All material Copyright © 1996-2014 by Silvio Mattacchione & Co. unless otherwise noted.
"Bayo Casablanca" - World Record Over The Sea
By Silvio Mattacchione
the "Le Tour" race, operated by
In Taiwan many fanciers value a bird solely on its ability to fly over the ocean. Well they need to do this because of the really small land mass that constitutes this last bastion of Democracy before reaching the empire of China. Taiwan is a small stronghold of freedom surrounded by a dangerous ocean. Therefore the racing pigeons are developed to fly over the open a non forgiving ocean! These flights are dangerous, grueling and can and are very often deadly.
In North America, we fly our pigeons over forests, over mountains, over deserts, over every imaginable and hostile terrain, but rarely are our birds confronted with the absolute fury of the open seas (remember that in all other terrains our pigeons have the option of stopping and resting, but over the ocean stopping is as the say, "not an option"). Winds and waves that can break enormous ocean going tankers in half are just some of the dangers. The open oceans are certainly the most formidable force in nature that our exquisite, fearless, little warriors could ever be confronted with. We are all familiar with the hit film: TITANIC" where almost a thousand lives were lost to the unforgiving power of the "North Atlantic." That is why Skrobot's "Le Tour" (actually "Les Tour Des Maritimes Futurity" http://www.tourdesmaritimes.com) final release point "Glace Bay" is so very difficult.Most fanciers don't realize how difficult a release point Glace Bay is. During the winter 100+ km winds are common throughout the Cape Breton Highlands. Fortunately they're not as strong during the summer months but they still can be problematic. At the release point unfavorable winds exceeding 20 km/h can always be expected. If the birds fly home as the "crow flies" they would fly over 400 km of open water. This is quite unlikely so by flying along the mainland of Nova Scotia the actual distance the birds fly exceeds 600 km. Just getting off the Island is challenge. The first 6 races of the Le Tour schedule are used to condition and build the birds' confidence for this task. Getting day birds from this point is always the main goal of the Le Tour series.
Figure 1: Map of the final release point of the "Le Tour" race station in the North Atlantic "Glace Bay."
So what is my sudden fascination with water, when most friends of mine know that I cannot swim a stroke? I am fascinated because it never fails to amaze me that the birds that we keep can have so much raw courage, so much power, so much strength, so much endurance, so much determination and such a love for home that nothing, not even a deadly ocean (and would under all normal circumstances avoid) would ever keep them from trying to get to their homes. Yesterday I received an email that caught my attention, actually held me in awe as to what our pigeons are really capable of. I had never really contemplated whether or not racing pigeon fanciers existed in small remote island chains in the middle of the ocean. Believe it or not, the coast of Africa, Morocco, the Sahara are not what I normally think of when I think of racing pigeons. Yet it seems that the Canary Islands (officially a part of Spain) has a large, extremely dedicated and extremely courageous group of racing pigeon fanciers as well as racing pigeons! Though for the most part, we in
In 1990 I spent some ten days or so in the Canary Islands at the second world parrot congress. Most of my time was spent in Tenerife. Tenerife is famous as the site of the world's great "747" disasters and it was also the site of a "Racquel Welsh" movie entitled "1000.000 BC." Part of the island is desolate, moonlike in terrain and the higher altitude is beautiful, tropical: an ideal vacation spot. Yet in 1990 the only pigeons I saw were flying near the shore and out over the ocean, near the hotel that I was staying at. Had I known just how great the interest in pigeons was I may have gone back in 1994.
2 This photo was taken from satellite and shows the "
3 Map of
are several organizations governing racing is called "The Tenerife Island Federation"
(with over 1000 members) it purchases some 70,000 bands each year. "The Las Palmas
Island Federation" purchases 60,000 bands. The other small islands collectively
purchase an additional 60,000 bands. It's amazing to see that this small island
group off the coast of Africa purchase a total
of 180,000 bands representing more than 60% of the Spanish National Federation
total. I would never have suspected that the number of birds bred on these islands
could have been so large.
I think that it goes without saying that the losses, in racing over the sea are very , very great! Equally great would be the elation and satisfaction of getting birds home in race time given these conditions. In my estimation, taking the emphasis away from 1st and reorganizing your thinking to recognize the achievement of such a test is an extremely positive development that would ultimately lead to the improvement and advancement of the overall qualities of this unique strain of pigeons capable of endurance or long distance racing over the sea!
I was advised that the heaviest loses occur in the young bird series as the youngsters fly over the sea for the first time. In essence young bird training begins with several tosses around the home island followed by four, training races between "Tenerife" and "Gran Canaria" then two from "Fuerteventura" then "Lanzarote" and finally "Cabo Jubt" in Africa ( 360 kms.) The first race is from the island of "Gran Canaria" to
The young bird season lasts some four months and the old bird season lasts a total of six months.
Figure 4: The map above shows all of the race points from the coast of
comes the real test, old bird racing at the distance. Old bird racing begins in
April and continues until the second week in July. The long races include two
races from Tan-Tan, Morocco,
What type of a pigeon is " Bayo Casablanca" ? It seems that Jose Ledesma
has carefully cultivated a Hybrid Colony of pigeons that are especially adapted
to open ocean flying based on, none other than the bloodlines of our ( now deceased)
great American "Sion" specialist "Charles Heitzman" ( whom I had corresponded
with personally for quite some time before his death) and those of the Janssen
strain. I have had many discussions of the potential of this cross with many fanciers
including the grandfather of "Sion" breeders in the
I think that so many of my friends are committed "eye sign " enthusiasts that I am compelled to cater to their addiction before I even give you a photo of "Bayo" I will need ( for their benefit) to give you a photo of this incredible athletes eye!
6 The Eye of "Bayo Casablanca" has been
especially inserted for all of my eye sign friends including
ANCESTORS OF " S u p e r c r a c k B a y o C a s a b l a n c a" ESP-286102-2000"
ESP-133159-1993This bird came back from "PIÑEIRO LOFT", one of the old
Glories of racing pigeon lofts in the
Blue flown to 330 Km. ( Arrecife ) in young bird season then stocked.
GrandFAther: ESP-140648-1987 ( FROM JANSSEN AND OLD GLORY CANARY PIGEONS )
GrandMother: ESP-232721-1990 "La Bombon" ( FROM Charles Heitzman IMPORTED PIGEONS ABOUT YEAR1980 ).
So what kind of a man
starts breeding pigeons in 1994 with his
brother and in less than eight years achieves this level of success in establishing
a beautiful as well as performing family
of pigeons. Much to my surprise I found that Jose Ledesma is a Composer of music.
Most people do not know that the world famous
Dutch fancier Wout Smeulders ( breeder
of the Smeulders Janssens, the Kannon 23 X 1st etc)) was also a Conductor
and incredible lover of music. So do Composers and Conductors have an edge on
just normal pigeon breeders? I do not know but may have to investigate further.
Figure 8 Jose Ledesma Composer, Conductor Artist and breeder of Worlds Record holder over the sea "Bayo Casablanca." He is also a software developer " The Professional Loft" software for fanciers and a 'UNIKON " dealer. www.joseledesma.comAs you can see from the enclosed CD cover Jose is extremely successful in many different fields of human endeavor. He produces incredible music that combines his love and respect of the past and its popular island traditions the sounds of his country and his people fused to the anticipation of all that the future may promise. He has vision that he is able to express in music and in the forming of living art in his pigeons. Beautiful music, beautiful design and beautiful racing pigeons .What more could you wish to achieve?
Figure 9 Jose Ledesma most recent CD release "Chill Out In The Canarias" you can see it at http://www.joseledesma.com/musicaIt is also of record that "Bayo Casablanca" 20 days after his "World Record" flight from Casablanca also flew 730 Km from "Cabo Guir."
Loft" in 2002 also clocked birds from C. Juby 350Km, C. Guir 730 Km,
10 Beautiful Red Champion racing hen bred
by Jose and Abel Ledesma,
IMPORTANT RESULTS IN 2002:
1º COMARCAL 5º NATIONAL OF CASABLANCA 1064 KM ( Only 9 birds arrived National )
1º COMARCAL 6º NATIONAL OF
1º COMARCAL 9º NATIONAL OF CABO GHIR 730 KM ( 29 BIRDS TOTAL ARRIVED NATIONAL )
OTHER IMPORTANT RESULTS:
3º NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OF SHORT AND MIDDLE DISTANCE 1996
2º NATIONAL ACE OF SHORT AND MIDDLE DISTANCE 1999
2º COMBINED CHAMPIONSHIF OD MIDDLE DISTANCE 2002
4º COMBINED CHAMPIONSHIP GENERAL 2002
THE BEST OLD BIRD INSULAR TENERIFE 2002 ( LA GENIOSA / 3124 BIRDS)
CHAMPION SECURITY IN VIII INTERNATIONAL
CHAMPION OF FOND
CHAMPION OF LONG DISTANCE 2002
CHAMPION OF YEARLINGS 2002
THE BEST YEARLING IN 2002
THE BEST OLD BIRD IN 2002
Figure 12 Certainly seems that "Bayo Casablanca"
breeds true to form. This is a picture of 22 of his sons as of May 28 2003. Who
knows maybe soon we can see some of our North American and Asian friends importing
some of these distance birds? Sons of 'Bayo" already exported to
These youngsters above were bred in an ideal loft that any fancier anywhere in the world would be proud to call his own. See if you do not agree?
13 Ideal loft of Jose and Abel Ledesma .
The interior loft set up again is conducive to good heath and ideal youngster development!
Figure 14 Interior of the lofts of Jose and Abel Ledesma, Canary Islands.World Champions are not easily come by, nor are they easily bred, but to breed and race across 1064 km of open sea is certainly a accomplishment worthy of recognition all over the world.
15 Newspapers throughout the Spanish speaking
world carried this incredible story! Bayo Casablanca " "World Record
Over The Sea". Abel Ledesma shown holding world Record Over The Sea "Bayo Casablanca.
Figure 16 World Record Holder Over The Sea "Bayo Casablanca"
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Racing Pigeons Section Contents
Background on Silvio Mattacchione, his pigeons, his loft, and inbreeding program.
A group of articles and editorials addressing various aspects of the sport of pigeon racing and the history of Silvio's line of Spanjaards/Janssens pigeons.
Buy fantastic pigeon books online! Selections include The Will to Prepare by Robert Kinney, Rotondo on Racing Pigeons by Joseph Rotondo, and The Pigeon Guide by Dr. Jon Esposito and Shannon Hiatt.
Some of Silvio Mattacchione's own winning stock is for sale.
Sivio Mattacchione offers a wide range of racing pigeon consulting services and consults with owners as far away as Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, The Philippines and the United States. Each consultation is tailored specifically to meet the client's needs, and is conducted in as thorough a manner as possible.
Good causes supported by Silvio and the racing pigeon and parrot communities.
Clever pigeon pictures constructed of keyboard strokes by artist Jerry Downs.
Links to other racing pigeon sites including those of clubs, products, and information resources. An easy way to navigate a series of pigeon web sites!
Silvio's e-mail, mail, phone, and fax contact information.