How is a race started? How far is each race? Get to know Flat Racing with our easy to follow guide.
Flat racing is a classic 400m straight flight sprint to the lure over level ground. The race is timed between a start beam and a finish beam. Flat Racing is used to determine the fastest Falcon.
The Flat Race originated in the Middle East as an extension of training falcons in the desert. The Falconer is placed in the Starting Box and unhoods the falcon who sees a second falconer swinging a lure or telwah made of dried bird wings. As she leaves the starting box the falcon breaks the first beam and the clock starts. The Finish beam is set at either 300 metres or 400 metres and the falcon flies low and fast up the course, so close to the ground that she can use ‘ground effect’ to enhance her wing strokes. Competitors watch the clock closely.
The race is all about timing and only a few thousandths of a second make all the difference between winning and second place. Most of the falcons racing at Vowley are young birds, still developing and yet to reach their full potential, but they give buyers a good indication which ones to snap up and continue racing over the winter in the Gulf.