Smoke, fires, and heat have been the story of California over the past month. As such it delayed the start of our training a little. Over the last few days another huge surge in large wildfires all over Northern/Central California has delayed training and even loft flying. We are not sure what the next week will bring as the smoke conditions are very unpredictable from day to day It's still very early in training, so luckily it's pretty easy to start up from where we left off once the skies get better.
July 1st is here and in around 7 weeks or so training will begin for the 2020 Gold Country Challenge series. Last week was really hot with about 6 days in row near or at 100 degrees. This week has been the more typical low 90's for this time of year. Last week was also the cutoff for replacements and we are currently in the mid 400's for birds entered (another inventory will be posted soon). Jon has been working the last 10 days or so getting the June replacements mixed into the main group. The birds have been getting open loft during the afternoons and we'll be switching to mornings here soon since all the birds are now together. We'll also start posting some loft flights on Wincompanion each week since all the replacements are now settled and mixed in.
The 2019 Gold Country Challenge season has come to a close and with it a nice final race that was attended by about 40 people. We flew the final race a week ago Sunday November 10th from Deeth, NV (334 Miles).
Race 4 from Deeth, NV (334 Miles) was released this morning at 7:12 AM
It was mostly cloudy at release with a little bit of sun (there was a period of brighter sun for a couple minutes right when the birds went out). Conditions to the west and northwest were very cloudy but skies looked a little better to the SW and especially due south. We waited till 7:12 for a little more sun but overall the clouds were getting thicker over the last hour at the actual release point.
It was 25 degrees out at release with calm winds. The birds circled for a minute or so and then headed out very high to the SSW which is somewhat online where the skies are better.
Jon just called and reported at 7:30 on the way home that the skies were a lot better and about 15 Minutes down the road from the release point the sun was completely out and less clouds. Skies are forecasted to be mostlt cloudy to partly cloudy for the first 150 miles or so and then becoming mostly sunny as the day goes on.
It is supposed to be warm today with a bright sun at the loft. I think we will see some tired birds and hanging wings again like last week, but it will also make for a good challenge as to which birds can handle some warmth and 334 Miles.
Lunch will be served starting around 12:45 to 1:00 PM today for those attending the race. We'll start looking for birds around 1:45 and I think most likely time for them to arrive is from about 1:55 to 2:30
Good luck to everyone today and thank you for participating in the 2019 Gold Country Challenge
Bright sun was the theme of Race #3. Jon released the birds from Crescent, NV under clear/cold/calm skies. They left quickly headed in the correct direction (southwest). It was a beautiful day along the entire course with bright sunny skies and almost zero wind. I could not find any wind forecasts or actual readings above 3-4 MPH on the entire course. I expected a race in the low 1400's and that was almost what we got.
Race #3 (267 Miles) from Crescent, NV was released this morning at 6:50.
Weather at release was clear, zero wind, and cold with temperature of 24 degrees. Jon reported that the birds left the area quickly in one group headed southwest (which is the correct direction).
Weather is forecast to be beautiful with sunny skies the entire course and very light winds (under 5 MPH) for the entire course. Temperatures should be mild reaching the low to mid 70's at the loft. Just a tad warm at the loft.
I expect birds to arrive sometime around 12:20 to 12:30 or shortly thereafter.
There are over 14,600 in prizes today and the race pays 20 spots. All drops are divided and paid equally. See Prize Payout. Good luck - Matt
Earlier this week on Monday 10/28 we flew Race 2 (212 Miles) from south of Winnemucca, NV. It ended up being a tougher race than anticipated but in the end still a pretty good race with decent returns and good performances from the first hundred birds or so. Jon released 289 birds at 7:55 AM under clear, calm, and very cold skies. The birds circled a couple times and headed almost due south. Last he saw the birds they were heading south and actually slight east towards the sun before he lost sight of them. This turned out to not be a good sign and I suspect it took them a while to correct and as such slowed the race down some. Normally when we release from this location the birds head out SW or WSW directly towards and over some smaller mountains that run north to south. For whatever reason this time they decided to more south and not make any immediate progress west as they should. Most likely this is what slowed the birds down about 50-100 yards.
Below is the official 2019 Series Prize Payout (Will Be Posted to Main Website in the next day)
306 Entries x $250 Each = 76,500
76,500 - 10% = 68,850
$68,850 in Total Prizes
Race 2 - $1200 (1.7%)
Race 3 - $14,670 (21.3%)
Race 4 - $26,405 (38.3%)
Ace Pigeon (AVG Speed) - $26,575 (38.7%)
Overall Ace Pigeon
(Average Speed)1st = $8675
2nd = 4550
3rd = 2925
4th = 2065
5th = 1520
6th = 1290
7th = 1085
8th = 975
9th = 865
10th = 760
11th = 650
12th = 545
13th = 400
14th = 270
Race 2 (212 Miles)1st Drop = $1200
Race 3 (267 Miles)1st = $4300
2nd = 2150 3rd = 14004th = 1080 5th = 8606th = 640 7th = 540 8th = 485 9th = 430 10th = 38011th = 33012th = 29013th = 27514th = 26015th = 24516th = 23017th = 21518th = 20019th = 185
20th = 175
All Birds on the drop shareequal prizes (All Drops)
Race 4 (334 Miles)
1st = $7875
2nd = 4020 3rd = 2500 4th = 1615 5th = 1300 6th = 1080 7th = 965 8th = 865 9th = 765 10th = 665
11th = 585
12th = 510
13th = 470
14th = 440
15th = 410
16th = 380
17th = 350
18th = 320
19th = 300
20th = 280
21st = 260
22nd = 240
23rd = 210
All Birds on the drop shareequal prizes (All Drops)
* Optional $50
Nominated Point Bird
103 Entered @ $50 Each
= 5150 - 5% = $4892
$4892 Prizes This Category
Pays 5 Positions
1st = $2055 (42%) 2nd = 1175 (24%) 3rd = 733 (15%) 4th = 538 (11%) 5th = 391 (8%)
At 7:55 AM, Race 2 was released this morning from South of Winnemucca. Distance is 212.6 Miles. Conditions at release were very cold (13 degrees) and mostly clear with a very thin wispy clouds. Winds were calm at release. Jon reported the birds left quick in one group with no stragglers. Last he saw them they were headed due south, so hopefuly they corrected shortly thereafter as they should eventually head SW.
Conditions on course are mostly clear sunny skies and very cold in Nevada/Tahoe. Winds are projected to be light headwinds most of the course especially early and towards the loft Based on the conditions I'm thinking a race in the 1350-1430YPM range. That would be ideal and it's a beautiful day here at the loft.
First drop today splits $1200 but if there are more than 12 birds on the first drop then the first 12 birds in the clock win $100 Each. Race 3 and Race 4 will have much more prizes and of course Average Speed (Overall Ace Pigeons). Points for Champion Nominated Point Bird will be updated this afternoon.
Good luck to all the entrants today. - Matt
Race 1 (165 Miles) was flown this past Sunday 10/20 and it turned out to be a good race along with good returns. Jon released the birds from Coal Canyon, NV under clear/cold/calm skies. The birds left the area quickly as one big group heading west. The entire course was mostly clear with mild temperatures and almost zero wind. I figured we'd get an upper 1400's type of race and it ended up being just slightly faster than that.