Yours in our great Sport of Tipplering, Jon Winchester N.T.A.A. [For PDF version Click Here]
I have been asked to give an update on the Tippler scene in Australia and hope someone find the following of some interest. The hobby started for me in 2004 when I was given two pair by Danny McCarthy, one of these still has a perch in my stock loft, then 6 young where sent by another fancier and after losing one on settling I soon saw the 5 young fly 7,9 then 10 hrs on barley mix. Not knowing any better I fed them up with regular pigeon mix and had a DQ of 11.45. It should be noted that at the time, no one in Australia had flown Tipplers for longer so I was just a little excited with my clumsy result even as a DQ. I soon had a personal best of 12.04hrs This excitement was too much for me to handle and with another guy, we formed Australia’s first Tippler club, the A.F.T.U. Though I am not involved now with the club I am proud to have been instrumental in it’s conception.
In my desire for more “activity” amongst fellow flyers I formed a new club (N.T.A.A.) purely focussed on “flying” and due to this being an admission criteria our numbers will always be small. Soon after the new club was formed I had a timed official fly in 40 knot northerly winds of 8.28hrs. Though this time is a trot for our overseas friends, it has stood for 3 years as the only completed “official” fly in our countries Tippler history. This continues to frustrate me deeply but I am slowly realizing that you cannot “force” guys to compete and I stand guilty of trying, many, times. At the time of writing I have a kit of 7 old cocks at mid height in training so with luck I will do better this season. As any man in pigeons knows, you meet some “interesting” folk, but I must mention my good fortune in finding a sparring partner in Robert Verbeek, a well respected pigeon man and a fair flyer of Budapest he has already flown double figures several times in the last few months and I am thrilled to have him as our Club Secretary. We fly by C.N.T.U. rules and I believe that without the tireless support and tuition from day one, from gentlemen like Oscar, Luka and Nino I may never have even considered forming a club let alone suffer the ups and downs of our crazy Sport. Since I started this sport I have heard numerous reasons from locals, as to why Tipplers cannot be flown 10 plus hours here in Australia. One “excuse” that stands out is our high barometric pressure and how this depletes the birds energy when up in the pins? Having experienced many dawn dusk flys I take no prisoners in this area. So why has Australia “dragging the chain” in the Tippler arena? Glad you asked.
1) The quality of our stock is more than adequate, as has been proven.
2) We all have 168 hrs a week and many manage to compete, with full time jobs.
3) You could not wish for better advice than our Flying Tippler forum.
There is only one thing impeding our progress down here and that is the female Peregrine Falcon. In four years I have witnessed many, many young taken during the first few tentative flights and many more birds A.W.O.L. from attacks. As a fairly competitive type, my only comfort is that my fellow Aussies have the same problem and though its sickening to see happen, at least the playing fields are level. I have been called a “pioneer” for our sport down here, well I don’t know about that but one thing I have seen is that if YOU put in some effort, others take notice……..well …we can only hope so.
Good flying to ALL who dare, you will find it’s well worth it.
So in closing, our progress may seem slow but my passion has always been to fly a kit for 15 hours and I will not rest until I have done it, what makes the journey even better is seeing others hit their own benchmarks as we must never forget the new member who struggles to believe he could ever make the grade and therefore loses heart.Whatever you’re in the Sport for, good flying to you and may your kit come home safe and sound.
Robert Verbeek , NTAA Secretary.
My Tippler hobby started back in the 80’s, by 1994 frustrated with the rubbish and poor flying ability of the tippler I decided to change to the Budapest H/Flier after seeing a kit flying at a club members house, I ended up buying 3 pairs from him and from that began a long term friendship and to this day we are still good mates. After flying them for 12 years and achieving a flying competition record of 7hrs 30mins with the Victorian H/Flying Pigeon club it was time for a change. After hearing about all the new imports I joined the NTAA, I acquired tipplers from a person outside the club. He sent me various bloodlines from which I bred from and flew the young, still not happy with their performance I was ready to go back to the Budapest which I did for 1 year. Still keeping in contact with the NTAA, Jon Winchester the President rekindled my interest in the tipplers by loaning me 3 pairs of which the 3 cock birds gave him the Aussie record. After breeding 4 rounds to establish my stock for the following year I returned them back to Jon. I flew the 4th round and couldn’t believe how well they flue, so from that day I was hooked on tipplers. As they got older the hours got longer, so far my personal best is 10hrs 5mins. I even changed my loft to suit housing the tipplers and the droppers which hide below them, only to be seen at feed time. I love the way they fly, low to medium height, tight kit and I can drop them at the end of the day with the helmets. My bloodline is Hughes x Shannon, I’m breeding F1s and F2s and flying F3s this year ,I’m sure that if the peregrine stays away I can achieve some good flying hours. I love flying pigeons and I’m sure the tipplers will be with me till the end . . . Thanks Jon for putting me on the right bloodlin