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LE TOUR DES MARITIMES 1998 REPORT

The 1998 "Le Tour Des Maritimes Futurity" came  to a very successful conclusion. Nineteen out of sixty one birds flew 1800 km in a six race schedule in race time.  Considering the nature of the course, one can easily argue that the total distance actually flown was considerably more.

These valiant racers encountered extremely challenging weather conditions during the last two races.  While racing from Canso (400 km) the birds flew against 30 to 40 km head winds resulting in a two-day race.  After a two week rest, they were sent to the ultimate test, Sydney, which is 500 km over open water in the Atlantic Ocean. This last race was flown remarkably in nine hours in extremely challenging conditions. Several areas along the course reported 40 to 50 km wind gusts from the southwest.  Towards the end of their long journey, these courageous flyers encountered rain for several hours.  The birds, flying northwest could have easily been blown over the open Atlantic never to be seen again.  Miraculously, somehow 17 birds arrived by nightfall and 19 out of 22 reached their destination in race time.  The speeds suggested that the birds might have in fact flown this distance mostly over water.

Congratulations go out to the overall winner, the team of Bernie Reppa and Reggie Slaunwhite.  This duo sent 3 birds and all finished the complete schedule in race time.  Twice their birds captured a first in the racing.  This was only matched by Les Gillis who one two consecutive races.

Last yearís winner Lothar Schmitt was a close second.  A mere 6 minutes narrowly beating him out for first place over 1800 km and after almost 40 hours of flying.  Several other fanciers did well with birds out of Lotharís stock. In all, 5 birds out of his stock were in the top nineteen.

 

Bob Quondom flying a Paul Bernatchez Ė Lothar Schmitt cross led throughout most of the series and came in third being only 8 minutes behind the leader.  Not far behind was Scotty Reid. He lost out by less than a half hour.  Bill Madore also put in admirable performance.  He placed 3 birds in the top 16. Leo Boudreau, who just recently returned to the sport, likewise did very well.  He had 2 birds in the first 15.

Only 23 minutes separated the top 4 birds after 6 races and almost 2000 km of flying.  And, only a couple of hours separated the top 10 birds.  Thatís competition.

Once again, congratulations go out to the winners and I extend a personal thank you to all those fanciers who supported the 1998 version of the  "Le Tour Des Maritimes Futurity".

Andrew Skrobot