The second Guernsey race in the BICC race calendar attracted a total of 1,405 birds entered by 225 members. The entry was made up of 1,098 young birds entered by 148 members and 307 old hens entered by 77 members This reflects the poor racing that most organisations have experienced with young birds during the 2013 young bird season. Nevertheless, the convoy was liberated at 9 am on Saturday September 7th into blue skies and cleared well  in a fresh south westerly breeze which was forecast to turn south, south west on route.

Weatherman Steve Appleby gives the following weather report for the day of the race:-
Weather conditions for this last BICC race from Guernsey were generally very good. The flight path from Guernsey to the south coast of England across the channel consisted mainly of broken cloud and sunshine with some showery activity. Albi Deacon now updated with the weather conditions consulted Trevor our convoyer and a decision to liberate at 09:00 hours was taken. As usual the most important aspect of the weather was the wind direction. Over the Island winds were light but the birds soon picked up a fresh south westerly on reaching the open Channel. Winds over England were lighter but maintained their strength over the far east. (see diagram) The general picture over England was one of broken cloud and sunshine and isolated showers, the West Country seeing more in the way of cloud. Overall visibility was endless over the complete race route. Another good race for the BICC ending a successful season along with excellent coverage of the race winners by Gareth our press officer.
Steve Appleby

Once again, I would like to emphasise right at the outset that the positions quoted below are purely PROVISIONAL and are based on members first bird verifications. The final result may well vary especially in a very fast race such as this one ,where fanciers may well have multiple timers in a very short time.
With such a strong tail wind helping them along, a very fast race was anticipated and this is just what we got. The winning pigeon in the Young Bird National  and also topping the Centre section, was clocked at the New Addington lofts of K. Roberts& son recording a velocity of 1929.7 ypm. In fact the partners had two pigeons drop together and could well be 1st & 2nd Open. The active partner here is son Ray, as Mr Roberts senior is no longer actively involved with the racing side of the sport. Ray tells me:-
" I race under the name of K. Roberts and Sons. K. Roberts is my father, Ken, who is not interested in racing but looks after our stock birds.  I started racing with my father in 1983 until 2011.  In 2011 I moved to New Addington and began racing on my own but still race under my father's name. I am a 43 year old post man and have been there for 27 years.
The 7th September 2013 will be a day I will never forget, it was a day when all my dreams came true when two of my young birds hit the shed to win [provisionally]1st and 2nd BICC Guernsey.  The birds were a  paired together, sitting 14 day old eggs.  Before trapping the cock trod the hen and then they both trapped immediately.  First one over the ETS pad was my blue hen bred by my good friend Dave Batts of the West Midlands.  She is a Heremans - Ceusters from Premier Stud pigeons.
Dave and I have been swapping pigeons for a few years and I would like to thank him for all his support and advice over the years.  
Second pigeon over the pad was my chequer cock one second behind my first pigeon, he is from Wicky and Kirk Bullen blood lines going back to the old Belgium hen which was  2nd Open NFC old hens National.  
At the end of the day I had 6 birds home out of the 8 which I had sent.  After an hour I looked on the BICC website to see the winner was doing 1900 ypm and I knew my two birds were faster than that, they were doing 1929.  It wasn't until a couple of hours later that my name appeared at the top of the result.  It was a nervous wait until Carol telephoned to say I had won.  The build up for the race was a mid week race with the Bromley mid week race from Bedhampton 55 miles where I was 1st, 2nd and 3rd with the blue hen winning the mid week as well.  
I would like to thank a few people firstly, my partner Dawn and son Kenny who have to put up with a lot because I am a total nightmare to live with as I'm pigeon mad.  My Mum and Dad for lending me the £60 because I was skint again.  Dave and Sandra Batts, All the Bullen family for always being there for me. (P.S. Can I now sit on your table?)
All the hard working marking team at the Bromley clock station, you know who you are and the members of the Woodside CFC, and everyone who phoned and texted me saying congratulations - it meant a lot .The future of the winning bird I am not too sure of, I may race her in 2014."
Well done Ray on your first National win.

Next up at 1st East section and provisionally 2nd Open is one to the Ongar loft of Steve Coxell recording 1903 ypm. Unfortunately the telephone number I had for Steve was incorrect and so I was unable to contact him until Monday morning when I was given the correct number. Better late than never then. Steve's timer is one of a batch of six young birds exchanged with Dave Payne of St Neots. The chequer tic eyed hen is flown on the darkness system and was showing up to some of the young cocks in the young bird section. She had previously flown six races with the M11 Training club and Guernsey was her first ever look at the channel. As mentioned earlier, she was bred by Dave Payne for whom  the sire has won several 1st prizes and scored in the NRCC for Dave from Fraserburgh  and Perth . Steve's young birds are fed on Versele Laga Superstar Plus and her nest mate was 2nd Fed  the previous  week beaten by a loft mate.

The Croydon partnership of Mr & Mrs Andrews come in next with a bird on 1900 ypm to take 2nd Centre section and 3rd Open. Yet again, I was unable to contact the partners as there is no telephone number listed for them in the membership list that I have.

The Benfleet partnership of J & J Brady are regulars on BICC race results and in this Guernsey race they clocked a young bird on 1884 ypm to finish 2nd East section 4th Open. They also clocked a cracker in the old hens' race to finish 2nd Open but more on that later. The young bird timer is a hen and like all the other young birds at the loft is raced on darkness. Guernsey was her first channel race  and fortunately she returned with  the partners' Old Hen to take 4th Open 2nd Section.  She is bred from a Geoff Kirkland Cock crossed with a daughter of  one of the Brady's direct Jos Thone hens,. She was sent sitting a single egg on top of a five inch high nest that she built in a cardboard box.  This certainly motivated her to put up a top class performance.

Third centre section 5th Open is a pigeon to the loft of John and Bradley Donovan and P McHugh doing 1867 ypm. Bradley Donovan gives the following info' on their pigeon:-
"Our first bird from the BICC Guernsey was self bred Staf Van Reet chequer pied hen. She has had 50/60 training tosses this season and has had every young bird race - 6 in total so far. Her sire is from a 3 times Bergerac winner for Gary Dye when paired to a hen borrowed from J Donovan & sons which was bred for stock and the dam comes from Eamonn Streatfield lines x Van Hee, - cousin of our 2nd open NFC Messac 2012. The dam was raced up to 2years old winning 47th Open LSECC Guernsey young birds &108th Open LSECC Tours 2010 , then put to stock. We would like to congratulate our uncle Peter Donovan and K Roberts & son on their great performances and the other fliers in the top 6 of centre section who like us all fly in the Surrey Federation".

Peter Donovan of Croydon is another fancier who enjoyed the Guernsey experience as he clocked a youngster on 1846 ypm to finish at 4th centre section 6th Open and one of his old hens turned up pretty sharpish doing1935 ypm to win the old hens' race! Peter gives the following information on his young bird timer :-
"The youngster [GB 13A 47623] was racing to the perch and was bred by Andy Bury of Canterbury. The sire is a Brockamp down from Euro Diamond and the dam is a Van Reet, The grandsire having won 15 x1sts and grand dam is a daughter out of "Reza" winning 1st from 10,000 1st from 21,000 and 1st from 29,000."
Pretty impressive breeding there             

Dave Downing of Newmarket the "Mecca" of the horse racing world , comes in next with one to top the North section and finish at 7th Open velocity 1845 ypm. This is what Dave has to say about his timer:-
"My winning pigeon was well fancied having been a consistent performer in every race this season She is a Vandenabeele hen raced on darkness and sitting for the Guernsey race on overdue eggs with a small youngster slipped under her prior to basketing. She was bred in my stock loft from a direct Red Star lofts cock paired to a Red Star Lofts x M & D Evans hen. I use Versele Laga feeds with the addition of Gem Supplements and my young birds have performed really well for me this season with 5 wins in the club out of the 6 young bird races and  second in the other one with also two federation wins in the M11 South Road Club. This was my first race with the BICC having moved house only a year ago and deciding to turn south with young birds after many years successful racing on the north road."  
Rob Wilton and son Andrew, fresh from their 2nd Open OH's in the Guernsey 1 race of two weeks ago come in with a young bird on 1842 ypm to take 3rd East section 8th Open. Their timer is a Blue chequer cock, having his first race across the channel following on from five previous training races. He has been raced on the darkness system and was in fact bred by Jutla Bros of Penge Lofts. Bloodlines are  Peter Van der Merwe X Vandenabeele..

The multi National winning partnership of Dave Heywood and son Gary of Laindon in Essex clocked a darkness young bird - a chequer hen with two flights out to take 4th East section 9th Open velocity1829 ypm. This one is bred from a cock that in turn was bred from an NFC National winner when mated to a BICC National winner. Her dam being a grand daughter of Brockamp's Euro Diamond. Guernsey was the hen's second race having had only one inland race as preparation. I should point out the fact that the partners have 2 x 1sts NFC and 4 x 1st BICC to their credit in recent years. Pretty impressive stuff from one of the top lofts in the south east of England.

Next up at 5th East section 10th Open is that woman again ...- the top class lady fancier from Burnham on Crouch ,Essex none other than Meg Murray. Meg's timer recorded a velocity of 1825 ypm.  She was quite surprised when she realised which young bird had made it back first. A few weeks ago this lovely big dark cheque pied cock had been sent to a club race near the coast and decided to go no further than into the hands of a non-fancier near Canterbury!  Meg managed to contact a fancier who collected it and cared for the bird until the following Sunday when he released it near the Dartford Tunnel. So, Mr Rhodes, if you are reading this, Meg would like to thank you again. The "Sunday Bird" has proved himself worth the effort of getting him home!
The yb's sire was bred off a pair of birds given to Meg by fellow club fancier, Lee Bastone. The cock, a Mardon Van Reet cross Soontjen and the hen a pure Soontjen with Sabre and Secret bloodlines. This pair also bred the yb that gained 4th Section, 26th Open two weeks ago from the BICC's first Guernsey race. The "Sunday Bird'"s dam was one of the many gifts from Craig  Booth of Hartlepool in the North East. Every year Craig sends down superb birds and every year they do really well for Meg.

Around the sections now and the leading birds in the Centre and East sections have already been highlighted above as has the winner of the North section D Downing.
  D Osborne & son of Ipswich comes in for 2nd North section vel 1822 ypm, Lee Osborne tells me that their timer is a light chequer hen sent sitting 12 day eggs. Guernsey was her fourth race of the season as she had previously been no further than 83 miles, so Guernsey was a 160 miles jump for this young darkness hen. She was hatched in early January from an Ian Stafford Jos Thone sire containing the bloodlines of National Investment. Her dam is a Wal Zoontjen of The President lines.
Third North section goes to Stewart Hallett of Newmarket on 1767 ypm. This February bred darkness young hen was bred from a Robbie Govier sire and a Janssen x Dordin hen from Nigel Loker and was having her fourth race of the season at Guernsey.

Over in the West section the birds had it all to do given the strength of the westerly influence in the prevailing wind which was west, north west at 10 mph here in the Rhondda.
Nevertheless, cometh the hour cometh the man[and his bird] and leading the way here is one of the UK's "All time greats" Brian Sheppard of Trowbridge. Brian sent one and clocked one to finish at 1st West section velocity 1363 ypm. Brian clocked the same dark grizzle darkness cock that took 2nd west section in the Guernsey 1 race two weeks earlier. This time he was sitting 14 day old eggs. He is bred from a grizzle cock that won 1st section 9th Open NFC Tarbes when mated to a 1st section NFC winning hen, both containing all the best of the old west country blood of Venner and Trueman Dicken. The cock had been to every race in the young bird programme and was given a 30 mile toss from Bournemouth in the week leading up to the second Guernsey race. This latest section win makes it more than 20 wins at section level in National and Classic racing for the Sheppard loft. Well done Brian.

Another well known partnership come in next at 2nd West section that of Brooks Brothers of High Littleton. The loft is now managed by Rob Brooks Trosky Brooks' son. Their timer here records 1213 ypm and is  a red pied hen.  She is bred from one of the "Chuckle Bros" a pair of top racers for Rob, both flying Tarbes on the day.  These originated from Brooks Bros old family.
The hen was raced to the perch and this race was her first time over the channel.  Previously she has raced with the Bristol Fed down to the south coast, the furthest being Portland Bill.  The furthest training toss any of the young birds have had was 14 miles.

Abergavenny fancier, "whispering" John Smale takes 3rd west section vel 1187 ypm. John is a double Welsh National winner and also a previous winner of the Queen's Cup here in Wales. He is also a well known long distance fanatic and has filled his loft with some of the best long distance bloodlines in the UK. His first in the clock in the Guernsey race is a chequer w/f hen containing all the very best of A & T Deacon's Southwells with some Dave Impett Goldmine Hen and Lambert and Davies Grizzles thrown into the mix along with the bloodlines of two Thurso National winners "Westra Eddie" and "Gillian". You can't get any better breeding than that!

Right, that's the young bird race covered. I'll now move on to  highlight the winners in the OLD HENS race.

Topping the list in both the Centre section and Open is a. yearling hen to the Croydon loft of Peter Donovan doing 1935 ypm. Peter's hen was bred by Dewi Staples-Jones of Croydon which was of Mark Adcock stock being Romani Janssen/Busschaert cross. Guernsey was her first race this year and she was sent sitting 8 day old eggs. She was used as a widowhood hen in the early part of the season.
Short and sweet like the hen's flying time for the race! Congratulations Peter on a terrific weekend of racing.
Next up at 1st East section 2nd Open is one to the Benfleet loft of J & J Brady on 1885 ypm. This what the partners had to say:-
" Our old Hen GB11N8476 is bred from a son of our old Janssen Cock purchased from Edwin Scheffer, her Dam is a grand daughter of the same cock, she finished 39th NAT NFC O/H 2012, She was sent to Guernsey with the BICC on the 25th AUG sitting eggs finishing 19th Open, then returned to Guernsey for this race sitting chipping eggs, to be 2nd National 1st section. We have had mixed luck in this race over the last few years finishing 2nd on three occasions, but we did manage to take the first 5 Hens in 2011."

Meg Murray comes in with an old hen to take 2nd East section 3rd Open vel1817 ypm. The sire of Meg's  hen was bred from one of
the  birds she got from Stuart Ager a few years ago when she
exchanged six of her yb's for six of Stuart's. The Roman Lord, as
Stuart called him, was down through Mark Evans' Vandenabeeles. The
Roman Lord himself won a LSECC race and his son, the sire of Meg's old hen, was 4th Section 5th Open in the NFC's YB race three years ago competing against 3,266 birds.
The hen's dam was a Kavanagh Busschaert, one of the old stock birds that came south in the furniture van when Meg moved down from  the North East.
The hen is a chequer yearling which was 7th Section, 8th Open in the Old Hens race with the BICC two weeks ago, just 30 seconds behind Meg's first timer that took 6th Section, 7th Open. The  hen actually mated to another yearling hen. and the two of them managed to squeeze into the one nest pan.  A fertile egg was placed under them and they hatched it out and sat the baby together for more than a week before they were sent to the race. Hey presto come race day they were the first two old hens back to the loft!

The partnership of P Jackson & son i.e. Lee and son Joe Jackson, winners of the Guernsey 1 OH's race two weeks ago clock a good'un once again for 3rd East section 4th Open vel 1809 ypm she is full sister to Lee and Joe's 1st Surrey federation Open West Bay this year . Breeding shows Van loon bloodlines down through the partners' old family x Corneel Bertels. She has been flown widowhood for most of the season and was sent just on 7 day old babies [plus a lot of motivation/aggravation!!]. Lee and Joe would like to congratulate all those winners in their area racing with the BICC on the same day.

The King's Lynn partnership of H.G. Cook,son & grandson 's timer is good enough for 1st North section 5th Open vel1716 ypm. This family partnership spans three generations and fly to a small back garden loft in the centre of King’s Lynn. They rejoined the BICC a couple of weeks before the old hens race just to compete in this race. The hens were kept training after the old bird season had ended and were all sent sitting on small single reared youngsters.
At 14.26 hrs two hens dropped together and were clocked 16 seconds apart. The first hen is a 2yr old dark pied which is a Jan Aarden x Busschaert. The sire is a Jan Aarden purchased from Doug Gartland of Surrey and the dam was purchased from a charity sale at Lobstock and bred by D Garnett of Cheshire. Both sire and dam contain the bloodlines of birds that have scored at the distance.
The second hen was a red yearling Hagen that was bred from a direct cock and is a G/son of Gianni. The sire has bred 3 hens to score from Bordeaux. The dam is from R Moleveld, a G/daughter of Carcasonne and Gianni. She was the dam of two of the hens that scored from Bordeaux. The partnership had 6 hens in good time from their 13 entries with the others turning in during the afternoon.

Sixth Open and 4th East section goes to last year's winner of the BICC Guernsey YB race clocked at the loft of Douglas Grant of Pevensey Bay vel 1698 ypm.  Doug was telling me that this terrific racing hen now has a 1st Open BICC and 6th Open BICC in Guernsey races to her credit. Breeding is Delbar x Janssen with super widowhood fed by hand.

Adam Turrell, fresh from his success in the  Perpignan International where his timer finished at 7th Open BICC, clocks to take 5th East section 7th Open vel 1679 ypm. This is what Adam had to say:-
" My first pigeon from Guernsey is a Staf Van Reet cross Willy Thas hen on her seventh channel race of the year. Her first crossings were back in May with the BICC at Falaise & Alencon followed by Le Mans, Tours & Bergerac with the Kent Invicta South Road Combine and lastly the BICC Guernsey Old Hen races. She seems to like this race point and was 39th Open Old Hens in 2011. I had 100% returns again from this race and would like to thank the BICC for another memorable season."
Peter Gretton of Brighton clocked his entry to take 2nd Centre section 8th Open vel 1650 ypm. Peter's timer is actually a late bred yearling dark chequer hen carrying an old ring. Her sire was bred by Mr & Mrs Streatfield and her dam is a Staf Van Reet from C Locke of Cambridgeshire. She had previously flown Saintes earlier in the season and was sent to the Guernsey race sitting 10 day eggs. as with  all the Gretton racers  she is fed on Bamfords YB High Protein mix.

The Ramsdean partnership of Wearn Brothers and Neilson are always there or thereabouts in National racing and here their old hen takes 3rd Centre section 9th Open vel 1641 ypm. She is  bred from Keith Arnold's multi RPRA award winning  fast flying Staf Van Reets and has many prizes to her credit prior to the Guernsey race.

The final timer completing the top ten in the Open result was clocked  all the way up in Ely in Cambridgeshire to the loft of Nicholae Babes doing  1630 ypm. Nicholae's timer is a real racing machine as she has won no less than 7 x 1sts racing and entered Nicholae's loft in 2009 as a young bird stray. She was duly transferred and has since richly rewarded Nicholae for his kindness. She ahs been raced celibate all season and seems to thrive on the system!!
Around the sections now and the top three in both the centre and east sections have already been covered as they appear in the leading ten pigeons in the Open result. as have the leading two birds in the North section that take 5th and 10th Open respectively.
 Third north section goes to  a yearling hen  to the Willington loft of Mr T Head doing  1621 ypm. This hen is of Van Reet x Jan Lotterman Koopman bloodlines and until six weeks ago was used as a widowhood hen. She was then brought back into play with regular exercise and a few training spins and sent to Guernsey feeding a 5 day old squab, her first since early March.

 Over in the west section it's that man again!! - Mark Sparey of Abertillery, that alliterative phrase trips off the tongue nicely. Mark clocked the same hen that finished at 4th west section two weeks earlier in the Guernsey1 race. Her sire is one of, if not the best stock cock in the Sparey loft, whilst her dam was bred by Mark Gilbert from a son of James Bond[Vandenabeele] when mated to a hen containing the bloodlines of Tips, Dutch Master and Gerrie. Mark has enjoyed yet another good season's racing at National level and has asked me to thank Vince Padfield, Henry Preece and John Gunter for all their help in getting his birds to the various National marking stations.
Mark's very near neighbours[about 20 yards away] Adrian, Karen and son Jack Durham  come in next on 1113.1 ypm just 0.6 ypm behind the section winner. The partner's timer is a yearling chequer hen that has been raced celibate all year  but was sent to Guernsey sitting due to hatch. She has already taken a number of Fed prizes this season including 4th Fed Carentan and 13th Fed Bedhampton. Her sire contains all the best of the Smith and Baker "21" lines whilst her dam has bred at least 11 x 1st prizewinners and is a Houben via Cary Grother.
One of the West Country's top fanciers namely John Halstead of Dorset takes third west section velocity 834 ypm. John clocked. a yearling dark chequer hen a full sister to his 2011 Palamos winner, containing  Stan Biss "Natrix"  and Southwell bloodlines. This was only the  second race of the season  for the hen as she was injured earlier on in the year.

Well that's the last race report of the 2013 season done and dusted. My apologies for the scarcity and even total lack of information on some of the winning pigeons, but unfortunately, if I do not have the correct contact details, or alternatively, cannot contact the fanciers concerned then there isn't a lot more I can do.
 Over the next couple of months I intend to cover all those race winners who have yet to have an individual loft report written. So keep a look out in the press and on the various web sites as well as Squills Year Book where these will be published .
Finally my personal thanks to Chris Sutton for supplying me with the excellent photographs of the winning fanciers and their pigeons. Your help has been much appreciated Chris.

Gareth Watkins

Ray Roberts 1st Open BICC Guernsey 2 YB's

GB13N78912- 1st Open Guernsey 2 YB's Roberts

Peter Donovan 1st Open BICC Guernsey 2 OH's

1st Open BICC Guernsey 2 OH for Peter Donovan

Adam Turrell 7th Open Guernsey 2 OH's plus 7th Open Perpignan with old birds in 2013

Brian Sheppard & Champion Jingles Brian is 1st west section Guernsey 2 YB's

Cook, son & grandson1st North section 5th Open Guernsey 2 OH's

D Osborne & son 2nd North section Guernsey 2 YB's

Dave Downing 1st north sect 7th Open Guernsey 2 YB's

Doug Grant 1st Open BICC Old Hens 2012 and 6th Open Guernsey 2 OH's 2013

Eric Neilson with the Wearn Bros & Neilson timer in the Guernsey OH's race

J &J Brady 2nd Open Guernsey 2 OH's

John & Bradley Donovan 5th Open Guernsey 2 YB's

Lee and Joe Jackson winners of Guernsey 1 OH's and 4th Open Guernsey 2 OH's

Mark Sparey 1st west section BICC Guernsey 2 OH's

Meg Murray in loft

Peter Gretton 8th Open Guernsey 2 OH's

Rob and Andrew Wilton 8th Open Guernsey 2 YB's

Rob Brooks 2nd west section Guernsey 2 YB's

Steve Coxell 2nd Open BICC Guernsey 2 YB's