News

Changes to VFWCPR for the future - 2018-01-09

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    How can we make the Victoria Falls World Challenge Pigeon Race better?

    The VFWCPR has nearly completed its second year with the final coming up on 26th January 2018. The racing conditions that prevail under the current programme are extremely difficult and we believe that a change is needed to improve the racing environment. We believe that many good pigeons perish under these conditions.

    We have no doubt that all pigeons that complete the programme have proved that they are worthy adversaries irrespective of their placing in the final race. Nevertheless we have decided that we should make a change at this stage for the better rather than continue with the current format to the detriment of the pigeons.

    Our new format is as follows;

    PLAN 2018/2019 AT A GLANCE

    Final race

    26 January 2018 (410 km as advertised)

    Sale of top performers

    to follow as soon as is practical

    Race series of remaining birds

    (entry fees, pay-outs & rules to be announced)

    May to June 2018 - 600 km (373 miles)

    Sale of birds

    to follow as soon as is practical

     

    RACE SEASON ANNUALLY FROM HERE ON - guaranteed prize money pay-out of US$1 000 000 (split below)

    (Amendments to terms and conditions will be publicised in due course)

    Bird intake & quarantine for 2019 season

    May to September 2018 (2018 rings)

    Settling, orientation & training

    November 2018 to January 2019

    Body moult

    January 2019 to March 2019

    Training

    Mid-March to end April 2019

    Racing

    May to July 2019

    Final race

    End of July 2019 - 600 km (373 miles)

    Bird intake for 2020 season

    May to Sep 2019 (2019 rings)

     

    Reasons for the changes explained in more detail

    The summer racing (with a January final) has extremes of conditions. The prevailing wind is a head wind and it is very often blistering hot. The average high is 30 °C (86 °F) with temperatures reaching 40 °C (104 °F). December and January are the height of the annual rains with thunderstorms and heavy downpours.

    The maximum race distance has to be restricted under these conditions. Pigeons that escape and hide from the numerous hawks cannot fly back once the daytime temperature climbs. They are also easy prey when suffering from heat fatigue. The pigeons that have escaped from hawks fly back late in the afternoon or the next day once the temperature subsides, or they fail to return.              

    Because of the extreme heat in October and November the days available for training and racing are restricted to early morning and longer training flights only start from late November after some rain has fallen. There is not enough time for proper preparation of the pigeons for a final in January. As the birds start their body moult in January a delay even of 2 weeks is not suitable.

    The breeding season of some of the most dangerous raptors (for our pigeons) is during the annual rains and they feed prolifically over this period whilst they hunt for food for their young. Breeding mostly finishes at the end of the rains in April. Some of the migratory raptors also leave the region at this time making it safer for pigeons from April onwards.        

    A change away from these extremes in weather and high raptor activity will give the pigeons a fairer chance and a better opportunity to show their potential. Training and racing in moderate temperatures where the average maximum in July is 17 °C (63 °F) with almost zero rain is much more suitable for pigeon racing. This is the traditional time for pigeon racing in Zimbabwe where the degree of racing difficulty is increased by flying further distances. We will therefore have our final from 600 km (373 miles) which will still be tough and fair test of the quality of the pigeons.

    We sincerely hope that this will be supported by you and hope for a successful conclusion to this year’s programme.

     

    PRIZE MONEY US$1 000 000

     

    2019 RACE SERIES

       

    Intake 2018 Final race approx. 600km (372 miles) 2019

           

    Final Race

       

    US$756,000

    Place

    No of prizes

    Prize Money

    Total pay-out

    1st

    1

                       225,000

                                    225,000

    2nd

    1

                       125,000

                                    125,000

    3rd

    1

                         75,000

                                      75,000

    4th

    1

                         50,000

                                      50,000

    5th

    1

                         30,000

                                      30,000

    6th

    1

                         15,000

                                      15,000

    7th

    1

                         12,500

                                      12,500

    8th

    1

                         10,000

                                      10,000

    9th

    1

                            9,000

                                         9,000

    10th

    1

                            7,000

                                         7,000

    11th - 15th

    5

                            2,500

                                      12,500

    16th - 30th

    15

                            2,000

                                      30,000

    31st - 50th

    20

                            1,500

                                      30,000

    51st -100th

    50

                            1,000

                                      50,000

    101st - 200th

    100

                               750

                                      75,000

           

    Ace Bird (5 Hotspots & Final)

    US$78,000

    Place

    No of prizes

    Prize Money

    Total pay-out

    1st Ace

    1

                         25,000

                                      25,000

    2nd Ace

    1

                         15,000

                                      15,000

    3rd Ace

    1

                         10,000

                                      10,000

    4th - 10th Ace

    7

                            4,000

                                      28,000

           

    Hotspot Races (5 Races)

    US$135,000

    Place

    No of prizes

    Prize Money

    Total pay-out

    1st

    5

                            5,000

                                      25,000

    2nd

    5

                            3,000

                                      15,000

    3rd

    5

                            2,000

                                      10,000

    4th - 20th

    85

                            1,000

                                      85,000

           

    Best Bird (all online flights)

    US$31,000

    Place

    No of prizes

    Prize Money

    Total pay-out

    1st

    1

                         10,000

                                      10,000

    2nd

    1

                            8,000

                                         8,000

    3rd

    1

                            6,000

                                         6,000

    4th - 10th

    7

                            1,000

                                         7,000

     

    Annual Race Program (provisional) May to July

     

    Km

    Miles

     

    week 1

    100

    62

     

    week 2

    150

    93

     

    week 3

    200

    124

    Hotspot 1

    week 4

    250

    155

    Hotspot 2

    week 5

    300

    186

    Hotspot 3

    week 6

    100

    62

     

    week 7

    400

    248

    Hotspot 4

    week 8

    100

    62

     

    week 9

    450

    279

    Hotspot 5

    week 10

    100

    62

     

    week 11

    600

    372

    Final Race

     

    Quarantine & shipping dates (provisional dates for breeding purposes)

    Dutch Quarantine and Veterinary Services - Netherlands

    5th & 6th April 2018

    3rd & 4th May 2018

    7th & 8th June 2018

    5th & 6th July 2018

    2nd & 3rd August 2018

     

    Shipping dates to Zimbabwe through respective agents World Wide

    1st to 4th May 2018

    4th to 8th June 2018

    2nd to 6th July 2018

    6th to 10th August 2018

    3rd  to 7th September 2018