Typhoon Race 2011
28-30, October 2011, Lunpang, Kenting, Taiwan
A brief report by Stanley Chan
 

Overview

The interest in Typhoon Race, now a premier F3F competition in the Asian-Pacific region, has been growing since the first Typhoon Race was held three years ago. With the number of contestants reaching 54 this year, it is becoming an important contest for the top F3F pilots from around the region. This year the race was held in Lunpang slope located in Kenting in the southern tip of Taiwan island. The slope is a huge 100m cliff about half a mile off the coast. It is jaggy in places but otherwise long and straight, and is certainly a massive lift-generating slope. This part of Taiwan is well known for its strong northeasterly wind during the October/November season. Indeed, as expected, the wind speed was in average at 14 to 20 m/s through out the 3-day contest, the weather was dry and sunny which provided the most favorable condition for the record-breaking F3F competition. The Taiwanese organizer has spent tremendous efforts in preparing the contest and many Taiwanese pilots have practiced seriously for this event too. Their efforts were finally paid off with not only the success of winning all top trophies but also creating many F3F world records. Congratulation! A brief chronological report is given below:
 

Practice Day (27 October 2011)

A few Hong Kong and local Taiwanese pilots have decided to arrive few days earlier to do more practice to get familiar with the Lunpang slope prior to the competition. The wind was consistently strong the whole week prior to the contest days, so many pilots who arrived much earlier have gained a lot of flying time with valuable experience in locating the sweet spot that will accelerate the racing machine to its limit. Most pilots except some Korean pilots have arrived one day earlier before the practice day, so that they can unpack and set up their models ready for the practice day. In the practice day, the wind was in average at about 15 m/s and the slope has generated massive lift together with some strong turbulences, The organizer has properly setup the course and kindly arranged a round 0 with base beepers for all pilots to experience with the slope. Many pilots haven't flown in this kind of slope with strong turbulences before would find it very challenging to keep their models on a steady course. Some models were even blown inside the safety line which would have awarded a penalty if this was an official round. The landing area was located about 100m on the right hand side. Unfortunately, the landing was also very challenging because there were lots of turbulences near the ground and the model may have suddenly flipped-over just before touch down when its speed was slow, which could result in severe damage to the model. My FS3 was indeed damaged with a broken neck as a result of careless flip-over landing in round 0. I had to use my Extreme, a back-up model, for the subsequent practicing in the afternoon. Many HK pilots also damaged their models in the practice day and everyone was busy in repairing their models in the hotel at night. I temporally fixed my FS3 with a simple CF patch and this was proved to be not sufficient. My FS3's neck was repeatedly broken again for the whole 3 day contest, Flex control rods with quick fixes using tape made the tail controls fluttering and this regrettably did affect some of my maneuvers during the contest run.

Photos taken in practice day

The beautiful scenery around the slope

Dennis from Singapore is preparing his model Launch into a jet up stream, exciting! Amazing slope needs to have amazing pilot to explore it
 

Day One Contest (28 October 2011)

Some HK pilots slept for only three hours after repairing their models in midnight, they also got up earlier too to arrive at the flying site at 6:00am just before dawn to test fly and re-tune their models. Most other pilots, however, arrived at the flying site at around 8:15am for the pilot briefing, The organizer has decided to allow 11 pilots, mostly Korean pilots who arrived late last night, to have a round 0 for them. After that, the contest was officially kicked start at about 9:30am. Wind speed was in average at about 14m/s and wind direction was a bit off to normal from the northeast direction so there were stronger head wind for laps from base B to base A.  By a lucky draw, the first pilot to fly was decided to be Kolosun from HK. Everybody was watching him, and he managed to complete his course flawlessly, applauses flown in! Most pilots flew cautiously in the first round with times scattered around late thirties to early forties. Tseng Kuo Tung from Taiwan flew his Dingo magnificently closed to the ridge of the slope with very tight turns to win the round with a 32.67s. Philip Leung from HK did very well in the first three laps in his run in round one, but for some reasons, his Extreme suddenly headed straight into the rock on a down wind lap and disappeared underneath the cliff. A DNF in the first round of his first oversea contest with his main contesting model totally destroyed, what's a big set back for him! In the second round, many pilots crashed their models with a DNF including Eric Wong of HK. His Extreme was launched with a different flight mode after switching plane which resulted in a dive into the bottom of the cliff, what's a shame for an experience pilot like him!  The most dangerous crash perhaps was by Jonathon Bai of Singapore, His model was blown inside the safety line on its way back from base B after turn, it headed straight into the spectator area just behind the launch position and fortunately it missed any person in between just by a meter, no body was hurt!  Lin Kuo Ping of Taiwan won the second round with a 32.67s, he flew his Needle on a steady course with a stunning speed; looked like that his Needle was never afraid of turbulence air at all. Round 3 was much smoother, some experience pilots have started getting better times and there were some sub-35s. Again, Tseng Kuo Tung (Taiwan) performed a perfect ridge run with a 31.45s to win this round. Round 4 was much more eventful, Angus Lee of HK cut at base A and his Alliaji flew across the safety line and crashed land near the base A judge position. Kolosun of HK dived hardly in base A, his Scud-X's V-tail got loose resulting in a flutter rudder and eventually the tail went off and his Scud missile headed straight back to the slope, fortunately, it crashed far behind the spectator crowd. Even Tseng Kuo Tung who was leading in the first three rounds also lose his luck and crashed his Dingo. He pulled too hard in the turn in base A resulting in a spin into the rock - a total lost indeed. By the time 4:40pm, four rounds were finally completed. Below is the first day ranking table for the top 10 pilots.

Day one ranking:
1. Lin Kuo Ping (Taiwan)
2. Tseng Kuo Tung (Taiwan)
3. Clement Tsang (HK)
4. Hung Tsung Yi (Taiwan)
5. Chang Chang Tai (Taiwan)
6. Ho Kwok Wai (HK)
7. Michael Lee (Taiwan)
8. Ko Fu Chung (Taiwan)
9. Jack Liao (Taiwan)
10. Kenneth Chan (HK)

Photos taken in day one

Briefing by the CD Group photo for the Hong Kong team Alan is fixing his plane Philip is an exciting pilot in this contest Ah So is preparing hi Ceres for the contest
The playground Many top racing machines Army of beautiful racers Everybody was watching Spectator area
One, two, three, launch! Wow! flying so closed to the cliff in high speed, who dare to do this? The Korean team is watching the race Good and windy day for practicing Kenneth's Extreme was badly damaged a day before, and is back to action after a quick repaire overnight
Busy spectator area People were pouring into the pilot area after a model crash It seems that everybody is busy somehow Everybody was busy in fixing their models Mr. "O" looks confident in his run
Ah So is ready for the next fight Ah So walked to land after finishing his run Eric's Extreme was badly damage due to fault that he forgot to change flight mode after switching plane Highspeed turn in base B Every boby was watching the intense contest
 

Day Two Contest (29 October 2011)

The weather condition in the second day was more less the same as in day one. Wind speed was in average at about 15m/s. Pilot briefing at 8:15am and round 5 was started on time at 8:30am. After a previous day of competition, it seemed that most pilots have already accustomed to the characteristics of this slope and there were less accident happened, however there was still a spectacular crash by Leung Kwok Kuen of Hong Kong. His Extreme headed straight into the rock at base B and exploded into pieces. Some pieces fell down closed to the base B beeper position, fortunately the beeper was unharmed. Luck seemed to stay from Lin Kuo Ping today, he had a cut in base A in round 5. When he tried to turn back after the cut, his Needle was blown inside the safety line which caused him a 100 point penalty. Round 5 was finally won by Chong Hae Sok of Korea with a 33.12s. Round 6 was uneventful and the times achieved by many pilots have improved as the wind direction was less off-normal. Ho Kwok Wai of Hong Kong took this round with a 32.21s. Bad luck seemed to fall into Lin Kuo Ping again in round 7, he initially flew his red Needle steadily closed to the ridge in the first few laps of his run, but on a downwind lap before reaching base B, his model was blown off course towards the slope, the impact was so serve that his Needle was certified dead on site, what's a disappointing setback for him. In the mean time, Eric Wong of Hong Kong steered his FS3 accurately on a fast track to win this round with a stunning 30.73s, this was the fastest time among Hong Kong pilots so far and was probably the fastest time in Asia. Eric was so happy with this personal best time and agreed to celebrate it by offering a free dinner to all Hong Kong pilots at night, wonderful!  Round 8 was again uneventful, one exception was a spectacular crash by Chang Gi Sung of Korea, his green Artist basically headed straight into the rock near base B in high speed, it was an explosion with massive green debris, just so amazing to watch! As a model plane lover, it was so sad to see such an instant dead of a beautiful model. Round 8 was finally won by Tseng Kuo Tung of Taiwan with a stunning 31.85s. By the time of 3:45pm only 4 rounds were completed today. The progress of the contest was actually quite slow as CD would delay the next launch by waiting for the pilot just finished the run to walk far away towards the landing area, Many of us think this was unnecessary because once a model had exited the track, it was not allowed to return anyway, the pilot can take his time to walk to the landing area and the next launch can immediately start. Initially, CD has decided to run a half round only using split-round scoring method. However, after consultation with various parties concerned, an extra round can be completed before sunset if we can speed up the process by not waiting too long for the departing pilot. So indeed, by speeding up the process, round 9 was completed on time at 5:15pm. There were two crashes in round 9, Rico Lee of Taiwan and Li Man of Hong Kong both got a DNF. Lin Kuo Ping came back with a 31.44s to win this round. The ranking table after the second day of contest is shown below.

Day two ranking:
1. Tseng Kuo Tung (Taiwan)
2. Hung Tsung Yi (Taiwan)
3. Lin Kuo Ping (Taiwan)
4. Chang Chang Tai (Taiwan)
5. Ho Kwok Wai (HK)
6. Eric Wong (HK)
7. Kenneth Chan (HK)
8. K.Y. Mak (HK)
9. Clement Tsang (HK)
10. Michael Lee (Taiwan)

Photos taken in day two

Pilot and luanch area view from base B cliff Amazing slope needs to have amazing pilot to explore it Speed pass base B Launch into a jet up stream, exciting! Alan walked to land after finishing his run
Albert is helping Kwong to fix his plane Ah Keun is busy in fixing his Extreme In control A sleepy pilot The kroean team
Eric was the one first to break the Asian record with a 30.73s Eric is so happy to get a 30.73 personal best record Mark of achievement Exit after turn in base B The CD area
The pilot area Ah Keun is on the firing line It seems that everybody is busy somehow Ken28 is in the launch pad Group photo for HK pilots
 

Day Three Contest (30 October 2011)

The weather condition continued to be favorable for the contest with wind even stronger than previous days. Most pilots have arrived at the flying site at 8:00am. Round 10 was officially started on time, and by speeding up the process with reduced waiting time for the departing pilot, the organizer hoped to complete 5 rounds of contest today. The measured wind speed was in average at 18m/s and gusting to 23m/s, and this was certainly a very good condition for achieving sub-30 times. The first sub-30 was finally achieved by Chang Chang Tai of Taiwan. He flew his Dingo magnificently stable and fast to log a 29.09s in round 11, Wow! this is a new world record! Everybody was so excited about this because he is the first Asian to break the world record which has been stagnant at 29.37s (no crow through, no diving) for sometimes. Congratulations were poured in and numerous photographs were taken. With the consistent strong wind, many pilots believed that this record may be broken again in a matter of time. There were however a few crashes in round 11, Imkil Jeon of Korea lost control of his model a few seconds after launched. His model was finally blown back into the spectator area, this was so scaring, everybody was sounding warning messages loudly and looked for place to hide. Again, fortunately, the model majestically landed on top of the bush trees just near the main spectator area, no one was hurt, just amazing!  Many pilots cannot continue to join the contest because they ran out of planes as a result of damages incurred due to the landing mishaps. Round 12 was a real challenge as the wind was even stronger under the influence of sunlight. A newer world record was finally coined by Lin Kuo Ping of Taiwan, he flew his green Needle with dazing speed to create a new record of 28.58s. This was an amazing achievement by any mean. Everybody was so excited and a TV crew was called in to interview the record holder. In round 13, another sub-30 was made by Ho Kwok Wai of Hong Kong, his Ceres was dazzlingly fast for achieving a 29.70s, it's certainly a moment of triumph for him because he was the first HK pilot to achieve sub-30, although it was already overwhelmed by the Taiwanese records. Most pilots thought that the barrier to break a new record again would be too great, but they were proved wrong! In round 13, Kenneth Chan of Hong Kong took the challenge. He steered his FS3 with speed and precision to break the barrier and further push the world record to 27.70s, Wow! The Hong Kong team was cheered up for his achievement. But, their joyful excitement was cut short in just a minute later. Lin Kuo Ping of Taiwan, again, showed off his master skill to command his Needle to carve through the jaggy slope in enormous speed to claim a new world record of 26.80s, what's a wonderful achievement!  Congratulations were poured in and all pilots in the field were cheered up. You know, before the contest. we didn't believe that we can make WR, now we broke it by such a large margin! I am sure future Typhoon Races would be the focus of the world  F3F pilots. With these record-breaking achievements in round 13, round 14 would be little of attention. There were no clapping hands even Lin created another sub-30 of 27.63s!  The contest was finally drawn to a close at 4:35pm. Congratulation to the organizer for such a wonderful event! The final ranking table is given below:

Final result:
1. Lin Kuo Ping (Taiwan)
2. Chang Chang Tai (Taiwan)
3. Tseng Kuo Tung (Taiwan)
4. Hung Tsung Yi (Taiwan)
5. Ho Kwok Wai (HK)
6. Kenneth Chan (HK)
7. Michael Lee (Taiwan)
8. K.Y. Mak (HK)
9. Clement Tsang (HK)
10. Stanley Chan (HK)

For detailed score sheet, please refer to the official record at http://www.f3f.url.tw/tr2011/tr2011.xls

Photos taken in day three

Overlooking the pilot area from other side of the slope Kolosun walks to the landing area after a good run Mak is in the launch pad Chang Chang Tai of Taiwan broke the first sub-30 record First to break the world record with a 29.09 by Chang Chang Tai of Taiwan
Congratulation on AC to obtain the first sub-30 for Hong Kong A great achievement for Ho Kwok Wai for the first HK pilot to break the sub-30 mark Congratulation on a new world record Congratulation to the world record holder Congratulation on Kenneth to obtain the first world record for Hong Kong
         
A great achievement for Kenneth Chan for the first world record holder from HK and the fastest HK pilot The sub-30 club Congratulation to the sub-30 pilots Amazing acheieve for Lin Kuo Ping to break the world record by a big margin  
 

Banquet and Award Presentation (30 October 2011)

The banquet and award presentation ceremony was held in the banquet hall in Kenting Bali Resort. Everybody was so happy because we were proud to be there in a contest that created so many world records, seven sub-30s by four pilots, and four breakings of new world records, what's a great achievement!  Delicious food under a friendly environment marked the success of Typhoon Race 2011, cheers! See you next year in TR2012 in Korea.

 

Cheers! happy guys Cheers! the Korean friends Banquet started! Singapore team Taiwan team
Beautiful tropies Second runner up prize to Tseng Kuo Tung Sponsored prize for second runner up First runner up prize to Chang Chang Tai Sponsored prize for first runner up
Champion is Lin Kuo Ping Sponsored prize for champion Best speed award goes to Lin Kuo Ping Second runner prize for the team award goes to Wild Things team First runner prize for the team award goes to CWB(A) team
Champion prize for the team award goes to Taiwan A team        
 

Post comments about the air dynamic and style of flying for Lunpang slope

The optimum flying style used in squeezing the best performance out of this slope in Lunpang is quite different with other slopes in Hong Kong and elsewhere, and perhaps is unique in the world. Experience pilots will maneuver their planes along the lip of slope just below eye level and then dive on approaching the base point, steer the plane outward and pull up hardly to complete the turn. Amazingly, the model will be accelerated considerably if the entry and exit angles are right for this dive and pull up turn. I am sure there must be some kinds of interesting air dynamic in the edges of this slope under strong wind condition. I believe the compression zone in the bottom of the cliff is very wide and the push-up air current there is very strong, that's why we can get the model jet up after pull up. This phenomenon is quite different with other slopes having similar vertical cliff structure where there are usually dead air zones in the bottom of the cliff. The reason for this phenomenon I can explain is; in Lunpang, the bottom of the cliff is well above the sea level, and there is a gentle slope reaching out to the coast half a mile away, the ocean breeze may have considerably diverted by this gentle slope creating already a very strong rising air current even in the bottom of the cliff edge. To dive before the turn could be a good strategy to avoid combating with the head wind at above the slope ridge level while there are still very strong push-up air current to accelerate the model on exiting the turn in the bottom of the cliff, interesting! Next time if I'd go there for contest, I will definitely go earlier to explore the slope more to optimize the model settings suitable for this kind of flying style. This world-record capable slope will definitely attract top F3F pilots around the world in future contests.

For more photos and movies, please check on the following sites:

Rcsail Forum,Hong Kong

Flying Pizza Club,Taiwan

Korea R/C Soaring Society

Team F3F,Singapore