The first ‘Fly Vial Racking’ championship was held three years ago by Pathtech to acknowledge fly researchers at the Australian Fly Meeting.

Fast forward to several years later, and the championship is now ingrained as part of the Australian Fly Meeting, with researchers looking forward to beating their times every year.

Once again, we noticed a few familiar faces this year, including our cowboy and his trusty steed. However, there were also many new faces.

As always, it took a few brave participants to get us up and running, however, as soon as the ice was broken, a steady stream of researchers came around to try their luck, and get a coffee at the Old West Coffee Saloon.

Why are these flugs so tight?

This is just a reminder that the Cat# FS49-102 flug does need to be a tight fit in order to create a tight fit around the narrow vial and prevent mite contamination. As many of our competitors discovered, it’s all about the ‘Squeeze and Twist’ technique to get the flug easily into the vial.

Competition was tight all day, with the final crown, and gleaming trophy going to Tinna Yang from the Batterham Lab in a time of 0.43. A special mention also goes to Simon Baxter from the University of Adelaide, as the only lab head to compete.

The lab crown this year went to the Warr lab from Monash Uni again, once again defending their crown. Can they maintain their flying fast racking speed again next year?

Pathtech is looking forward to sponsoring the meeting again next year, and we hope we may see a challenger for the existing record from 2016 of 0.37.73 by Jan Manent, Richardson group, LaTrobe University.

Getting to know our researchers

Pathtech is grateful to be part of this. From our discussions with some of the researchers, we’ve noticed the importance of promoting genetic studies using the fly model.

Basic mechanism research still has a place that will have a positive impact on downstream applications. The fly community is growing as is the fly meeting, and Pathtech is proud to be a part of this.


Tinna Yang, Batterham lab = 0.43:80

Katrina Mitchell, Harvey lab = 0.44:00

Karyn Moore, Warr lab = 0.44:07

Pontus Leblanc, Robin lab = 0.48:15

Belal Skohayeb, Millard lab = 0.48:25

Simon Baxter, Baxter lab = 0.49:10

Perran Ross, Hottmann lab = 0.52:53

What is at stake?

Every year, we crown the ‘Fastest Racker in the West’ who takes home fame and glory in the form of a beaming gold trophy, which could be the most important trophy of a researchers career.

Also equally important, the pride of the Racker’s lab clan is on the line as the lab of the winner receiving a huge poster to be hung on the wall for others to behold in awe.


We would like to thank the organisers, Prof. Mike Murray and the fly committee who provided the opportunity for us to spend the day with the fly researchers. Our vials and flugs were graciously supplied by Genesee Scientific. We look forward to seeing you again next year.