The regular Wednesday blogs start again.UPDATED!!

Back home again after a long trip.
14,25 hours was the trip from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi and,…I was really lucky.
Nobody came to sit in my row ,so I had 3 chairs for myself and slept for 7 hours!!!Must have needed it.

The 2d part was 7 hours and 35 minutes. Longer than normal but KLM did not fly over Iran and had to fly via Saudi Arabia and Egypt to fly from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam.AND,…on top of that the captain told us they had a 300 km./h upper wind, so delay.
Not too bad though half an hour in total.

Great to see my daughter and granddaughter at Schiphol airport. They came before going to school and work.
Grandson and son in law were at home and Rodger brought me home…. a 1.30 drive.

With 0 dgr. C it is not too bad here, but quite a difference with the 45 in Tocumwal and the 43 in Lake Keepit.

Have to still read a lot of mails from people who have shared their thoughts over the track-debacle.So I come back on that later.

The flag is travelling as well. You know, “it” went with Liz to the UK for the next WWGC in HusBos via Sydney.

The FAI Flag chilling along with me and the Team GB medal haul waiting for the first leg of our flight to HusBos… By Liz Sparrow.

For now it is unpacking and trying to think correct with a head full of ” cotton”.

So …Thanks again for all your interest in that great soaring heaven Lake Keepit and this WWGC 2019/20; one to never forget, for many reasons.

Got more mails and I want to share one with you to make the picture complete.It’s from the president of the GFA, with a reaction on what happened written to all current GFA members .

You may have heard that the Australian Womens team at the Womens World Gliding Championships recently held at Lake Keepit did a fantastic job, only to have a penalty imposed as a result of a protest that took 250 individual points off all the pilots, losing podium positions for two.

While we have only just seen the formal jury report, I do know that none of our team would intentionally act in an unsportsmanlike manner.

In an attempt to remove the stigma of cheating and protect and clear both our team, and the GFA’s good name, we are conducting an urgent review into the process. The protest was about the use of non delayed tracking information in the contest.

The investigation will be conducted by a Barrister who has a history in the Police force. The terms of reference will focus on who and how the information was obtained and if it, in fact, was against the rules. It will ensure that the correct processes were applied.

Lest you think this is a whitewash, it is not. If we find that an appeal is appropriate we will do that, if not we will do whatever is the correct thing for our organization, our pilots, and Australia.

If we decide to appeal the loss of points the appeal must be made through the Australian Sport Aviation Confederation (ASAC) which is the Australian National Airsport Control member of the International Gliding Committee, which meets in early March.

The investigator has been asked to present his report to the GFA Executive and Board within three weeks. Those in any way involved in the process will not be part of the investigation or decision making process, this is both to protect them as individuals and to ensure the integrity of the process.  

Please give our team the credit they deserve, they did some fantastic things, and don’t need to be pilloried for giving their all.

Peter Cesco


Gliding Federation of Australia.         

21st January 2020

Coming back on the last sentence!
I like all Aussie girls and indeed they did fantastic things and I think they could have actually won WITHOUT external aid!!!
BUT,….the worst thing is,….We will never ever know NOW, how they won and that’s going from heaven into hell for the girls , specially Jo and Lisa.
Only those who gave them the external aid are to blame in my eyes!!

Here is a short story , from somewhere mid week at the mobile bar with a lot of mates, by one Aussie crew member:
We have access to g-track without delay
“Impossible you mean OGN [open glider network], I guess”
“No , what I say, if the Europeans would be smart they could find it at internet as well, it’s legal you only have to be smart enough to find it. We are going to tell everybody after the comps, how we did it.”

I guess this crew did not know it was illegal and then still was in good faith.
Just to let you know.

And one other reaction by Mike;
I’d have thought when you find a security flaw in a system you report it and have it fixed, not exploit it for advantage. “

John Good wrote a long story here is part of it the rest , the more technical site, you can find on:

“This contest naturally wanted to make tracking displays available to interested spectators around the world.  For this, they chose to use what are known as GFA trackers – self-contained cell-based trackers supported by the Gliding Federation of Australia, and well proven at many Australian contests.  With the exception of the occasional battery failure, these trackers and the online software that displays their data do a beautiful job, and the tracking for this contest has been popular around the world (most notably, in the USA). Pilots naturally have some concern about carrying a tracker that continually discloses their position, but this concern is addressed by the rule (noted above) requiring a 15-minute delay on the display of such data. So far so good.

But at a special meeting of Team Captains on Friday morning, we were stunned to learn that the Australian team found a way to receive undelayed data from all GFA trackers.  They thus had full real-time coverage of all gliders all the time, and were freely using this data to help their pilots. 

Along with almost everyone here, I do not believe this was a plan to intentionally do something underhanded.  The Australian team position is that they found a web page that required no password or other access restrictions, making the GFA tracking data available there fair game.  They further believe that what they were obtaining (real-time positions for all gliders) is the same data available to any team that went to the trouble of deploying private Flarm stations in the contest task area.  They though of it as a clever and easy way to obtain the same information others would be able to get.

It won’t surprise you to hear that the other 9 Team Captains (of which I am one) did not endorse this view.  The first point is that the contest is required by rule to impose a 15-minute delay on the tracking display, so a website that offered undelayed data ought to have been secured, something anyone with knowledge of the rules would surely have known. Next, even if was not secured, any scheme that uses such data undermines the 15-minute delay requirement, thus creating a rules violation.  Pilots accepted the GFA trackers (as the rules required them to do) on good faith; they must now digest the fact that, in effect, their gliders were “bugged” during this contest.

The initial ruling from the contest organizers was that the receipt of this illicit data was unsporting behavior, but because the Australian pilots had been told – and sincerely believed – this scheme was acceptable, no penalties would be applied

This did not sit well with the 9 Team Captains.  If the data was illicit (as the contest had stated), extra speed and distance obtained from the use of it could not be handwaved away, even if pilots weren’t aware of the underlying problem.  The response to this objection was a revised ruling: each Australian pilot would be penalized 250 points.  This was protested, both by some teams who argued that the correct penalty was disqualification, and by the Australian team (who probably argued – correctly – that there is no specific rule against using the unsecured GFA tracking data).  The final determination was that the penalty would be amount to 25 points per day per pilot, so a total of 225 points in this 9-day contest.

This is perhaps approximately just – and certainly devastating to our contest.  Jo Davis, flying beautifully in Club class, was knocked from first to fourth place; Elena Ferganani now has a gold medal that must always be bittersweet.   Lisa Trotter (a good friend of mine) lost her third place medal in Standard Class.  The contest organization here, just at the end of an impressively well-run event representing several years of work, must now digest the fact that the most persistent memory of this contest is likely to be one distasteful to everyone.

What should happen as a result of this?  The contest organization has promised to produce a full and complete description of exactly what happened.  The IGC (International Gliding Commission, responsible for WGC rules, procedures and policies) should confront the fact that their decision to abandon the level playing field contributed to this.”
Thanks John!

And on a MORE HAPPY and very PROUD NOTE!!!

This WWGC standard class trophy was first awarded in 1979, the year of my birth. It has never left Europe, but traveled to Australia and now I get to bring it home. 🇺🇸 I’m so proud! 
by Sarah and Jason.

And from France and Germany the 3 JS 3 winners in 18 m. ,…one gold one silver and one bronze.

With Anne, Melanie and Katrin.
As shared by JC.

AND ….for Elena the Italian soaring world has only one word ;

And on another VERY SAD NOTE!!!!
3 Firefighters from the USA died after their plane crashed in Australia!!

Prayers for the firefighting crew by Swiss Chris.

CU next Wednesday.

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