Tocumwal Diary…last day!

It’s time to go home again. Tomorrow morning they bring me to Shepparton where I take the train to Melbourne.
From there via Abu Dhabi back to Amsterdam.
As always, Australia is my second home, always difficult to leave again. But,..home makes me happy too, so in fact I am a lucky girl to have 2 great homes.
We had the worst thunderstorms and loads of rain last night. The drought here, seems to be broken too!!! Good for the farmers.

I am still following all updates about the tracking-“scandal”. I am glad the jury has reached a decision and stated this in writing now.
TC’s who are not happy with the final result can take action after this written statement if they wish.
It remains 225 penalty points not the 250 as set by the CD and her staff.

There are a lot of “emotional” reactions, but the point is to let the FAI take care of this ,as it really hurts our sport!!!

Here is a statement NOT BY ME, but I just received it by mail and it shows pretty clear what has happened there. I got several mails but this one, how harsh it maybe sound , clarifies a lot.
That’s why I share it.

“The home team (Australia) had a (support) team member who had been involved, some years ago, in the creation of the tracking system used in the WWGC 2019. He was in possession of an url (address) that gave him access to the raw data (without the 15 minute delay) of all the participants in the competition. This information was used to coach the home team with respect to starting times, the location of thermals and their strength etc. It created a huge advantage for the pilots of the home team. It was not possible for other teams to find this url (address) so the disadvantage for them was real and could not be undone.
Was it illegal for the home team member to type in the specific url? No, probably not, but the data “found” was not owned by him. It was owned exclusively by the competition management. Seeing those data was one thing but using it to cash in on a competitive advantage for the home team pilots, was not only unethical but nothing less than plain embezzlement. A gliding version of insider trading as a matter of fact.

The team captain of the home team allowed the use of this “stolen” information on a daily basis, misleading to a certain extent his pilots with respect to the legality of the data used to coach them. They all knew it was “zero delay” tracking info but they conveniently (or ultra naively) overlooked the fact that it was in fact cheating on a monumental scale.
The 250 pt (later 225 pt) penalty issued to each home team pilot was basically a smooth over. You get 50 pts penalty for missing the barrel around a turn point by a few hundred meters, even when you round it on the outside of the barrel. That is a pretty stiff penalty…., but for unsporting behavior the price is a measly 25 pts a day. It apparently pays to cheat if the penalty is so light!!! According to the rules, as I interpret them, the whole home team should have been disqualified following this affair. 
You wonder how the kingpin of this affair, the home team captain, who is also a leading executive in the Gliding Federation of Australia and a long time IGC delegate, can keep his position after this debacle..!
This occurrence has severely tarnished the image of gliding in general, the GFA in particular and has damaged the reputation of FAI. A very thorough investigation by FAI into this affair seems a necessity.

Also TC John from the successful team of the USA will get back to it
This ought to be my final report from this contest, ending on a very high note.  But for an unfortunate reason I’ll need to add another later.  Briefly, the contest was engulfed in controversy today concerning access  by one team to real-time tracking information that by rule was required to be delayed by 15 minutes (so as to blunt its value for tactical guidance).  In my report, I’ll describe what I know of this, and the effect it already has had (hint: not good, nor welcomed by anyone).

You can find his report later at

These are the last words from Australia.
It was MY PLEASURE!!!!!
Thanks for all support, THANKS FOR READING WITH SO MANY.
Keep all the good things from Lake Keepit in mind,…they deserve that!!!!

Cheers Ritz

4 thoughts on “Tocumwal Diary…last day!

    1. Hi Rick,

      glad you read it all. It was a lot of work but one way or another,
      I like to observe gliding and it’s people.
      So it is MY pleasure.

      Take care and all the best and it will be interesting to see what the GFA /IGC,
      will do to avoid what happened in Lake Keepit!!!
      Very important otherwise competition flying might be dead.

      Cheers Ritz

  1. Ritz, thank you for the informative and excellent reporting. The photos are a great addition to the story behind the championships and add the human face to it.
    Save trip home to Amsterdam. All the best, Kurt from Switzerland.

    1. Hi Kurt,

      just arrived home 2 hours ago!!0 sgr. C.
      Thanks for your kind words,….it was nice to get to know you.

      Who knows we m one day in Keepit.

      Cheers Ritz

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