The third NRCC race saw a liberation from glorious Fraserburgh and with East in the wind again for the third of the NRCC races, it did again favour the inland flyer and with the Calverton marking station hosting the previous two NRCC open winners, it was all eyes on the verification website to see who would be clocking in the top slot. As the time ticked by and birds began to drop, it was as predicted with pigeons dropping inland and section ‘A’ dominating eight out of the first ten positions. The following account from Ian Bellamy, NRCC race secretary gives a detailed account of his communication with Darren Shepherd for the journey up to the race point and his summary of the clocked pigeons as the results began to come in: Well that’s the Fraserburgh race done and dusted and what a tough affair it turned out to be! The convoyer Darren Shepherd rang me on Thursday evening to say that they had arrived at Ecclefechan safely and the birds had been fed and watered, they were due to leave early on Friday morning to miss the traffic to arrive at Fraserburgh around lunchtime. The water was put on and the birds readily drank, they were left to rest for a couple of hours before they received their feed. Saturday morning and Darren woke up to mist coming off the sea (fret) so an early liberation was out of the question, however, this mist soon cleared and the birds were able to be liberated at 7.30am into a light south east wind which would turn east en route. First to verify was Barry Pearce from Kirkby In Ashfield whose two-year-old bird took 7 hours and 52 minutes to complete the 318-mile journey from Fraserburgh. Second to verify was Bill Bearder from Nottingham whose three-year-old pigeon took 8 hours and 6 minutes to fly 327 miles to Bill’s loft. These two birds were close on velocities with less than two yards per minute separating them. After contacting the two clock stations involved it transpired the Barry Pearce would win the Bamfords TopFlight corn Fraserburgh race by 1.8ypm. These two birds remained at the top of the provisional list for the rest of the day and congratulations to Barry Pearce on this excellent win. As race secretary this was an easier race for me to manage as the birds that were verified came every 4 minutes or so, so I was able to keep the provisional result as ‘live’ as it could possibly be. My special mention for this race is obviously the winner but an outstanding performance for me was from Terry Haley from Abbots Langley (near Watford) who provisionally wins section H and who appears 15th on the provisional list. Well done to all the participants for this tough Fraserburgh race, our next race is the North Road Championship Clubs Blue Riband race from Lerwick. Come and have a go for a chance to win the famous King George V Challenge Trophy. Ian Bellamy. Moving on now to the open winner of the Bamfords TopFlight corn Fraserburgh race, Barry Pierce. I initially dropped Barry a message to congratulate him on his win and to try and set a time to pin him down for his winners write up. With verification still yet to take place I had to be patient and bide my time and following his visit from NRCC Chairman and Dunbar open winner Paul Crooks on the Sunday after the race, it was all systems go with a time set for a video call on the Monday evening. As the call linked up and Barry came into view he was just coming in from his garden and quite fittingly, he had his birds out and I could see them flying around behind him. Making himself comfortable it was quite obvious that the last couple of days had been a bit of a blur and his win hadn’t really sunk in. He told me that he did really fancy the bird and it was up there as one of his favourites and ironically, he’ joked about it winning to other members on club night but never actually thought he would top the open! He even said that he would have been over the moon had it topped the section so to actually do the business against all the other NRCC members and birds entered seemed a bit unbelievable still and was definitely up there on top as his biggest achievement in racing to date. Barry had raced in the NRCC previously but quiet a long time ago as he’d switched a good few years back to racing South Road and had only changed back to North Road recently. His achievements on the South are nothing to be sniffed either, at being second 6 times to gold medal winners and taking cards in the Midlands National races. Initially taking an interest in the fancy when just a 9-year-old lad, Barry has definitely earned his win after spending over sixty years dedicating his time to racing and, specifically over the last 40 years, building a team of pigeons after bringing in some birds from his good friend and mentor, Dean Skuse, who sadly passed away last year. Deans team of pigeons came from Peter Fox (Syndicate Lofts) and proved to be incredibly successful for him. After they were introduced into Barry’s loft he has gradually mixed them and paired them with some Belgium pigeons and without a doubt, after this week, his patience and dedication have been repaid with the Fraserburgh win. The pigeon that won for Barry, as previously mentioned, is a favourite of his and was originally raced South as a baby and taking second place in two amalgamations. His brother and nest mate have also scored for Barry at club and fed level so winning is definitely in the bloodline for these birds. He’s a 2021 pigeon raced on widowhood, let out twice a day morning and night Monday to Thursday and fed on the Vanrobaeys feeding system. Barry tells me that ‘this is a pigeon that performs better in the tougher races’ and was sent to Fraserburgh, along with another 22 pigeons out of the loft, with 18 making it home to date. Before signing off, Barry would like to pay special mention to Dean Skuse, a much-missed friend and mentor. A great win Barry. Well done, it was an absolute pleasure talking with you and all the best for your future racing.