As representatives of the Manilla Seven, we feel the need to respond to Godfreys comments on his postings on paraglidingforum.com to clarify the facts about the situation.
We have a policy whereby we want this matter to be resolved by the proper channels through the local Manilla Skysailors Club and by the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (the National Para/Hang Organisation).
Its a pity Godfrey couldnt stand by his own statement of not commenting on this situation, but since he has decided to elude to there being something more sinister at play than the simple team selection process that occurred, we will give you the base facts on that situation.
Regarding Godfreys quote Read this : it is NOT about the initial team selection, the facts are as follows:
The one and only time that the Competitions Committee and Firm Team Members met in order to select the Worlds Team for 2005 was during a bad weather day at the Manilla XC Comp in January 05. By applying the selection criteria as per our Competitions Manual, the pilots applying for positions were ranked in order as follows: Rhett Rockman, Craig Donnell, Godfrey Wenness. At that time, the only position available was the 4th position on the Australian team. That was offered to Rhett Rockman and he accepted.
Two weeks afterwards, one of the original three firm positions on the team had to pull out, and therefore the next ranked pilot Craig Donnell was offered that place on the team and he accepted.
One week before the start of the Worlds, Australia was granted a 5th Team Position by the FAI, which was offered to Godfrey and he declined.
There was no other team selection meeting after the initial Team Selection meeting in January 05, as the criteria and rankings were being applied as per the decision.
Regarding Godfreys quote One needs to act in a extremely grossly damaging way to have this privilege questioned, reviewed or ultimately revoked. The facts are as follows:
The Team Selection process that was followed in 2005 is the exact same as had been used in 1999 and 2003 where Godfrey did get selected for the Australian Team, and others missed out. It is strange that this year, the committee and pilots are acting in an extremely grossly damaging way .
We wish to stand by our policy and not discuss this matter further on public forums, but of course if the truth is misrepresented by the persons involved we reserve the right to comment.