Mart (right) y Wim (left) Derksen, Second place in Marathon Noord.

Experience and youth hand in hand. Visit Wim and Mart Derksen.

Reaching second place on the podium in a competition like the Netherlands Marathon Noord is undoubtedly an achievement. Above all, knowing in advance that its competitors include the names of Jelle Jellema, IJsbrand Kaptein, Gebr. Brugemann, Verweij-de Haan, Kees Droog, Harold Zwiers, Jan Hommes and sons, Jurrian van Amerongen, etc., then it is a great joy if you beat all these great fanciers and get the reward of moving up to the second drawer. It is only reserved for the best. This means that the designated pigeons must be in good shape at least three times during the season. These three times are the races in Barcelona, ​​Marseille and Perpignan, where all the lofts are more than a thousand kilometers apart. Wim and Mart Derksen from Almelo achieved this in 2018. An achievement that grandfather and grandson can look back on with great pleasure.

The fanciers.

Almelo’s team consists of Wim (79 years old) and his grandson Mart (20) Derksen. Wim has been retired for a few years and was previously Professor of Automatic Writing at DOC (Doetinchem). Martin is a carpenter. Wim was born in eastern Gelderland, in Stokkum, near ‘s-Heerenberg. He has had pigeons since he was 8 years old. He came into contact with the sport through an uncle. Wim was allowed to help him with the care when he was busy with work. Like everyone else at the time, Wim started out as a programmer. Wim also kept pigeons for a few years with his parents. Father Derksen was not very enthusiastic about his son’s hobby. Then the nestor of the Derksen pigeon family started to breed pigeons with uncle and grandfather (who had a company together). Wim could be found there day and night. His father didn’t like that either. The logical consequence was that he had a loft at home again. In 1969 Wim came to live in Almelo…first at a different address. When his son Anthony (Mart’s father) was old enough to participate, Wim flew in combination with his son for years. This son now competes with great success in the one-day distance races and the pigeon championship, together with his brother-in-law under the name Derksen-v/d Keuken. They are always at the top of the federation ranking 9, East Holland, in their discipline.

In Wim’s garden there are 16 meters of loft: 5 sections for the old team, 2 for the young and 1 for the breeders. Wim is responsible for 3 departments and Mart for 2. This loft was moved to its current address in the late 1970’s. It is a climate friendly facility. It is provided with a sliding false ceiling, but it never moves. The warmer the loft, the better. At one point, Grandpa Wim had two empty flats. Mart has been racing in these lofts for several years. First, he played in his parents’ garden, but there he suffered from an important chance of birds of prey, mainly the goshawk, because there is a large forest in the area. When Mart went flying with Grandpa, Grandpa’s motivation came back in full swing. Says Grandpa Wim: ‘A young boy like this inspires you. Since it has its own departments, there is also a healthy competition between Mart and me.”

Wim and Mart’s colony is made up mostly of Gebr pigeons. Brugemann and Jelle Jellema. There is still a touch of the old about it, consisting for the most part of Brinkman pigeons. Without a doubt, the incorporation in 1994 of three Brugemann pigeons was key to the development of his loft and that of other friends. Wim acquired in that year 2 children from the couple “Orhan X Myra” and a son from “Orhan X Tycha” who became basic pieces of his cultivation. Special mention without a doubt the male 469/94 “Jonge Barcelona” son of “Orhan X Myra”, responsible for great fliers and breeders. To this they added pigeons from JElle Jellema, without a doubt the fittest loft in recent years on the European circuit. Together Wim and Mart have 24 breeding pairs. Crossbreeding is carried out to breed new homing pigeons. The best pigeons are inbred to strengthen the breeding loft.


Marathon Noord runners-up

Wim and Mart Derksen took second place at the Marathon Noord in the international releases. They only gave up first place to Henk Wegh from Lochem. They took the 18th prize in Barcelona, ​​the 7th prize in Marseille and finally the 28th prize in Perpignan. At the national level, they won the 126th prize from Barcelona (also 158th and 3rd of 4 pigeons in the prizes), from Marseille the 26th national (2 entered and 1 prize) and from Perpignan the 261st national (the 3 pigeons from Perpignan in the 25 % of prizes). As in almost all international competitions, at the Marathon North, only the first two nominated pigeons count towards scoring points.


Leading females.

Two female pigeons took the decisive points of the championship, so Wim and Mart Derksen from Almelo finished 2nd in the Marathon Noord of the international releases. The first was ‘la 427’ in 2015. He won the 16th in Barcelona and the 28th in Perpignan. At the national level, this meant, respectively, the 126th and the 261st award. This female comes from ‘Son Mister Marseille’. Mister Marseille has won many awards (including the 91st Marseille national and the 4th VNCC Limoges). This male is predominantly of the Brugemann breed and later also turned out to be a good breeder. The mother of ‘427’ is a Jellema female. descends from ‘Rode Barabas’ (Jelle Jellema times Harold Zwiers) with his daughter Hellas. There are already several good descendants of the mother of ‘of 427’.

The second topper is ‘the 971’ from 2015. He won 7th Marseille at Marathon Noord and 26th nationally. This dark white flying female also comes from a son of ‘Mister Marseille’ with a Brugemann female. We can still find ‘De Orhan’ at its origin. The dam of ‘de 971’ comes from a son of ‘Mister Marseille’ (by a Brugemann hen). This son of ‘Mister Marseille’ was mated to a female with ancestry of 50% Brinkman and 50% Brugemann.

Loft of Anthony (father) y Mart.

“El 427”, 16º Barcelona and 28º Perpignan, granddaugther of “Mister Marseille”

“El 971”, 7º Marathon Noord and 26º National Marseille.

Racing season

The season started with 90 pigeons in the racing team (70% of which are yearlings). The youngsters only competed in the last races, so they have to move a lot when they reach yearlings. So, they are going to cart as much as possible early on. If the weather is good, they train weekly with the club until the middle distance, and then they jump as the distance increases. Everything is played naturally. The nest position on 12-16 day old eggs is their favourite, but the female position with 3-4 day old chicks is also used. In Marseille one of the first national prizes was won. This Marseille pigeon came home broken after the heavy St Vincent release, although the pigeons were released at noon. A yellow pill was used in the recovery of the pigeon, and later the gradual return to the normal training regimen. In the days leading up to basketing in Marseille, we could see the vitality and enthusiasm in the pigeon. This translated into reaching a top prize on the day of the release.

Matchmaking takes place on March 18 each year. Pigeons raise a pair of young. Everything seemed to be normal in 2018, however, the beginnings were not satisfactory at all. From the weekend of Barcelona and Dax things started to go better until the end. Every year is different. Last year, in 2017, the season went well from the beginning, but the final stretch was very hard.

Why was the weekend in Barcelona and Dax better? Searching for a reason, Wim notes: ‘Mart hadn’t had time to clean the loft for a few days. On the other hand, it has gone well in Barcelona. So we don’t clean until the end of August. You never know for sure if that was the reason. But if something goes well, you have to follow that line. Now, in the fall, we have started cleaning again. In winter you have to take better care of the pigeons than in summer. In winter, the prizes of the next season are won. A good moulting period is decisive for the future”.


Care and Experience

Pigeons are provided with Beyers signature mix. For the most part, the Koopman (All-In-One) mix is ​​used. Initially, Beyers’ breeding mixture is also incorporated. The menu is complemented by P40, TOVO and caramel seeds. The pigeons are regularly checked by Jelle Jellema (especially the Mart pigeons). Before the season, the pigeons are given a yellow De Weerd pill or a little trichomonas cure. During the flight season, he only administers any medication when it is strictly necessary. Fortunately, that almost never happens.

All in all, the season has gone well… Wim and Mart: ‘We are satisfied with that. We would have liked to have obtained more prices at the beginning, but in the end, we are satisfied. We have a pretty solid team. ‘Mart:’ When I started racing with my grandfather in 2015, I transferred some pigeons from my old loft, and precisely these pigeons are the ones that got the best places in Barcelona and Perpignan this season”.

Wim and Mart are passionate pigeon fanciers. However, it is still a hobby. Wim thinks that taking care of the pigeons is the best. And Mart? … ‘Raise leading pigeons!’


Springboard into the future.

After the great season of 2018 with his grandfather, Mart has decided to settle in his garden competing since 2019 alone. He had a very good learning period near his grandad. Now on top of the old lines of his grandfather Wim, Brugemann, Brikman, he has incorporated exclusive animals from Jelle Jellema, Hugo Batenburg and Gerard Koopman (Noel Peiren line). Among its breeders we find descendants of “New Laureaat”, “Kleine Jade”, “Silvie”, “Rom ee”, “Jef”, a whole arsenal of great flyers with important prizes in national and international flights on the European circuit. Mart enjoys pigeons and the sport and believes that Gran Fondo releases are calmer and less stressful than sprint and middle-distance flights. He is an ambitious young man, eager to learn and reach the coveted positions at the top of the podium. Go for it!