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Le Tour Des Maritimes 2000 Report

The 4th Annual Le Tour Des Maritimes Futurity once again came to a very successful conclusion.  Even though the weather over a 7-week period was generally good for pigeon racing, the racers still had to negotiate various weather conditions and geographical challenges throughout this very demanding Maritime course across Eastern Canada.  The winner had to do well in each of the 7 races that totaled 2000 km of flying.

Some may think that this futurity is for homing pigeons only but if one studies the overall results it is easy to conclude that the top birds were very consistent throughout the 7 race series.  They had to be racers doing well in the sprint races as well as at the long end.  For example, this year's winner EC 1662 bred by Lothar Schmitt was in the first drop 5 out of the 7 races.  Now that's consistency.

Congratulations go out to Lothar for a superb performance.  Most agree, he still remains the fancier to beat in the Le Tour.  He has placed 1st, 2nd, 2nd and 1st over the last 4 years.

One of Leo Boudreau's birds CU 26230 entered in his wife's name came in 2nd by a mere 3 minutes. Four Boudreau bred birds finished in the top 10.  He scored 2nd, 5th, 6th and 8th.  Congratulations Leo for a fantastic performance.

Flying the Le Tour for the first time, John Buchanan scored 3rd and 4th with a pair of nest mates CU 14720 and CU 14721.  Needless to say, he has an exceptional breeding pair.

Clint Morten of Calgary who had the first out of area entry bred 7th and 15th overall.  Clint's CU 90623/99 won at 420 miles in the Alberta Classic 1999 and bred the Alberta Classic winner this year for Rose Hill Loft.  Other Calgary fanciers who did well were Doug Schmaltz who placed 12th and 22nd and Mike Tomshak placed 14th.  Furthermore, Doug won the Calgary Olympic Derby this year and Mike Tomshak won the last race of the Alberta Classic and place 14th Overall in this very competitive and grueling futurity.

Tony Veling an 80 year old flyer from the very competitive East Coast Club scored 9th Overall with a blue hen bred out of his Belgian imports.  Congratulations Tony and have a great trip to Australia this winter visiting you son.

Paul Bernatchez who has been in the top ten every year placed 10th overall from another offspring from his top breeder Le Tournier.  The Le Tournier has bred a top 10 finisher with different hens each of the last 3 years.  In addition, Paul's mealy hen CU 37116 flown by Josh Oullette won the last race of the year.

Briefly summarizing the performance of the birds, 73% of the entries still remained in contention for the overall championship after 6 races and 1500 km of racing.  Of these 21 or 27% of the birds were separated by a mere 2 hours of flying time.  Moreover, 11 birds were only separated by 4 minutes.  These results added to the drama for the last race.  When none of the leaders were in the first drop the drama intensified.  Eight birds trapped before any of the leaders arrived.  Finally, 53 minutes after the first arrivals, 3 of the leaders dropped in together placing them 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall.  Now that's competition.   

Several of the leaders did not arrive in race time from the last race.  Considering the total distance and the number of races flown, every bird deserves a mistake.  Unfortunately, they made theirs at the wrong time.  Most of these valiant flyers eventually arrived home to affirm their tenacity and reputation as racers.  Overall, 40% of the entries completed the Le Tour grueling 7 race schedule in race time.

Congratulations go out to all the winners and I invite you to participate in the Le Tour Des Maritimes 2001.