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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

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Joe and Brian win channel race

WINNERS: Joe Fitzsimmons (holding ninth place bird) and son Brian (holding winner) at their Birks Road loft, at Cleator MoorPicture: John Story

CLEATOR Moor father-and-son team Joe and Brian Fitzsimmons have finally broken their hoodoo over the channel.

Although consistent and successful fliers in the Cleator Moor club for over 30 years they have never won a West Cumberland Federation race from the channel.

That changed on Monday when they clocked a yearling chequer cock to win the Federation’s final water race of the old bird programme.

The Cumbria Combine birds had been held at Falaise from Saturday because of bad weather before being liberated at 6am on Monday morning, and the Fitzsimmons pigeon was clocked at 2.22pm – just 56 seconds in front of another Cleator Moor loft of Nolan, Hetherington, Coultas and Easdon.

Joe said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have won a Fed from over the channel.

“We had won the club race from Sartilly and have had a good season, so the Falaise win is the icing on the cake.”

The winning bird had been flying on the roundabout system all season before being paired-up with the longer races in mind.

He was sent to Falaise feeding a six-day-old youngster.

He’s a Busschaert bred from a cock on loan from Alfie Rothwell (Whitley Bay) and a hen which was on loan from Dougie Graham (Workington).

The Fitzsimmons loft sent seven birds to the race and got four of them back – three of them on the day to take 1st, 9th and 19th Fed. There were 104 birds away in the West Cumberland and 35 of them homed on the day.

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