Speed. Finally the last bird on the first drop was #2149 for Fleet Washington and this was the dominant pigeon of the series winning 1st Overall Ace Pigeon by 38+ Minutes. #2149 was also on the first drop in Race 3 and did very well in both Race 1 and Race 2. In a difficult series with a lot of adversity, there was only 1 pigeon that excelled in all 4 races with no mistakes and that was #2149. Congratulations to Fleet Washingon for breeding an outstanding pigeon. Cloux Loft (Charlie Loucks) won 1st Nominated Point Bird by a narrow margin over APC Loft in 2nd & 3rd.
Click Here for the Full Prize Payout (in Alphabetical Order by Breeder) for the 4 Race Series
If you won more than $600 after shipping then please email a completed W-9. We will begin shipping out the birds next Monday and should ship most of them out next week. Jon will start sorting out the birds tomorrow. Please let us know whether you want them shipped back or not. Those that won prizes I can deduct from your winnings. Best way to let us know is by Email that way it's more organized and I have a record of who it's from. If you didn't win money but still want your birds back email me and I can get you a shipping quote. It costs a little more to ship to the midwest and East coast than it does west coast.
Again I will post a full race recap in a couple days.
Here is video of release. Skies are very hazy headed back towards Bakersfield but bluer with better air towards east Foothills.
I arrived at the release spot at 6:10 AM. Release point is off Ridge Route at an overlook viewing Quail Lake. Elevation here is about 3700' and you can see a lower spot in the mountains to the north that hopefully the birds use.
Temperature is a little warm on this side of the mountains about 60 already but it will cool as birds get to the south side of mountains. Clear and very light north wind at the release point. There will be some wind in the mountains themselves just to the north then about 200 Miles of very light winds followed by a light headwind the last 100 miles or so. Much of the course will be calm to less than 5 MPH. Temperatures should reach about 68-73 through much of the course.
Just a little patchy fog up and down the valley that should burn off before birds reach it. The birds should be able to take whatever path they like. Fog will not be an issue this race.
Birds have been watered since 6:20 but not many actually drinking which is typical.
Good luck in the race today and I'll upload the release video on way back.
The final race will be flown tomorrow 11/29 from either 305 or 308 Miles. I have a couple different spots picked out. One is at 3700' in the mountains S of Quail Lake / SE of Gorman. The other is 10 Miles east in Neenach at about 3000' elevation. Both locations will require the birds to climb up and over a large mountain range in the 5000-6000' range about 10 Miles out. It's not the furthest final at only 305 to 308 Miles but more challenging then most as they have the big mountain range to come over and they will have no help in terms of wind.
The spot S of Quail Lake would take the birds more up through the valley once they reach Bakersfield and eventually into the lower foothills. If there is not much fog in the valley and I can get the trailer in there the Quail Lake location is where I will go. If there is a fair amount of fog in the valley, I will go to Neenach instead which would take the birds more up through the foothills and lower mountains the entire way. Neither location should take the birds on an extended trip into the mountains if they stay online but again they will have to climb over some big mountains right off the bat.
Weather tomorrow is supposed to be sunny the entire course with mild temperatures overnight and highs reaching about 70 along most of the course (including at the loft). It should be just a little warm in the bright sun but pleasant. Winds are supposed to be really light if any for the first 200 Miles and then a light headwind the last 100 Miles or so. I think we'll see speeds in the 1325 to 1425 range with upper 1300's being most likely.
For those attending, lunch will be served around 12:45 and then start seriously watching for birds from 1:15 on.
I will update points and prizes late in the afternoon or early evening during the race tomorrow. Remember the largest prize in the race is for 1st Overall Ace Pigeon and Ace Pigeon (Average Speed) pays 11 positons, so besides the actual capitol prizes there will be a lot of action into the afternoon on how they shuffle out for those Top-11 Ace Pigeon prizes.
Good luck tomorrow and thanks for participating,
Address to Loft:
6120 Chrysler Circle
Garden Valley, CA 95633
Google Maps directions is accurate
Race 3 was flown a few days ago and went fairly well with good returns. The early returns were more strung out than I would have preferred. This I believe a result of all the fog in the valley and low foothills affecting the course we have to fly. We've had to adjust further east and the birds are flying a continuous mountain course in the 1500'-3000+' elevations.
Race 2 will be released this morning from Bear Mountain/Squaw Valley up in the lower mountains east of Fresno.
It has been an incredibly frustrating 4-5 days dealing with the fog. This morning I've spent 3 hours driving around all over the valley and lower Foothills and just like with the past few days it's all fogged in and not burning off.
It's pretty amazing actually spots in the lower Foothills right on the edge of the fog are continuing to build fog 2 hours after the sun has been out. Places that aren't normally foggy like Folsom and Ione are staying fogged up most of the day.
I can't keep feeding the birds up heavy for a race only for the forecast of "patchy fog" to deteriorate to "dense fog" the day before the race.
So we're out of options as the fog situation is only going to get worse if it rains again. I can't imagine it being any worse than it is now.
This location up in the mountains isn't ideal but if the birds get up high and take a straight line home, they'll not only be above the fog but also we east of it. Only concern is they drift to far left or right (into taller mountains) but that's up to them to decide. If they do what they're supposed to do it should be a good race. If not we apologize in advance. I don't like taking this much risk to get a race off but we really are out of options. Delaying further only complicates the series even more.
Good luck and let's hope for the best.
As of right now 7 PM Thursday night, things do not look promising for getting a race off tomorrow. I am going to get up at 2:30 AM and check the satellite imagery. If I see signifigant improvement from what it looked like at the same time the night before, I will attempt to go and hope for the best (still may have to bring the birds back home). If it's already all socked in especially east of HWY 99 then there is no point even attempting to go.
Fortunately we did not attempt to race today Thursday as it was ugly all morning until early afternoon along 90% of the course especially at all possible release points. It was actually a combination of low overcast clouds and fog that burned off so late in most spots along the low foothills that I never would have been able to get a release off. Even Ione (30 Miles) and Cameron Park (10 Miles) were socked in with low overcast all morning until about Noon. Both of those locations were forecast to be mostly sunny in the morning yet they were dark and dreary.
Most of the internet forecasts like Weather.com and Accuweather are completely worthless when it comes to forecasting fog and low overcast, very rarely do they pick it up in advance until it's actually happening. A couple of the alternate weather models on Windy.com are pretty accurate but even they get it wrong a fair amount of the time.
If I am able to get a race off tomorrow expect a later release and from a destination closer to the foothills east of Visalia. If we can't get a race off tomorrow then we will train short (assuming the training spots are not socked in) and then try to go again Sunday or Monday.
Race 1 was outstanding with 99% returns. Ever since the smash 30 Mile toss this group of birds has been in a great rhythm with 99% to 100% returns on every single toss/race since.