South Africa is rated at the 10th driest country in the world by annual rainfall and over the last few years we have had significantly lower than average rainfall with many areas seeing the worst drought conditions in living memory. This low rainfall is normally ideal for pigeon racing as not many days are affected by continuous rain.
Over the last several days it has rained in the northern parts of South Africa including the Free State where the lofts are situated. Excellent for the country and the farmers, but not so good for pigeon racing. According to the latest forecasts the rainy weather should start clearing up by Wednesday. The total cloud cover that has blanketed parts of the country will also start to clear although just how much we are not sure.
Every pigeon lover knows pigeons do not fly in rain and need the sun to be at least visible when liberated to find their way home safely, so the lifting of the cloud cover is just as important.
So, where does this leave the SAMDPR now?
Never in the history of the race have we lost seven straight days of training due to bad weather. Not even in 2004, when we last experienced rain like this, did we lose so many consecutive days of training.
The reality is that after sitting for seven days plus, the pigeons are losing condition and will need a few short distance training flights to loosen the muscles and get their fitness levels back up.
Over the next few days we will be working out a new training schedule and move Hot Sot races as we can, some of the shorter training flights might have to fall away. We have made every effort to keep the Hot Spot Races at the published distances and will continue to do so. However, it’s now up to the pigeons and as we do not have experience with prolonged inactivity thanks to rain we cannot be sure how fast the pigeons will get back up to a level of fitness.