The National Flying Club took advantage of the Bailiwick’s blue travel corridor for people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
A small team, which was desperate to be able to race over the Channel from France to the UK, but could not do so because of new Brexit regulations, settled for the next best thing – Pembroke car park.
In two trucks, they had a total of 7,861 pigeons from all over the UK eager to race back to their lofts.
While some had an 80-mile journey to the south coast, others had more than 400 miles to fly so, although they can fly at around 50mph depending on wind conditions, it was important the birds were liberated before it got too late in the day.
Dom McCoy, from the National Flying Club, said the winner would be calculated not on how fast they got back to their loft, but by their calculated velocity.
‘Pigeon racing is a massive industry, and not many people realise that,’ he said.
‘We’ve got cocks and hens from about 600 private members in these two trucks, some are the Queen’s – she’s our patron.’
Alongside the National Flying Club trucks was a Steve Teasedale British and Continental Pigeon Transport truck, which was a different federation but also had thousands of the birds on board.