BIrds have been training well in less than favorable winds - they had to contend with wind on almost every toss ~!
At this point we think they are ready for the following schedule - the races have been designed to also progressively train the birds with 3 races from 120 to 180 miles, then the 240 and the Final. The last few years, we have done 5-7 days between races, and at least one toss 50-75 miles between the races. This has worked well without taking the race out of the birds before the race, keeping them going and not sitting 10 days between races, setting them up for the longer races, weeding out the weaker ones.
Wednesday 30th - 120;
Sunday 3rd - 140;
Friday 8th - 180;
Assuming this goes well without any hiccups or delays, we will assess the best days for the 240 and Final will follow. Entry fees will be due after the 180 mile race or 2 weeks before the Final.
Aside: our local Federation races have struggled the last 4 races in a row with 3 smashes - and hundreds of birds lost. As of this writing only 7 birds have returned after two days from Saturday's race in the entire Federation of 5 clubs ~! Many flyers have lost their entire team. We have no explanations ~! It has been UNUSUALLY tough this year from this direction from the losses - this has been an easy course for March-April. Federation flies the North West towards Vegas - our OLR is flying slightly different West towards Daggett, CA.
Training resumes Friday-Sat-Sun (50-80 miles)
Windy and headwinds today again - (no loft fly) resting up and loading them up on the carbs.....
Birds were released with 53 deg, NE Winds at 10 mph and took off good - It was forecasted NE 10 for most of the morning picking up in the afternoon. Currently winds have turned into headwinds 15-20 mph at least - and birds are trickling in - will upload clock again at lunch. Looks like it will be a long day - but just had to get that toss in today as the birds were off Monday (resting up the birds and turned out to be very windy) and Tuesday... rushing to get to 80 miles by end of week.
Will re-scan birds from today's toss - Currently the clock and Wincom are mismatched - so will reset and clear everything and let birds run back through the antennaes later.
Birds are out to 50 miles today with 52 degrees, a little stronger SW winds 12-15 mph this morning. We are flying out of the West so the birds had to deal with getting pushed North - the plan is for 50- 80 miles tosses this week. Then we will set the race schedule.
Aside: Typically we have SW, W and NW winds at this time of year. But local races have had substantial losses the last two weeks - 570 birds sent to 200+ mile race with 242 clocking by the 3rd day (did have some wind events). Last week from 230+miles, 649 birds sent and 301 making it by the 3rd day - We did have higher K-Factor in the red - but who really knows ~!!! It can be a tough course ~! As they say "If your birds can fly in the desert, they can fly anywhere".
20 miles this morning (Tuesday) again - and 20 miles tomorrow (Wednesday) again~!
Some of the birds were getting trouble at this distance and were taking as much as 10 mins to orient - as you can see in one of the youtube videos.
Clock will be uploaded for tomorrow's toss - We have been playing around the last days to optimize the number of antennas and open traps... so we have reduced the number of antennas and training the birds to use only 2 traps - hopefully by end of week they are in full compliance.
Keep in mind the birds are still outside after short tosses like this - so clocking order is irrelevant for short tosses -
12 miles and 20 mile tosses in light headwinds Sat/Sun.
The training plan is to move the birds out to 20-50 miles this week with really nice weather - not windy, not cold ~~!
No training today - heavy winds overnight 25 - 35 mph - but much calmer today and let birds relax with Open Loft (no flagging) after hawk problems yesterday ~!
We resume tomorrow Saturday.....
Toss 3 - 12 miles cold early morning 37 degrees brrrrrrrrrr into light headwinds. Tomorrow (Thursday) looks like stronger headwinds and colder - so may just loft fly. But Friday-Sat-Sun we will keep training and goal is to get to 25 miles. These shorter tosses are just confidence builders for both birds and also loft manager .....
Check our Arizona Classic Derby Youtube Channel for some of the early tosses.
Toss 2 - 8 miles went smoothly - sunny, dead calm and no wind, cold 37 degrees by Arizona standards - birds went up high with no circling headed towards home. Target is 25 miles by end of week - birds are going every day and locked out until Noon to get that wing time in - no sense to let them fly just the 10 minute toss.
Toss 1 is in the books - from 5 miles. We could not get to our usual clear spot at 2 miles with all the new construction - UNBELIEVABLE there is not a vacant lot within 10-15 miles probably . Worst case we find a church parking lot for the toss #2 tomorrow ~!!!! Light tailwinds and very cool - I let them up in 2 groups (247 birds - left 3 at home). First group circled for a few minutes and headed South; 2nd group went up real high and headed home East. Got to the loft and birds were trickling from the South East of the loft (obviously overflew) and still loft flying and routing. Expected from such a short toss.
We attempted to do a hand inventory as we basketed the birds - and the newly serviced clock is giving a battery message - while the Unikon module keeps updating/downloading to the clock ~! Frustration as Desiter had this recently battery change and power switch change. We do have a backup clock at the house - so we will have that one in operation tomorrow and scan birds as we hand basket.
Clocking tosses (single release) will be from 25 miles as these short ones are meaningless - and I will have the birds locked out after the short toss to continue to get their wing time.