MNFC - Early Report on the Portland Race

Mr & Mrs Hargreaves see ‘Ayres Rocket’ do it for Love

When the flaps dropped at 7.45am into a very light South Westerly wind the 336 members competing in the first Young Bird of the season would all be wondering where the leading birds amongst the 4,409 bird entry would be landing. According to the wind direction the Eastern sections appeared to be holding the best hand. As the early names on the leader board started to reveal things the Western side clearly were dominating the list. After several name changes the partnership of Mr & Mrs Andrew Hargreaves came out on top and the North Western fanciers held their breath none more so than Andrew and his good lady Linda. As the time went on and with a few very close calls the partners were finally announced as Provisional winners of the race.

After the dust settled it was time to digress for many the result and understand the way it had all turned out and the best that I can throw into the mix is the fact that though it was largely of a South West wind over much of the country along the South coast and for a few miles there was a place where the wind was from a South Eastern direction according to the Met Office for the Southampton area. So I can only assume that this played a part in deciding the race’s outcome.

Once again though the Open result looks like members from several sections will feature in the leading velocities this is excellent news for the club as three different sections currently fill the first three places with a fourth sitting provisionally in ninth spot. Time though will reveal the full details.

Winners Portland 2015
Mr & Mrs Andrew Hargreaves admire their Portland National winner. Who's a clever Rocket then?

As is the norm I will only talk about the provisional winners Andrew and Linda Hargreaves of Moss Gate on the Eastern outskirts of Stoke on Trent which is located in the North West section. This will be the couple’s second Mid Nat win as they won the Vire race in 2012.  On this occasion their winning bird is gift pigeon from a good friend Gary Ayres of nearby Blurton. The bird is a dark Lambrecht cock which is now known as the ‘Ayres Rocket’ which is a clever play on words derived from Ayers Rock in Australia. The bird was showing more than a passing interest in another young hen which clearly enabled him to head for home at full speed to record a speed of 1768. Andrew’s good friend Darren Adams has been a great help to the partners and often calls the birds down on their return from training in Andrew’s absence. It was in fact Darren who tipped the bird to be their first arrival as he was trapping well before the rest of the team which is exactly what he did on this occasion also. The partners asked me to let Darren know how grateful they are to him for his assistance as he has been a great help to them.

Before I leave readers to look at the early arrivals lists I should just like to inform members why the latest early leaderboard only contained members names and section numbers. This is an additional security measure because with the large amount of prizemoney currently being paid out we think that this is a very sensible stance. After all of the sections have verifications the velocities are then revealed.

                                                                                                Mike Lakin