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Junior Coaching Initiative
Australia is to host the Junior World Gliding Championships (JWGC) in 2028, at Lake Keepit Soaring Club. This will be a great opportunity to focus our efforts on Junior pilots development particularly with regard to cross country flying skills.

The SDP have applied to the Board for funding for a new Junior coaching program over at least the next 3 years. One aim will be to have a focus on developing a Junior squad leading up to JWGC.

In the coming season there will be Junior coaching events in each region, with National events to follow next season. As we get closer to the event a Junior squad will be formed to select pilots to fly for Australia in JWGC.

Let us know if you'd like to participate or are available to assist with this initiative.

OGN station installation
The SDP are looking to assist in improvements to the OGN network. We have been assisting with OGN station installation, particularly in more remote areas, by providing funding through a cost sharing arrangement. Funding will be equally split between one or more regions and the SDP and will be limited to equipment expenses.
Steve Trone and Jayden Bashford have been providing great assistance with Jayden arranging hosting of sites on some of his client’s properties.
The aim is to expand the range of the current OGN to cover areas frequented by gliding clubs flying long cross-country tasks, and to have as complete a coverage as possible of competition areas. This will improve SAR coverage in event of an outlanding and improve tracking coverage to promote the sport during regattas and competitions. Contact me if you have a suggested site.

The advent of extensive OGN coverage has made the need for, or benefit, of a 15 minute delay in tracking data redundant. While trackers were the only available technology, a delay was seen as being important for fairness in competitions. However, recent experience has shown that pilots are utilising OGN for real-time tracking information and that almost all pilots are enabling tracking via OGN even in high level competitions. Note that a tracking data delay is not a feature of the OGN system.
In addition to the broad use of OGN, the introduction of Pilot Event start procedures significantly reduces the potential for ‘leaching’ during the start and therefore reduces the opportunity to use real-time tracking for competitive advantage during the start procedure.

Accordingly, the SDP recently decided that the 15 minute delay for the Skymate trackers will no longer be required. The trackers are essential to the running and scoring of Grand Prix competitions and the team behind the trackers continue to investigate ways of making them relevant to other competitions as well.

A review of national competition rules will be progressed to ensure that use of OGN and/or Skymate trackers to provide real time tracking information is implemented in a fair and equitable manner.

Flashing Strobe lights
Members will be aware of canopy mounted or forward-facing strobe lights. Some are automatically activated by Flarm warnings. The IGC has been recommending them for World Championships for the last two seasons, but as of now, are making them mandatory for future World competitions.

The SDP have decided that for the next 3 years we will recommend them for Australian National and State based competitions with a view to maging them mandatory for the 2027/28 flying season.

Coach ratings – renewal due in August 2024

All Sliver and Diamond coach ratings across Australia have a common two year period and are due for renewal and re-accreditation by August of this year.
Regional managers will be in contact with each coach to advise them of the prerequisites for renewal. It will be the responsibility of each coach to advise by return email if they meet the criteria or what their experience has been over the last two years if it falls short of the requirement. Some discretion is allowable.

Credentials will be updated by the National Coach Pete Temple once a response has been received. This should make the process as easy as possible.
If you are a coach and have some questions, or would like to enquire about becoming a coach, then don’t hesitate to contact either your Regional Manager, Pete Temple or me.

MOSP 4 update
I apologise for the delays in updating this document, but we are now close to publishing it. At the time of writing, it has received consent from the executive and the SDP and will be presented to the Board for approval. Hopefully, at the time this article is published, it will be available on the Gliding Australia website.

There are significant updates to the Coaching sections and updates to the responsibilities of Competition Directors and Safety Officers following removal of these sections from MOSP 2 as part of the recent Part 149 upgrade.

To be consistent with the other panels of Operations and Airworthiness, we will change the title of Soaring Development Manager SDM to Regional Soaring Development Managers RSDM which is more in line with titles used by Ops and Airworthiness.

2024/25 National Championships

This year’s Multi Class Nationals (Open, 18 Meter, 15 Meter and Standard) will be held at the end of November hosted by Lake Keepit Gliding Club (23 November to 4 December 2024). The 2-Seat Nationals (20 meter and Sports 2 Seat) and Club Class will be at be hosted by the Temora Gliding Club in February 2025 (15th to 23rd). Start planning now and keep an eye on each Club’s website for entry details.

This year we have decided to move to a two-competition format, running Club Class in conjunction with the 2-Seat Nationals. Sports Class will be suspended for a season. We hope this schedule will find favour with pilots and look forward to well attended events. If demand increases, then we will look to see if Sports Class can be reinstated for later years.

It is also worth considering using the 2-Seat Nationals as a coaching or cross country training event. Don’t forget that you can fly hors concours. Provided you fly in a 2-seat glider, you can fly the same course as the competitors. This includes flying solo in a 2-seater for those gliders that have difficulty in being under all up flying weight with two pilots.

FAI Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix
Entries are open for the Australian FAI Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix to be held at Adelaide Soaring Club, Gawler South Australia in January 2025. Entries are being accepted in 18m, 15m and Standard class (with a handicap to be applied).
Entries can be made at the following site;

International Team Selection News
The Covid years badly affected our competition schedule with a number cancelled during that time. This in turn has resulted in delays in selection of International teams which is clearly undesirable when you consider the commitment and planning required. Selection uses competition results over two seasons with the first year counting for 40% with the second year being 60%. This had to be changed immediately after the Covid restrictions with one Nationals couinting for 100% selection. We now need to make some further changes in relation to upcoming World Championships to provide our selected pilots sufficient time to plan their campaigns.

First, there are two World competitions in Czech Republic. The first is in June next year for Club, 15 Meter and Standard and the second in July for the Women’s Worlds. We need to have those teams selected now to give our pilots the best chance of securing gliders, transporting equipment and planning their campaign. Discussions are underway with pilots ranked in the top 20 in Australia, including those that have previously competed in a Worlds competition in the last 4 years, as to the best process. Based on those who are keen to commit to competing, we are hopeful of circumventing the normal selection process and shortly being able to announce a team for both competitions.

The Open, 18 Meter and 20 Meter Worlds will be held in 2026. For selection purposes, we are proposing the past 2024 Benalla Nationals and the 2024 Tocumwal 2-Seat Nationals will each count as 40% selection competition. The Lake Keepit Multi Class Nationals in November this year will be a 60% selection competition as will be the Temora 2-Seat competition in January next year. The Temora Club Class competition will be a 40% selection competition with the following year being a 60% selection year for the Club Class Worlds in 2027.

Changes will also be made to the Team Selection criteria. In addition to Australian competitions, we will allow pilots to use an international competition, but only for a 40% selection year. We will require pilots to fly in an Australian Nationals for the 60% selection year. International competitions will not be allowed to be used for a 60% selection year. This is to ensure that for that year, pilots will compete against their peers for selection purposes.

Further updates will be provided to ensure members are fully aware of ongoing selection decisions and criteria. Please don’t hesitate to

Happy Soaring

Craig Vinall
Chair Soaring Development Panel

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