SAFA Skysailor Magazine

12 SKY SAILOR September | October 2020 coding the system, whilst creating a solid back office which got the platform to where it is today. The TPC web pages are nice, neat and kept intuitive and easy to use. Registration and downloads are all there. A tidy mapping platform can be accessed independently or through the results pages. Pilots can see their individual flights; their tagged points are highlighted either per flight or in total on a variety of topographic backgrounds with their respective tracklogs. It’s easy to see what you have and haven’t tagged in any particular challenge or sub-challenge. The results table is a sortable table to show who’s done which TPs and when. You can see every uploaded track, see what was possible in the area and crib off other routes and sources to go tagging. You say ‘national and international’, you’re thinking big then? We see no reason why the TPC platform can’t be utilised in fly zones anywhere in the world. We have already built in and tested the capabilities to host sub-challenges for localised events with local TPs, held over a limited time. These events can be run within a state-wide TP Challenge with pilots organising a weekend challenge in a specific region. Having the Sub-Challenge integrated into the state or regional TPC allows a pilot to add to their overall score in both. The platform is used for processing tracklogs, topo mapping and scoring. Simple and succinct. The platform is certainly robust enough to deal with multiple challenges in multiple locations. We’re building on experience of the last season, and the Victorian local test sub-challenge from this winter, the ‘Mystic Magic’ TPC, to be ready for future expansion, and we aim to offer the platform to other states and maybe even create a national (all states) level challenge. Similarly, we’re open to it being used internationally by other nations who would like a ready-to-go system. Mapping is gazetted from Google and other tools, so it’s application can be worldwide. We’re also considering a ‘Worldwide Purple Peaks Mountain Challenge’, involving tagging major peaks worldwide (once we’re allowed out again that is). I think our club pilots would like that (the local challenge, not necessarily the big mountain challenge!), so how does my club set up a challenge for our pilots? In Victoria currently, pilots registering for the VIC TP Challenge 2021 nominate their affiliated club. Once the pilot has uploaded their flight, the system populates the results page which is then easily sortable by club. This way, you can easily run a Club Challenge within the VIC TP Challenge utilising all the TPs throughout Victoria. Therefore, a club challenge is already integrated. Similarly, the results page can be sorted by pilot category, so you can see who’s doing well in each class. Once registered for the state challenge, a pilot can also register for any sub-challenges that have been organised. Club pilots who have registered for their State TPC or your sub-challenge, can then download the specified TP file to their instruments, fly their day(s) and upload the IGC files of their flights. The scoring and administration are then pretty much automated. Scores from each IGC flight go to both the main challenge and to the sub-challenges. For the pilot this means one IGC flight upload enters into several options to populate the respective results. A set-up for other states can operate similarly when those states provide the necessary waypoint files for their regions. Their flights can then be similarly sorted by overall tagged, flight tagged, club, category, event, etc. To set up a specific sub-challenge, anywhere worldwide, we would simply need: • a challenge title, • event duration, and • a set of TPs for the given fly zone. (Our mapping system can be used to build on TP densities, and our team can advise on positioning). This can be a mix of previously used waypoints (e.g. those used by traditional comps) or a completely new set. That waypoint set is then fixed with default 400m radii for the duration of the event and appears on the results mapping system. Note: We’re in the process of developing a more automated system for regional/sub-challenges, for the time being, get in touch via the webpage contacts and we’ll cater for your needs. What is the cost to the pilot? We secured a grant from VHPA to help with external costs and have some supporting sponsors lined up. The costs are ongoing so we’re hoping users will press the ‘DONATE’ button to help with the running costs. A little from a lot of participants will keep us on the air. We’re avoiding direct advertising, but welcome sport asso- ciated supporting sponsors to partner with us. Bright Flight, Fly2Base and Fly Manilla, with special thanks to Wal Martin and Godfrey, have so far offered their valued support. Many thanks to Wal and Martin for the generous support from their respective operations. The TPC development crew are a bunch of pilots sharing a passion for free flight, but we’re not a charity, the system has hosting costs. Basically, if you wish to run a sub-challenge and are charging an event fee, we appreciate a donation – either fixed or per pilot. For 2021, we suggest the short-term local sub-challenges to have a reasonable fee, but we’re offering the initial state level events as a free-to-enter challenge. We keep the running costs down, but need to remain sustainable. Please discuss this directly with the TPC admin, we’re open to considerations on options. When does the Victoria Turnpoint Challenge start and where do we sign up? We’re starting the Victoria TPC 2021 on 1 September 2020 through to 1 May 2021, running for the entire Victorian summer flying season. We can start any sub-challenges and other states’ challenges anytime throughout the season. Indeed, we realise that we could all be Covid compro- mised at various periods and some may be able to get out while others may not, but those who can, can and those who can’t; can play catch-up later. To register go to and familiarise yourself with the TP locations, download the TP file, get out there, fly, tag some TPs, upload your IGC and check out yours and everyone else’s flights. Enjoy the journey and have fun! From the Turnpoint Challenge Development Team – Snowy, Mike, Duane, Jacqx, Jan, Pete, Ray. Victoria Turnpoint Challenge 2021