Two items of good news have emerged to boost the North Road Championship Club as the committee steam along the road to revitalising this 114-year-old classic organisation.
.One move will cut the cost of taking birds to the legendary Lerwick race this year for what will be the 100th visit by ferry.
The other will increase the level of competition and encourage even more fanciers to take part in the challenge that is north road racing.
As is usual for the trip to the Shetland Islands the birds will travel on the Serco NorthLink ferry for the race from Lerwick scheduled for June 27th, six days after the Summer Solstice and the official start of summer.
Only once in its long history has the NRCC tried to bypass the ever-reliable ferry and that was in 1977 when the pigeons were sent by air, but foggy weather prevented the ‘plane from landing and it had to be diverted to Thurso for a liberation there.
Although 2015 sees the 100th visit, it is not the 100th race from Lerwick because, in 2012, the weather was so bad for so long in the Shetlands that the birds had to be brought home, and the race was aborted.
This year, however, is still special because the trip will cost less – thanks to a partnership arrangement with NorthLink ferries agreed with the company after an initiative taken by a member who is a devotee of Lerwick racing. The forward-thinking member wishes to remain anonymous but is among those working hard to achieve a bright future for the NRCC.
The reason for the formation of the NRCC was to provide the challenge of long distance racing and, for the first 32 years of its existence, the race from Lerwick was the only one on its programme.
Despite the addition of other races over the years, it is the Lerwick race that is the big attraction for many members, and the King’s Cup is the most coveted prize among the glittering array of trophies on offer each season.
The partnership arrangement with NorthLink ferries helps to safeguard this piece of pigeon racing history and, if the deal is of mutual benefit, it is hoped it can be continued in future years and could be the basis for a very special centenary race next year.
In this year of change for the NRCC, members will be grateful for this initiative which is a big boost for the organisation.
George Wheatman NRCC Press Officer " "