The Realities About Combine Liberations In Gauteng Versus The New South African International Championships

ODRA and Benzing South Africa

The big hype of liberating thousands of racers simultaneously is nothing new in South Africa.

I remember receiving a simultaneous 4 bird arrival from a 140000+ liberation from one truck in the early seventies when racing with the then called Transvaal homing union from my Nigel lofts. The Oerf and the TRPF on the same day liberated from their trucks just about the same amount and so did all the Pretoria unions, the GRRPA and the West Rand and Vaal organisations. The Northern Transvaal fanciers made up the tail end beyond Pretoria. Although, be it from different liberation points and different trucks, there were literally hundreds of thousand birds racing north from the Free state to the old Transvaal and Northern Transvaal.

The results on the short distances has throughout the years remained basically the same, there seem to be a tendency in general that the birds will enter the Wit waters Rand in two places either coming in over the Lido Hotel in the west or following the Vereeniging high road entering at Kliprivier over Alberton and Boksburg traveling north over Benoni. Should there be a strong west to north-west wind they might drift east to Heidelberg.

This fact is still very relevant, if one should study the recent results of the 2016 combine race program, with a mass liberation from Winburg, Bloemfontein and Dewetsdorp. The centre-arias achieving velocities 30% higher in the first two races than that of the Eastern lofts, confirming the age old advantage of Alberton Boksburg and Benoni. Should the birds enter at the Lido hotel, Johannesburg South through to Randburg, going on to Pretoria, has the same advantage over the western unions. The third race with a predominately western wind favoured Heidelberg and the Oerf birds took a few positions.

This disadvantage seem to lessened as the distances increase beyond 450km to 600km, hence the scattered results of organised combines of yesteryear when experts such as Silas Willis and the late James Jennings where in charge.

I have no personal experience in the Cape Province but from what I hear the same unfair conditions of favouring one area over another is also prevailing there.

The new kid on the block “On the Day Racing Association” Odra has developed a new competition called “LOFT GROUPING” This method has been tested for several years and the only drawback ever experienced was the delay in results which sometimes took two weeks. Due to the fact that the competition’s results are depended on the normal velocity calculations, competitors had to wait for all results to be published before calculating the results of the “4 Bird Grouping” as it was then called.

Mr John Falck changed all this when he accepted the appointment from Odra in November 2015 to develop new software, incorporating it into his established FalckonFlight Program and now the loft grouping results are available and accurate the moment the results are available on the FalckonFlight software. This should be on Saturday night or in the case of the Benzing-live, immediate after the furthest competitor has timed his fourth or fifth bird. Windy Corner Racing Pigeon club in Nigel, being the first club in South Africa to obtain immediate results from the Benzing-Live already in 2015 and now the Odra Springs as well as Mpumalanga in 2016

The basic principal of the Loft Grouping competition is that its results are based on “The average distance the second, third and fourth competitors travelled in the same net flying time of the marker”. The marker is “the fastest velocity from the same liberation of an organisation or section”.

This unique method is explained in detail on the website.

The following competitions are envisaged in the near future:

  1. Inter loft competitions, where the winning-loft will be ascertained by the lowest average of his first bird’s kilometres lost per hour of flight (KLPHF)
  2. Interclub competitions, where the average KLPHF of the first 4 fanciers will be measured against multiple competing clubs in a Province
  3. Inter Organisation competitions, where the average KLPHF of the best 4 clubs in an organisation be measured against multiple other organisations.
  4. National or S A championships would determine the best fancier over 10 or more races, the best club and the best organisation as well as the best province.

The 2016 competition will be conducted to test and rectify all unknown uncertainties and to finalise and fine tune the competition rules and guidelines. Should the interest of at least 40 fanciers exist, a 2016 monetary scheme could be organised, such as what is advertised on the Odra website.


Al this where the fancier is in charge in his or her own loft from their own premises.

Thanks to


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