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The Future of Glider racing

Bringing gliding to the world and the living rooms of aviation enthusiasts

Gliding Australia is pleased to announce live tracking will now be centralised and available for future competitions around Australia, bringing advanced live glider racing to Australia, and the world.

The trackers have been used at Skyrace GP for a number of years and have brought glider racing into the homes of glider pilots, friends, families, neighbours, and sport lovers around the world.  During the competition, the trackers are placed in each competitor’s cockpit to send a signal and display the positioning to a website where anyone can sit back and enjoy the race, live!  The trackers also supply the pilot live information about heading, location, and ranking for the race. 

Nick Gilbert and Todd Sandercock created the trackers to engage with others who were otherwise not able to be involved. 

Gilbert states “Racing gliders is intense and exciting and highly skilled, but to those on the ground, very underwhelming.  The Skyrace concept made a family and friend accessible competition, and the SkyMate design came from that – how best to present a competition flight to non-glider pilots in a way that they will be most likely to understand what’s going on.  It also simplifies racing and makes turnpoint mistakes as unlikely as possible.”

Opportunities

The statistics say it all.  The last Skyrace GP was watched in over 26 countries, and had over 1000 unique views.  Viewing audiences included other glider pilots from Australia and around the world, but not only that, the friends and family of competing pilots were watching this on their living room TVs cheering competitors on.

Because it’s real-time, it makes it much more exciting.  It takes gliding into the modern live sporting world such as in sailing, golf, tennis, and darts – yes Darts!

New Generation Trackers

The latest generation (SkyMate V3) will be able to be used for all competition formats and current rules and is very reliable, the battery giving around 20 hours of flight time.  There will be a link on the Gliding Australia webpage for all events using the live tracking.

Benefits

The advantages are not just with the pilots and supporters.  For those competition organisers, trackers simplify scoring, and saving the work of volunteers.

Gliding Australia has supported and partnered with this initiative, and initially 60 Trackers are available for competition use.  The benefits are numerous:

  • Exposure to non-gliding demographic
  • Opportunities for sponsorship
  • Simplicity for Comp organisers
  • Used at wave camps, record attempts, and distance flights.

The trackers will be next used at the Queensland State Competition in September/October 2022, and thereafter at a number of national and state comps that follow this season. 

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