The town of St Vincent, or to be more accurate St Vincent-de-Tyrosse, is situated in the far south west of France, near the Bay of Biscay coast and between the better known towns of Dax and Bayonne. If there is any hint of east in the wind, then this site gives the British pigeons the best of all opportunities to excel, as it is probably the most westerly location in the International race programme.
The table below shows the breakdown of the British entry.
Ash 79
Bath 23
Brighton 0
Bromley 0
Chestfield 130
Diss 0
Evesham 0
Gwent 16
Horndean 0
Ipswich 0
Lowestoft 0
Norwich 0
Northamptonshire 0
South Ockendon 40
Stowmarket 14
This shows an increase in numbers of almost 30% on 2013 figures.
This increase is also reflected in the overall figures for the International race which is up 11,270 up by 326 on the 2013 figure.

The weather conditions on the proposed race day, Friday11th July, proved to be the exact opposite to the conditions for the Barcelona race the previous weekend when the whole of North west France and the English Channel were blocked out with heavy rain.
At St Vincent there was fine weather up the whole of the west side of France and in the English channel but rain and poor weather conditions throughout central France and the Low Countries. The decision was therefore taken to hold the convoy so that those fanciers in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany would get a fair chance.
The race eventually took place on Saturday 12th July when the convoy was liberated at 6.35 am BST into light west north westerly winds.
Once again this International race, as with all the other International races, was generously sponsored by Steve and Lesley Wright of the House of Aarden and the lucky winner will receive a young bird valued at £250- £450 bred from one of the principal stud cocks at the House of Aarden.
Pigeons started to be clocked in North west France on the coast25kms north of Rouen and west of Abbeville just after 5 pm on the day. These birds were flying 730 kilometers approximately 430 miles so there was hope that day birds might just get into the UK. However, the English Channel and the vagaries of the weather over that stretch of water seemed to have prevented this as the first bird to be clocked at 8.41 am on the second morning, was to the loft of the Winkfield Wizard Mark Gilbert.
So 1st Centre section 1st Open vel 728mpm goes, for the third time this season, to Mark Gilbert who clocked the same round about hen that featured on the BICC Pau International race result at 11th Open a few weeks earlier. This is a cross between the bloodlines of Etienne Maerlien and H & P Brockamp. The sire is a son of Maerlien's Gouden Vleugel, winner of three top prizes from Barcelona including 13th,17th & 73rd Open, whilst the dam is a direct daughter of Brockamp's "Perpignan 06" 1st National 2nd International Perpignan. In fact the dam is a full sister to the 2009 Marseille International winner for Brockamp. The old saying "blood will tell" has never been more appropriate.
Mark's second pigeon which takes 3rd Open, is a grandchild of Southfield Supreme the 2004 Dax International winner, and was 7th open Tarbes National Flying Club in 2012.
The third pigeon taking 14th Open, is also a granddaughter of Southfield Supreme and she was 2nd open Tarbes National Flying Club in 2013.
The Fourth pigeon is also a grandchild of Southfield Supreme and was on the day from Agen two weeks before. Mark clocked a total of eight pigeons to take 1st,3rd, 14th, 25th, 37th, 45th Open,56th & 57th Open. Well done Mark on YET ANOTHER outstanding team performance in what proved to be a very difficult race.

Taking second spot in the Open result and topping the west section was one to the equally famous and successful partnership of Vince and Dave Padfield of Cwmtillery high up in the Welsh Valleys. Given the conditions of a strong north west wind and the mist and rain that enveloped the Valleys from late afternoon on the first day of the race this was a truly outstanding performance. The brothers clocked the same blue pied cock that took 10th Open BICC in the Pau international race of a couple of weeks ago. The six year old has the following National positions to his credit:-
As a 3year old in 2012 he was 5th Open Welsh South Road National Tarbes also taking 26th Sect 205th Open NFC Tarbes 607 miles.
He had previously won as a 2 year old 76th Open CSCFC Tarbes Also 1 month later AGEN BICC International 4th Open 1st West Sect in a very strong West wind. His breeding is as follows.
Sire GB2002J59190
His father is Brian Leadbeater's No 1 Cock "The Favourite" when paired back to a daughter of the immortal "48" - 5 times in first ten in Midland Nationals.
Dam GB2002N61181
This hen always stock is a full sister to VINCE 1st PAU WSRN 2000 Gold cup winner.Her sire 8th WELSH SRN FC Pau and Dam responsible for 4th WSRN Pau. This year the cock had a few inland races and then Carentan with the NFC followed by Tours with BICC then into Pau where as I say he finished at 10th Open. He has been raced on the round about system for most of the season but on his return from Pau this year he was allowed to run with a new hen and was basketted for St Vincent sitting newly laid eggs.
Mark Gilbert clocked his second pigeon to record 661 mpm for 2nd Centre section 3rd Open.

The phrase "cometh the hour cometh the man" certainly applies to the competitors in this St Vincent race, as in fourth Open and 2nd West section is yet another world class partnership, none other than Geoff and Catherine Cooper of Peasedown St John near Bath. The Cooper's pigeon recorded 633 mpm. Geoff and Catherine clocked a second pigeon a little later for 5th west section 10th Open and this is what Catherine had to tell me about their timers:-
" First in the clock is a three year old chequer widowhood cock called "Woodson" to win 2nd west section 4thOpen St Vincent. . He went to Poitiers before St Vincent, and was first home and 19th National. His sire is "Woody" who won 1st sect 8th National FC Tarbes 570 miles plus winning top club and Combine prizes from Chale 72 miles. The sire of Woody is a brother to Farm Boy. Farm Boy was a top racer winning 12th Int. Dax, 3rd National and 7th National Dax and he bred Farmer George 1st Int Bordeaux.
The dam of Woodson is a sister to Georgia Jean, winner of 8th International Pau. She is a Grand daughter of Legend 1st International Dax and Farm Boy 12th International Dax and sire of Farmer George. Woodson's pedigree is full of the top International lines of the Cooper's loft. The Cooper's second in the clock taking 10th National is a five year old blue cock called Misty. He is one of the Cooper's top racers, previously winning 1st WS 10th National St Vincent, 7th National Alencon plus 4 x 1st and many other top club and Combine positions.
His sire was a top racer called Keogan and his dam is grand daughter of Legend 1st Int. Dax in 2003 for Brian Sheppard and Farm Boy 12th Int Dax and sire of 1st Int. Bordeaux. She is a full sister to the dam of Woodson who was 2nd WS 4th National in this race."
Next we have another Welsh partnership, that of J J Williams of Pontypool who clocked a three year old on 630 mpm for 3rd west section 5th Open. Ray's timer is a 3 year old mealy cock that was 16th Open BICC Poitiers earlier this season. His dam is of Fauche Brothers bloodlines whilst his sire is a Westcott and grand son of the partners' good Palamos cock J J. He was sent to St Vincent feeding a nine day old young bird. Calum Edmiston of Horley in Sussex is in for the second time this season at 3rd Centre section 6th Open vel 626 mpm. Calum also clocked three good 'uns in the recent BICC Pau International to take 11th,42nd,57th & 80th Open. This loft regularly produces big team performances from a very limited entry, as Calum only houses around 14 pairs of old birds and rarely rears more than 30 youngsters each year. The St Vincent timer is a 4 year old chequer cock who was 57th BICC Pau earlier this season. He has been very consistent and scored from Cholet to Tarbes previously. The bloodlines are sire: Nico Volkens x Dam: Padfield (via Doug Gatland's 11th BBC San Sebastian winner). The cock was basketted for St Vincent sitting three day eggs with his second flight just pipping through. Apparently he is an easy bird to work with due to his obsession / love of peanuts. A second bird was timed at 16.14 which has previously been 4th Open BICC Agen & 11th Open BICC PAU. Calum only competes from two 500 mile races per season as he is limited for time due to shift work and the limited numbers of pigeons that he keeps.
He sends his congratulations to all the winners on a difficult weekend.

The east section winner comes in at 7th Open and was clocked at Birchington by Howes B alias Alan Howes vel619mpm. This 2 year old chequer hen is bred from a Dutch stary and a Louella Van Geel and was Alan's single entry. She was at Poitiers with the BICC a few weeks back and came early on the second morning. Raced on the round about system in the first part of the season she was re mated and sent to St Vincent sitting 12 days.

S R & W H Knox of Tyler's Hill near Canterbury enjoyed another good team performance here with three birds at 2nd 3rd& 7th east section 8th,11th &18th Open vels 610, 600& 571 mpm. Bill had 8 pigeons on the recent Agen International result. Bill clocked a further two birds later on the second day to take 32nd & 49th Open. Here are some details on Bill's pigeons:-
2ndsection 8th open St Vincent has had 3 EECC races then Pau 19th section 39th open. Sire is grandson of Brimstone who was 1st section 2nd open NFC 2nd International Dax 19,400 birds, and Drendon King 2nd section 3rd open Palamos; 1st section 8th open Barcelona and 1st section 2nd open Barcelona. Dam Granddaughter of Red alert 1st section 1st open Barcelona; 5th section 7th open Barcelona

11686 3rd section 11th open
2011 Trained 50 miles
2012 Cannappeville twice with the EECC
2013 Cannappville, Pithivers twice with the EECC & Agen
2014 Cannappeville, Saran, Pithivers, Pau 22nd section 52nd open

Sire 1st section 2nd open Pau BICC.Dam Solway King Lines
Her sire 14th 32nd open Barcelona
Her Dam Flown Marsielle, San Sabastian & Dax - Kirkpatrick bloodlines
11703 8th section 19th open
this bird 1st section 4th open St Vincent. 2013.
2014 Cannappeville, Saran EECC, Poitiers BICC.
Sire three quarter Kirkpatrick one quarter P Woolliss.
06221 17th section 32nd open
2014 Cannappeville twice Saran Pithivers EECC
Sire 1st section 4th open Birritz bred by R Carruthers
Dam clocked from Pau Tarbes Marsielle Perpignan daughter of above .
2014 Lillers, Tours and Poitiers
Sire Kirkpatrick 3 times Barcelona 1st GDSB NFC
Dam granddaughter cross Woolliss
of Brimstone who was 1st section 2nd open NFC 2nd international Dax 19400 birds, and Drendon King 2nd section 3rd open Palamos 1st section 8th open Barcelona and 1st section 2nd open Barcelona. Dam Granddaughter of Red Alert 1st section 1st open Barcelona 5th section 7th open Barcelona.

Raymond Strawbridge, now ably assisted by John "One Punch" Williams makes a stunning comeback following his recent house move to take4th west section 9th Open with a two year old late bred which had been resettled from Ray's previous address.
This young chequer cock is bred from a John Wills cock and a daughter of Ray's great stock hen My Little Gem. He flew through to Tours as a late bred yearling still carrying nest flights and this year has had Alencon, Tours and Poitiers with the BICC before going to St Vincent sitting 14 day eggs.
Ray has been plagued by raptors at his new location and at the last count had lost more than 50 pigeons in the vicinity of the loft to the local sparrow hawks, peregrines and Goshawks, including a Dax National winner. This latest success will go a long way to helping ease the pain of so many losses.

Doug Gatland last year's runner up to the Padfields in the BICC St Vincent race comes in with one for 4th centre section 11th Open vel 596mpm. Doug timed a Wim Muller x Van de Wegen three year old cock originating from the Padfields and Ponderosa lines blended into his own family. He has been flown widowhood this year and was repaired and sent sitting 10 day eggs for this race. He returned looking fresh and well when Doug found him in his box and has been a very consistent performer for Doug over the last couple of years.

Former Barcelona winner Terry Johnson of Whitstable follows up his good team performance in the Agen International with a 5 year old bird recording 590mpm for 4th east section 13th Open. This is what Terry had to say about his timer:-
"My St Vincent bird was chequer cock that also went to Agen a couple of weeks ago, flown on the celibate system. He was bred from my wife Marge's stock cock that was presented to her by the late Geoff Hunt, the dam was bred from a Van Bruaene cock out of a loan bird from Jordan Brothers of Barcelona fame, when paired to a Geoff Hunt & Son hen that was given to me as an egg. The photo was taken a couple of hours after clocking, his wattle still pink from rain". Regards. Terry.

Yet another top class long distance partnership come in next at 6th Centre section 15th Open none other than Albi and Jan Deacon. The Deacon's clocked a two year old cock a direct son of the partners' good long distance racer "Garincha" who was also sire of this year's 10th Open Barcelona for Jan and Albi. The dam is a daughter of John Puddephatt's "Highdown Prince". She is also the Dam of two times Barcelona Challenge winner. The cock flew B.I.C.C. Tours this year and came late at night and was sitting 10 days at basketting for St Vincent.
Mark Bulled of Harlow in Essex comes in with a Russell Bradford bred Deweerdt for 5th East section 16th Open vel575mpm. This is what Mark had to tell me:-
"My timer is a 3 year old dark hen sitting eggs after a spell of celibacy. A very keen hen on the nest though. Can't go near her when she is sitting! As part of the iprr exchange I drew Russell Bradford and we swapped ybs. Russell bred me a pair of ybs from his direct Deweerdts. I timed the hen of the pair. She was very fresh on arrival. Maybe Perpignan next if she keeps in good feather? She is very unlike my birds in that she is much much bigger and thus harder to condition. I've had to double her workload and this is the first time I've sent her in a condition I'm happy with and she has done her job"

Next we have a young 15 year old fancier, Richie Lee Dawes of Whitstable who follows up his terrific performance of 4th Open BICC Pau with another top class performance of 6th east section17th Open with a 2 year old doing 573.5 mpm. This is the same grizzle cock, now named Benny, that was 4th Open BICC Pau a few weeks earlier. He was sent sitting eggs. The cock was bred by near neighbours Mickey Dunn and daughters, Jade and Charlie and Richie tells me that all of his siblings have scored with the BICC for the Dunns. This is what Richie had to say about the family background:-
"Hi Gareth just wondering if its too late to let you know about the brother and sister to Benny ?
In 2012 Benny's sister was 35th open Agen and his brother was 7th open Marseille.
Another brother to Benny was 56th open Perpignan - all these raced by M Dunn & Daughters.
In 2013 Benny's brother was 17th open Perpignan
and in 2013 & 2014 Benny's sister was 31st open Agen for M
Dunn & Daughters.
Benny is the cousin to Mr John Lane's 15th open Barcelona this season". I should point out here that in 2013 Micky, Jade and Charlie Dunn raced a team of just FIVE pigeons in BICC International races and featured on the bICC results in every one. Well done to you all, Richie-Lee and the Dunns.

Ted Ivory of Sittingbourne comes in next at 6th east section 18th Open vel 573.05mpm. Ted clocked a 2 year old pied cock of Van Wanroy and Jan Aarden bloodlines. This was the cock's first competitive race of the season having previously had training races with the Wingham club and one private toss from Rennes. He was sent sitting eggs.

Barrie Myhill of Dover takes 9th east section 20th Open with a 5 year old on 569 mpm. Unfortunately the phone number I have for Barrie was unobtainable so I have no further details on his pigeon.
St Vincent proved to be a very difficult race and yet the same names appear on the result. Congratulations to all who clocked.

And finally, news of a pigeon into the North West section from the Barcelona International. This is a 5 year old cock racing to the Rushwick loft of John Rodway. John clocked this game pigeon at 9.10 pm on Saturday 12th July and as he said he seemed none the worse for wear sporting a crop full of grains and exhibiting next to no weight loss! The cock is a bit of a character as he is accident prone and has needed major surgery from time to time due to his injuries. This season he has had absolutely NO training and just two races - Guernsey and Messac and then straight to Barcelona. He is bred down from John's Irish Hen - a stray that has left its mark with a number of top performers for the Rodway loft. The Irish hen was of Billy Parkes x Van Wanroy bloodlines. Her daughter, the dam of the Barcelona section winner, has also flown Barcelona and Palamos and was 1st section NFC Dax whilst the sire of the Barcelona section winner has also flown over 600 miles successfully. John feeds a high cereal diet with a very low protein content and allows the birds an open loft whenever possible.
One final point on the Barcelona race - the winners of the Jim Emerton Barcelona Dream Trophy for highest velocity over 750 miles goes once again to the Padfield Family of Cwmtillery whose pigeon finished at 4th Open. The Jim Emerton Trophy for furthest flying pigeon in race time goes to Mr & Mrs Wilson's pigeon which covered the 844 miles to its Cleethorpes home to finish an amazing12th Open. Congratulations to the Padfields and Wilsons on two remarkable performances by their respective pigeons.
Next races from Le Mans and Marseille this weekend - good luck to all who send.
I should also point out that the Norwich marking station has moved to:-
Woodside Snooker Club
Woodside Road
Everything else remains the same.
Gareth Watkins

Mark-Gilbert-1st Open BICC-Pau, 1st, 2nd & 4th Open BICC Agen, 1st &3rd St Vincent in 2014

Dave and Vince Padfield 10th Open BICC Pau,4th Open Barcelona & 2nd Open St Vincent in 2014

GeoffandCatherineCooper 4th & 10th OpenStVincent

Woodson 4th Open St Vincent for the Coopers

Calum Edmiston 2nd,4th &7th Open BICC Agen International2013, 11th Open Pau International & 5th Open St Vincent International2014

JJ Williams 5th Open St Vincent

John Tyerman [L]with Ray Strawbridge[C] and Tony Coombs[R]. Ray was 9th Open St Vincent

Jan and Albie Deacon 6th Open St Vincent,10th Open Barcelona in 2014

Garrincha the Deacon's champion racer and stock cock

Misty 10th Open St Vincent for the Coopers

Terry Johnson 13th Open St Vincent

Terry Johnson's 13th OpenStVincent

Richie Lee Dawes 2nd section 4th Open Pau & 16th Open St Vincent

John Rodway 2nd NW section BICC Falaise 2014 & 1st section Barcelona