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My pigeon story

It all started when my dad brought me my first pigeon when I was 5 yrs old. Before I knew it I had ten pigeons. I started with white pigeons. Since then, I had been racing pigeons. I am 60 yrs old right now, still racing, and hopefully, I can race for another 30 years more.

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In my younger days, I started with Sions and Stassarts which I got from Charles Heitzman. As years went by, I handled Bekaerts, Bastins, Van Loons, Janssens and all different kinds of bloodlines. Currently, I have mostly Devriendts and the Bandits strain.

My pigeon racing career

In 1969, I started racing with the Pacific Racing Club (PCS) in Honolulu, Hawaii. I flew with them for 5 yrs and could never forget the biggest race in the island that I won. Then I moved to the other side of the island and became one of the founders of a club called West Oahu Flyers in the West side combine. I flew with the club for years. In 1975, I moved to Fremont, California and started to fly with the Fremont Racing Pigeon Club until 1999. In 2000, I joined Martinez Racing Pigeon Club, and I have been flying with them since.

My birds are doing well in other lofts as well even if other fanciers cross them with other birds. Michael Jardine, a good friend of mine, is a good pigeon man and has won many races. He has about 60 percent of my birds and they are all from my Bandits and Devriendts crosses. He crosses these birds with his birds and they have all been winning for years. Two guys from Fremont, Derek Phelps and Bob Demello, are both good pigeon men. They both fly my Bandits and win the races.

My advice to all starters

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I give all starters this advice to help them start out with the sport without getting themselves ripped off by fanciers who take advantage of new fanciers. A good way is to grab a combine sheet of the area where the fanciers wants to fly in, look at the results, and find out the most consistent top flyer.

- Charles Petrowich