FOLLOWING an investment of some £30,000, the North Coast Classic One Loft Race is now officially open for business.
Earlier this month the mayor of Coleraine, councillor David Barbour, attended the loft to conduct the official opening with a number of local dignitaries in attendance.
Councillor Barbour has been a very ardent supporter of the project promoted from day one by local fanciers Sean Diamond and Trevor Steele and has assisted them in any way possible.
This has been a professional operation from the outset. It is the only One Loft Race in Ireland to be operating under an RPRA Licence and RPRA Rules.
Jim and Gerry Lees of Wheatfield Video Productions are attending all the official events and races and will be putting together a DVD of this year’s events.
Sean and Trevor would like to thank the fanciers who have volunteered to ring the birds for the individual races. They hope that in doing so, their events will be beyond reproach, and that members will be happy that their entries are being 'supervised' by outside parties.
Looking after the ringing and transportation of the pigeons during the Hot Spot events and the final race are as follows: Hot-Spot 1 from Monaghan on Sunday, August 2 will be Mr S.Gray accompanied with three further members from Larne & District HPS.
Hot-Spot 2 from Castlepollard to be held on Sunday, August 9 will be overseen by Mr T.McCrudden and three further fanciers from the Coleraine & Co.Derry R.P.S. Club.
Hot-Spot 3 from Clara to be held on Sunday, August 16 will see the RPRA multiple winner Mr Chris Tweed over see the ringing and transportation of the pigeons along with three further members of the Rasharkin & District H.P.S.
Hot-Spot 4 will be flown from Roscrea on Sunday, August 23 and be overseen by Mr A. McKeown, and three further fanciers from the Cookstown Social Pigeon Club.
Hot-Spot 5 will be from Tipperary and is scheduled to be flown on Sunday, August 30.
The re-elected press officer for the NIPA, INFC and RPRA Irish Region Willie Reynolds will oversee the ringing of the pigeons accompanied by some other members of the Ballymena & District HPS and Adie McCormick of www.pigeonnetwork.com will travel with the convoyer to Tipperary.
The final race from Cork on Sunday 6th September will see the Irish Region Secretary of the RPRA in attendance to oversee that all is in order.
TauRIS ETS from Germany are sponsoring the ETS timing system with the assistance of local Northern Ireland Agents H Beattie and Son of Portadown.
All subsequent sponsorship details will be announced over the coming weeks and will be covered in this column.
The loft which measures some 140ft by 16ft is divided into ten sections with aviaries along its full length of the loft. It will facilitate a maximum of 1,200 competitors.
It is envisaged in this first year that the boys will have something in the region of 500 entries. So if you haven’t already entered log onto www.pigeonnetwork.com were you can read all the rules and also print out an application form.
Alternatively you can phone Trevor Steele or Sean Diamond and they will gladly post you an application. John Millar is working with Sean and Trevor in getting birds picked up from around the UK - contact himn on 028 944 73013 or on his mobile:- 07899 895 100.
The loft is open every Saturday and Sunday for new arrivals from 10am to 4pm. All the birds are vaccinated when they arrive. Birds should be at least 30 days old before bringing them to the loft.
From next week the loft will be open from 6.30 until 8.00pm. on Tuesday and Thursdays as well as from 10.00am. to 4.00pm. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Anyone wishing to call during the mornings, then Sean will be there from 9.00am until 3.00pm.
Condolences for Robert
Tragedy struck the North Coast Triangle community late last Saturday when young Robert Callaghan of the R Callaghan & Son partnership was struck and killed i n a road collision while out walking his dogs early evening.
A dedicated member of both Coleraine Premier HPS and Ballymoney HPS Clubs, Robert and his father have been frequent winners, both at club level and in national competition with the NIPA and INFC.
An ardent supporter of the above venture, Robert will be sadly missed by his many friendss within the pigeon racing circle of North Antrim.
We send our deepest condolences to his parents and family circle, and our thoughts are with them at this tragic time.
Trevor Steele & Sean Diamond. (North Coast Classic 1 Loft Race).