The Alencon race was placed in the BICC race programme as a substitute race for the earlier proposed race from Carentan which had to be cancelled due to the atrocious weather we had to endure here in the spring. This proved to be a wise move by the committee as in this substitute race the members mustered  almost 3,000 pigeons to compete in this near 300 mile race which took place in ideal sunny and almost windless conditions.

 Steve Appleby's weather report gives members an insight into weather conditions on race day.

Weather conditions for this BICC race from Alencon were very good. Temperatures were forecast to rise to about 27C today therefore an early start essential to take advantage of the cool of the morning. There were some pockets of fog or mist inland which were thinning and clearing. Some fog patches could persist over the channel for some time but are shallow and low lying in nature. They will not present an obstacle to any convoy of pigeons racing over the open sea as the birds will be well above them. Visibility outside any fog 10 miles or more. Winds are very light over France but any influence from the east north east. Over the channel they will reach a moderate force of 2 or 3 (7 to 10 mph) again from the east north east. Once the pigeons reach the south coast winds will become light and variable over England.

Steve Appleby.

I should point out once again that all positions quoted here are purely provisional and are based on first bird verifications only. The final result may well vary.

The winner  was clocked at the Havant lofts of Brian and Viv Wall who have enjoyed great success at all levels of competition and at all distances. The Walls also run an extremely successful corn and supplements business better known to the fancy as Gem Supplements and Brian and Viv are extremely generous sponsors of the BICC and provide all the corn used on the transporters.

 This is what Brian has to say about his Alencon win:- " The Alencon winner is a yearling cock and is bred from a pair of Kees Busua pigeons that I bought for stock from Ed Sittner when he was flying in Belgium. Ed invited me over to pick 5 pairs which I did with good friend Brian Keegan. The winner has had 6 races this year including two Nationals and two Classics which are my main races. I sent 8 yearlings to Alencon and timed 7 on the day with three within 15 minutes of the winner. It was one of the few times this year that it was a pleasure to sit and wait for pigeons. No raging south or north winds just a good flying day.  The birds are fed Gem Super widowhood and Super Diet and plenty of Gem Supplements of course.

Five weeks ago I broke my leg and have been in plaster since. So I have not been able to get to the lofts, my lofts are three feet off the ground hence my not been able to get to them at all. My wife Viv has had to do every thing for me these past weeks and as you can imagine I have been issuing orders about what needs doing and getting it in the neck for interfering. So a big thank you Viv for all your hard work and patience. The winning bird I've named 'Viv's Gem'

I would also like to congratulate my best friend Kevin Bakes who was sixth open and to thank him for basketing my birds for me these past weeks and driving me to and from marking stations. The condition on of the birds on return was, as usual with the BICC, excellent they did not look as if they had left the loft.

 In the runner up spot and maintaining his exceptional form again this season is one to the top class Reading fancier Roger Lowe. Roger gives the following information on this ,his latest performer.

"Hi Gareth my first two hens arrived together from the ten sent. The first in the clock being a full sister to FAST  AS LIGHTNING  my winner of the BBC Fougeres race in 2011 which she won by 25 min . She is also nest sister to ORBITAL LIGHT winner of 2nd sect 3rd open CSCFC  Carentan and 4th sect 5th Open NFC  Fougeres and now at stock. She is also a winner of 1st club 7th  Fed 1,647 birds Carentan 4th sec 5th  Open CSCFC plus more minor National results .The breeding is Janssen [Lou Wouters] both parents bred by Sheldon Leonard of Ireland. My second bird is already a winner of 2nd sec 32nd  Open this season in the BICC Tours race and she is a grand daughter of MY LITTLE DIAMOND winner of 1 NFC National in her only race ever. She is also grand daughter to Mark Gilbert's SOUTHFIED SUPREME winner of 1st international Dax and finally grand daughter to Peter Fox's DRUM, I would like to congratulate Brian on winning this race but I may have to find a new corn merchant!!!"

The west section winner which finishes at 3rd Open was clocked at Devizes to the loft of Robert Brown and this is what Robert has to say:-

"My pigeon that won the section from Alencon was bred from a  cock I had from my good friend Eric Higginbottom  bred from pigeons he obtained from Syndicate lofts. The grandfather was Hannibal and the grand dam Gerrie ,His dam is through my old Janssen strain and she won 1st sect  7th Open old hens from Guernsey classic in 2009. The  section winner from Alencon has bred a 1st sec 14th open BBC Niort 2012 and has been a consistent pigeon winning minor cards.

I race the traditional widowhood system racing cocks only and normally start the season with about 40 cocks . I feed Gem mixes as having rewired the mill where Brian has his corn mixed and cleaned I know the quality of the corn used in the mixtures. I would like to congratulate Mr and Mrs Wall on winning the race -well done".

 Provisionally 2nd WS and 4th Open R E Taylor and Sons of Bristol with a 3yr old blue pied cock. The birds are raced by brothers John and Nigel in their late father' s name. The winner (one of mother s favourites] was sent  feeding a 5 day old youngster with his hen(a retired racer) always home for him. All birds are raced natural and in fact remain together 365 days a year. The birds are rarely trained but let out daily with most preferring to spend the day pecking about in the
garden, eating anything they can find to supplement their basic feed of
wheat and beans. All birds are bred   from the racers with the aim of
clocking before near neighbour and friend Les Nicholls which they did on this occasion!

 Paul Ayling of Gosport takes 3rd Centre section  5th Open. Paul has this to say;-

" Firstly congratulations to Brian and Viv Wall on winning the race.  My 3 year old chequer cock was a gift bird from my mate Jimmy Wearn.  The dam was a M&D Evans Vandenabeele 1st NFC Messac and the sire was bred by Bert Shepherd.  He was flown on a form of roundabout all year then was left with his hen when she returned from the NFC Tarbes race on Monday afternoon.  Many thanks to the BICC team for the birds returning in excellent shape as usual." 

 Next in at 4th Centre section 6th Open is Kevin Bakes of Havant

 Kevin  clocked a  yearling widowhood cock of  De Klak  bloodlines bred off  his Bartoli/ Little Diamond lines from Spracklen and Thomas. These lines  have bred many winners for Kevin. The cock was not raced as young bird and this year has had Guernsey Classic, Messac Classic, Messac with the NFC. The Alencon performance was a big tonic to Kevin following what has been a very disappointing old bird season thus far.  Kevin would like to congratulate Brian and Viv on a fantastic win and it was a pleasure to be asked to verify their winner. Kevin would also like to say a big thank you to the BICC for organising this extra race.

Les Nicholls of Bristol comes in at 5th west section 7th Open with the same pigeon that finished at  4th section 4th Open in the recent BICC Tours race. He is a  three year old clock bred down from Les's Nantes National winning family. Les has been extremely successful over the years winning 1st Open NFC Nantes, 1st Open BICC plus many other top ten finishes in National and Classic races. At Tours the cock was flown on the "unnatural" system as he was sent sitting a duck egg which hatched out on the morning of basketting! It certainly seemed to  do the trick then but in the Alencon race he was more conventionally sitting his own hen's eggs for 5 days. Les works nights so gets home in the early hours of the morning and his birds are already out and about as he employs the open loft system with the birds allowed their liberty 24/7. Hopper fed on a good strong mixture of beans, peas and maize the birds receive one 20 mile training toss prior to racing and then are raced every week inland and accross the channel to keep them fit and keen for the job. This cock had been to every single race in the club programme plus all of the BICC National races in the run up to Alencon.

The well known partnership of Bartlett & Jones of Southampton come in at 8th Open with a real champion racer that has won £1000's  for them in the past couple of seasons. The partnership now consists solely as Rob jones as Mr Bartlett passed away some time ago but Rob keeps the partnership name out of respect. This is what Rob tells me about his Alencon timer:-

"First bird timed is my good cock and all pooler "THE MILLION DOLLAR COCK"

 Named the "MILLION DOLLAR COCK" due to winning twice the South Africa million dollar race entry in the NFC. With this race in the BICC his winnings should be over  £11,000 in pools and prizes. He is a fairly reliable cock raced on "Naturel Hood" sent to this race driving two hens in two nest boxes next to each other. Fed on my own mixes of corn and given all the Aviform products in the water. The birds are trained twice a week at 40 miles and always against the wind. His wins so far are:-

 1st section 4th open Messac NFC 5,764 birds & 1st MDPR nom , 1st club 1st championship 6th Fed 8th Combine Saintes against the wind 360 miles 1,700 birds , 1st club 2nd championship 9th Fed 9th Combine Fougeres against the wind  2,600 birds 2nd classic double beaten by loft mate by 1 second , 7th section 30th open Messac NFC 5,796 birds & 1st MDPR nom , 10th section 24th open BBC National Niort 321 miles , 1st South section NFC Mesac Croddy nom and winner of multiple more club Fed and National prizes."

A bit of an animal that.

Wearn Brothers are usually there or thereabouts in National and Classic racing and in the Alencon race they finished at 6th sect 9th Open.  Their timer is a  Verkerk Blue Hen from their good friend Dave Cave crossed with M & D Evans Vandenbelle,  The brothers enjoyed an excellent race timing 3 within a minute and their returns were also excellent.

The Cwmtillery partnership of Preece Brothers and sons have really taken competition with the BICC to heart and invariably clock a good 'un which isn't surprising given their outstanding record in competition in Wales with more than a dozen National wins and two Queen's Cups to their credit. In the Alencon race they TIMED A 2Y/R OLD BLUE ROUNDABOUT COCK  which WAS 4TH OPEN BICC ALENCON LAST YEAR to take 4th section 10th Open.





 The North section winner taking provisionally 12th Open was clocked by Gary Bentley at his Leighton Buzzard loft. Gary writes:-

The pigeon in question is a two year old widowhood cock bred out of Janssen x Van Reet bloodlines from my No. 1 stock hen.  Last year in the Messac National Flying Club race I was 3rd and 20th open (this pigeon being 20th open).  In this years Messac open race I was 15th, 38th and 95th, with him being my 4th pigeon finishing 204th open.  As I only use club racing for training  my widowhood cocks, I start off with a team of 20 widowhood cocks, and after the first club race no training is given.  My main family of pigeons are Van Reets, I have some Wildemeersch bred by my friends Gary and Glen Corkett, one of which  has many club cards and 2nd section E, 3rd open Messac N.F.C 2012,and in the Messac  N.F.C. 2013 he was 24th section E, 38th open winning me £600."

Rodney Oakes of Kettering is 2nd North section but unfortunately I was unable to contact Rodney for details of his pigeon.

Next in the North section was a real slogger of a pigeon racing more than 400 miles to its home loft in Houghton le Springs, Tyne & Wear. John has this to add about his pigeon's performance:-

" I fly my birds to a small village called Shiney Row about 4 miles west of Sunderland, the past five years the concentration has been solely on long distance/marathon racing. I and a few friends only race channel racing of around 400 miles and over, young birds are trained only, as yearlings they go every week with an organisation 90 miles South of us, again as trainers through to the south coast about 283 mls. Every time they go away they have to fly the last 90 miles solo. Two year olds and over go wherever. This year I joined the BICC  with a view to racing International races. Agen for instance is 744 mls to me and this was the first time we have entered a race, marked at Northampton which was a round trip of 460 mls.

The Dark white flight cock was sent sitting a 7 day old youngster having previously flown Carentan (383 mls) and Messac (486mls) this year, this pigeon was gifted to me by the Dutch fancier Raymond Moleveld/Stuart Wilcox and is a G/Son of his "De Ligtenberg" after a Hagens Bros hen we bought from him paired to a Jan Theelen Red Cock of ours bred "Rob Roy" 631 miles on the day, only day bird in the NEGDC and 2nd North Sect. 4th Open, Northern Classic flying 110 miles further than the winner".

Good luck in the future John and lets hope you have many more successes with the BICC.

First in the East section was one to the Grays ,Essex loft of Fred Ager. Fred's timer is a hen flown on the roundabout system. She is one of a kit of Van Avondt pigeons  purchased from Foxwood Lofts of York. The same hen finished at 6th sect from BICC Tours earlier in the season and has been  Fred's first pigeon in channel racing for the last 2 years taking many positions. Feeding is Versele Laga Petit France.

Second East section was a bird to D Wilton & Son of Chadwell St Mary. The number I had for the Wiltons was unobtainable so I was unable to get details in time for publication.

Third in the East section was a really good racing hen to the Chelmsford loft of David Coward Talbott. The hen, named Lulu Elizabeth, has the following racing record:-

She was 3rd Section BICC in 2012 and was also David’s winner last year for the London Centre Jubilee Race from Messac.  She was also David’s first pigeon from the BICC Alencon race.  Her sire, Lt. Blue. Chequer. Cock from the family of Van De Flares owned by Paul Russell, Harold Hill.  This cock sire of 1st NFC Bordeaux for Les Jones of Hitchen Herts. 

Dam of  “Lu Lu Elizabeth” is “Paula”, bred by Brian Long.  Her sire is a direct son of “Pauline” 2nd National, 4th International Pau, 87th National Perpignan, 27th National Dax..  The sire on the sire’s side is a direct son of “Poco”.  1st National Barcelona  95, 1st International Barcelona  93.  Dam of “Paula” is a direct daughter of “Emperor” x “Zarina”.

“Paula” is also dam of Blue Hen, 12th  National Messac 2012 and 4th Open BBC Messac 2013.

There you go then another BICC National over and done with and yet another roaring success with excellent returns to all of those fanciers I contacted and from what I hear on the grapevine, many other participants as well. The 2nd & 3rd prizewinners in each section will receive a bottle of Orego Stim sponsored by Meriden Healt.

 Next race St Vincent International on July 12th. Good luck to all who compete                               

 Gareth Watkins

Brian Wall & Grandson 1st Open BICC Alencon

GB12N58668 1st Open BICC Alencon for Mr & Mrs Brian Wall

9th Open BICC Alencon for Wearn Bros

Fred Ager holding his 1st East section BICC Alencon

Gary Bentley 1st North section BICC Alencon

John Rumney 3rd North section BICC Alencon and the furthest flying pigeon on the result

Kevin Bakes 4th sect 6th Open BICC Alencon

Les Nicholls 7th Open BICC Alencon with John and Nigel Taylor 4th Open Alencon john nigel 002

Paul Ayling3rd section 5th Open BICC Alencon

Preece Bros & Sons 4th sect 10 thOpen BICC Alencon

Rob Jones of the Bartlett & Jones partnership holding the Million Dollar cock winner of 11,000 racing including 3rd sect 8th Open BICC Alencon

Robert Brown 1st west sect 3rd Open BICC Alencon

Roger Lowe 2nd Open BICC Alencon all prepared for the weekend heatwave