danny hales launches nigel molyneux's estrella


F3F is slope pylon racing; 10 laps between 2 pylons 100m apart in under 40 secs is something to behold. Pilots push their gliders beyond 160kph (100mph) to achieve the best times. With an abundance of good sites around Australia, F3F remains a growing sector of the sport of gliding.

Western Australia F3F Cape Naturaliste 10th Sept. 2013 :

Report | Nigel Molyneux | Chad Meester

The forecast was for 22-28kts WNW for Cape Naturaliste, ideal conditions to hold the scheduled F3F competition. A few pilots were at the slope early with planes in the air by 8.00am taking full advantage of the strong lift available. Most pilots were ready for competition by around 10.00 am, however the pilots briefing was scheduled for 11.30am, which was held, then we were to be underway within half an hour of that. Unfortunately we had a problem with the timing gear and had to spend a bit of time fixing the problem. It was all sorted out and our first round was underway before 1.00pm as scheduled. The conditions stayed very steady all day varying between 22 and 30kts and staying between WNW and W all the way through to sunset. There was only one brief shower from a squall during the day which lasted about 1 minute, apart from that it was dry all day.

The format for the competition was settled on during the briefing with everyone agreeing to flying three rounds back to back before landing after each flight. This was done because we only had seven pilots entered and this left us a little short on people to man bases to press buzzers and do the timing. As it worked out, the three rounds back to back was ideal and allowed enough time for pilots to get their planes ready for their next flight after they had taken a turn on one of the bases or timing. It also reduced the number of landings required but also gave the pilot a longer flight.

Once underway everything ran smoothly with everyone volunteering to man bases or help out when required, this allowed us to finish 21 rounds for the day by 5.30pm before packing up and heading home after an excellent days flying. I think everyone certainly got their money’s worth from the day. 

Les Davidson shared a lift from Perth with Gary Adams. We haven’t seen Les at the slope for a long time but Les picked the right day to make a return. The choice of plane for Les was his old Cobra. The times which Les achieved with this plane were not record breaking but all the same Les flew very steadily throughout the day and was not expecting to win the competition rather to enjoy the flights in great lift and fly at a new location. Les finished in 7th position overall with a best time of 56.53 for the day. Hopefully we will see more of both Les and Gary at the slope.
Jarah Kilgour flew his repaired Victor for the day. Most of Jarrahs times were around the 50 second plus mark and finally achieved 46.9 in round 20 showing gradual improvement through the day, with more time at the slope and a new plane I am sure Jarrah will be competing more often for a top position but after 21 rounds Jarrah finished 6th overall.

Gary Adams was glad he made the trip all the way from Kalgoorlie to put his newly acquired Fosa in the air. Gary was a bit shaky at first in the first few rounds, generally with times just above 50 seconds but in round 8 scored a 44.76 his best time for the day and a new personal best time, after that his confidence and control of the plane improved and scored several more sub 50 second rounds. This gave Gary 5th place overall for the day.

Next was Don Tester finishing 4th overall after 21 rounds. Don flew his “Kermit” green Cyril. Don really started showing some bursts of speed and hard turns before Matt started coaching him. Most of Don’s times were sub 50’s with only a few times just above 50 seconds. Three of the times were sub 45 achieving a new personal best time of 42.09 in round 3. With a new Pitbull on the way and the enthusiasm Don has been putting in to the F3F competitions it won’t be long and he will click into that next gear making him very fast and no doubt looking to break into those sub 40 second personal best times.

Third overall after 21 rounds was Paul Marshall flying the “pink” Cyril. Most of the times flown were sub 50 with his best time for the day of 41.51 in round 20. Two of the rounds flown, Paul cut and this proved costly as this gave him times above 50 seconds for those rounds. However rounds 7 and 20 were both won by Paul with times of 41.97 and 41.51. More practice required.

Second overall after 21 rounds went to Matt Picken with a Ceres. Matt began a bit shakily with a couple of 50 second plus rounds but this was temporary as Matt quickly gathered control to show his competitive edge winning round 8 then round 9 with a great time of 40.09. Round 12 was won by Matt with 40.97 then later winning round 15 with 42.14 and another win in round 17 of 41.08. All up Matt had a great day slashing his personal best time and proving he can be very competitive, however it was Matt’s final rounds that let him down finishing off rounds 20 and 21 with times above 50 seconds, not sure what happened there, Matt must have been getting a little tired towards the end.

First place overall after 21 rounds went to Chad Meester flying his very quick Precision. Chad won the first six rounds with times all in the sub 45 range until round six where he blasted out a 39.51 second run. Then in round 10 Chad scored fastest time of the day and a new blistering personal best time of 38.78 seconds and while he was on fire won round 11 as well, with another sub 40 run of 39.02. Round 13 and 14 were taken by Chad, also with 41.3 then 42.45. Round 16 was won with one of Chad’s slower runs of 44.68. Round 18 and 19 were also claimed by Chad’s Precision with 40.5 and 42.38, then the final round, 21, with 41.64. Chad had won 14 of the 21 rounds. A very convincing and well deserved win. Chad has been very keen and worked extremely hard on the slope to switch the Precision into top gear and start pushing the limits of the plane. Well done Chad.

It was a great day of flying with some of the pilots reducing their personal best times. I would like to thank all the pilots as everyone pitched in and helped out when needed; hopefully we will have many more competitions at Cape Naturaliste.

Fastest time - Chad Meester Precision 38.78

1st Chad Meester Precision 17911
2nd Matt Picken Ceres 16678
3rd Paul Marshall Cyril 16412
4th Don Tester Cyril 15615
5th Gary Adams Fosa 15201
6th Jarrah Kilgour Victor 14425
7th Les Davidson Cobra 12402

Next F3F competition is scheduled for the 7th of September if you wish to join the competition keep an eye on RCgroups. WA Multitask Glider forum for confirmation of the event going ahead. I will post on the forum the Wednesday evening before the 7th whether we have the conditions for the event to precede or not.

Interested in Racing with us ?
If anyone would like more information about any of the events then contact me on 0438094969 or email pall5599@yahoo.com.au anytime.

When contacting me on the day for location of events or start times please contact me before 9:30am on the day or before, I can not guarentee I will be contactable after this time as I will be busy setting up F3F equipment or heading out to the flying site of the day.

For more info on F3F in Australia contact the LSF Australia F3F Representative: Paul Marshall.

For some excellent photos and build info. related to F3F and slope flying, check out Paul's Flickr Photostream.

YouTube is an excellent source of footage from F3F events around the globe. This footage sourced from Claudio Figueiredo (Portugal: Santa Aria Race July 2010)

Event Reports:

Australia Day Weekend 2010
Esperance F3F, report Paul Marshall

1st    Paul Marshall        Estrella       9991
2nd   Matt Pickens        Ellipse4      9506
3rd    Chris Barrenger   Coracho     9443
4th    Simon Watts         Estrella       9201
5th    Danny Hales          Coracho     8991
6th    Nigel Molynuex    Estrella       8929
7th    Steve Gleeson       Victor        8907
8th    Grant Andrews     Calypso     8797
9th    Bruce Hunt            Jazz          1089

Read the event report (MS Word 32KB) and see more pics from the event by checking out Paul's Flickr Photostream.


2007 Bay of Isles F3F Cup, Esperance, Western Australia
Report: Paul Marshall
(LSF Aus F3F Representative)

Thursday 27th September.
Simon and I made the 81/2 hr trip from Perth to Esperance by car and finally pulled onto the slope at 3:30pm to find three flyers already hard at work practicing for the weekend event. Evan from Perth, the other two were Richard and Jacob who had arrived Wednesday from Sydney by plane. Jacob looked pretty wiped out from flying his 3m Cobra in what he described as "unbelievable lift and worth the trip from Sydney just for what they had that day".

flyers posingWe were greeted by 15-18kt SW breeze at the Observatory Beach car park. Not a particularly high location, but it generates good lift and is basically "park the car and fly". The landing zone can be a bit tight for heavily ballasted planes in a breeze but not too difficult for the competent flyer.

After introductions to the Sydney-siders more flyers turned up including Mark, secretary of the local flying club to welcome us to his "playground". We pulled the planes out and began practicing for the weekend ahead. Just before sunset a couple of us made our way to Observatory Pt for some Dynamic Soaring which really blew the cobwebs out of our systems before retiring to the caravan park for an early night.

Friday 28th September.
After re-organizing the 14 planes we had in the car and straightening our camp it was back to the slope. However, the breeze had dropped away to 8-10knot WSW, fortunately it was enough to practice in. An executive decision was made by the CDs, Simon and I, to hold a practice F3F competition for those that had arrived early for the weekend event. The forecast was looking a bit dubious for the Saturday event; at least this way we would have some competition for the time that we where there. Those that were still travelling to Esperance would be allowed to join in when they could, as it was only for practice. Even so, scores would be kept and a winner announced.

warren launches tim's carachoThe course was set up before 11:00am between Observatory Pt and Observatory beach, nick-named Observatory cliffs. This is an ideal location as there is loads of lift and easily accommodates the length of course required and has a large landing zone and approach area onto soft topped knee high bushes. It also is a good distance from the main road and bystanders, who have an excellent view of proceedings from the car park.

The format for racing was the same as last year; each flyer would launch and fly two rounds before landing and allowing the next competitor to fly 2 rounds. This would continue until all had finished the determined amount of rounds for the day (according to conditions). This allows for more time in the air at one time and less landings being made for the day, which allows us to work through more rounds quicker.

We started with 8 flyers and ended up with 6 more joining in for their practice on the course as they showed up through the day. Even though we had set a long course (140 m), it was evident that all needed some practice hitting those turns with many of us cutting at Base B. Tim earned himself the title in this department with about 4 cuts in one round. A laser-sighting device was located to check the length of course and we would correct the length for the ensuing events. Simon's timing equipment ran smoothly once again making the job of recording that much easier.

We managed 6 rounds with an early finish allowing everyone to free-fly to make adjustments to settings etc. At the end of the day most of us gathered at Danny and Steve's apartment for a BBQ and announcement of the days results. Although this was not the competition we had originally come to Esperance for, all times were recorded and winner for the day's event determined (shown below):

  1. "Enthusiastic" Richard
  2. "Cheeky" Evan (fastest run of the day: 63.87 sec. on 140m course)
  3. "CD and low flyer"Paul
  4. "Silent" Les
  5. Smokin Joe "what can I say"
  6. "Technical" Simon
  7. "Too many cuts" Tim
  8. "Have a go" Danny
  9. "Chip off the block" Warren
  10. "Mad dog Englishman" Chris
  11. "I'll be back" Jacob
  12. "Squadron leader " Steve
  13. "1st time on the slope" Dave
  14. "Is this fun or wot" Nigel

Saturday 29th September
The day started out with some promise to getting the Bay of Isles Cup under way, but the wind direction and strength plagued us for the day. First up, it wafted in from the south and ended up going WSW at 5-6 knots. While waiting for the breeze 6 of us with hand launch gliders flew in the light conditions on the main slope in the large bowl, racing each other man on man with a short 50m coarse. Perhaps next year we can hold such an event if the wind doesn't co-operate. There proved to be a lot of laughs and miles of fun in it for everyone. It is funny where you can find the competitive bug.

We tried later to set up the F3F course for some real racing at the same location as the day before but only one competitor was able to fly one round before we had to abandon the day's event because of lack of breeze. Later the breeze began filling in from the SSW, which was on the main slope so we all headed back there for some light condition flying. By then it was too late to set a course up and start an event. All the unflown planes came out of the car with Simon giving his DG500 its maiden flight, we just enjoyed the remaining day with what we had and looked forward to a better forecast for Sunday.

Sunday 30th September.
The breeze looked more favorable in the morning and we were able to set up a course and be underway at Observatory Cliffs by 11:45 after a short practice session and meeting at Observatory beach car park. There was a nice SW breeze building, starting at 10kts and reaching 16 -18 during the afternoon before backing off and swinging more to the South later in the day. This time we had the course set-up at 100m with the laser sighting equipment.

base b turnIn the Open class Tim flew the first two rounds of the Bay of Isles Cup for the day with his Radical turning out 57.8 seconds in round 1 and 53.86 in round 2. As it unfolded, Richard was to take round 1 and 2 with his Race M pulling off 51.63 and 52.87. Round 3 was won by Danny with his Caracho at 54.96 by .11 of a second from Tim. Then Danny broke into the 40's in round 5 posting a 49.45 with the crowd going nuts and a big cheesy grin on Danny's face; I guess all the discussion about set up paid off, well done Danny. Not to be out-done though, Tim took round 5 with 48.44 with Richard only marginally behind on 48.54 and Evan making a charge at 49.07 after having clipped a bush in the previous round and flat spinning out of contention in round 4. This was the only incident for the day and no damage. Round 6 saw some quicker times posted, Richard knocked out 46.59 but fastest time of the day and winning the round was Tim once again at 46.07. We had time for another 2 rounds each so we continued on. Round 7 Tim again stamped his foot on the event with 48.54 then round 8 again 51.9 while the breeze was good, unfortunately it began to swing and decrease in strength.

In the Lightweight class two flyers battled it out with some entertaining racing. Young Joe at 10 years of age went up against Tony 40 something. Joe had only started flying 2 days before with dads borrowed plane and Tony has only ever really flown once a year under guidance and also a borrowed plane. With some wild maneuvers and both being coached to finish the entire event with planes intact there was enjoyment written all over their faces. They both took the competitive bug very seriously.

By 4:30 we had completed 8 rounds with 16 competitors. 16 in Open and 2 in Lightweight. Two of the entrants had flown from Sydney for the event; one from Kalgoorlie and the rest of us had driven the 750km from Perth. All of us vowed to return next year, with a number wanting to hold a second event in Esperance during the year sometime. This would give us three events on the WA F3F calendar each year.

That evening we all met at the "Tea Rooms Restaurant" for dinner and presentation. The results for the Bay of Isles Cup:


  1. Tim Kullack 6873 Radical
  2. Richard Frawley 6612 Race M
  3. Evan Outram 6473 Sting
  4. Jacob Bloom 6104 Cobra
  5. Paul Marshall 6082 2.4m F3F
  6. Danny Hales 6048 Caracho
  7. Simon Watts 6021 Europhia
  8. Joe Luxford 5834 Tempest
  9. Steve Gleeson 5780 Fazer
  10. Warren Kullack 5765 X-21
  11. Les Davidson 5703 Ellipse
  12. David Shue 5518 Estrella
  13. Chris Martin 5190 Miraj
  14. Nigel Molinou 4905 X-21
  15. Joe Outram 4303 Stoogee
  16. Tony Smith 4297 Oogee

Light Weight:

  1. Joe Outram
  2. Tony Smith

Fastest time of the day goes to Tim Kullack flying the Radical in round 6 with 46.07. There where some stand-out efforts for the day with both Lightweight flyers Tony and young Joe improving out of sight towards the end of their event. Keep it up guys hope to see you both next year with your own planes.

Other first timer on the slope was David Shue figuring out the contest and how to fly from the slope I think we have hooked another eager F3F contestant. Another big improver on the course was Jacob Bloom from Sydney flying his Cobra going from 11th on Friday to 4th on Sunday. The overall winner was Tim Kullack who performed consistently on Sunday race day. Well-done Tim.

I would like to thank you all for attending the event and helping out where you could to ensure a well-oiled event, without you there is no event. Special mention should go to Simon Watts for the development of the timing gear, it is what makes the event flow without interruption. Next year I understand we will have a laptop hooked up to it so times are recorded automatically and your position in the event given after each round. For next year a cup has been donated by Danny "Chook" Henderson for the Friday practice event, which seems to have evolved now into a regular feature of the weekend. Chook is a local Esperance flyer and is keen to join in the events. Thank you Chook. The cup will be called the "Chook Challenge Cup". I am sure this one will be highly prized especially with a colourful name like that.

Monday 1st Oct.
The day after was a casual affair for us while half of the event's competitors made their way home. Simon, Les and myself never made it out to the slope until about 1:30pm. In the pleasant 10kts we flew various planes that we had in the arsenal at the main slope of the Big bowl. Simon flew his DG500 and I flew my new 2m composite plank "Nitro"' sorting out programming problems and discussing the weekend's success with those that where left.

Tuesday 2nd Oct.
We had decided to stay an extra day and it proved a good decision. We had a morning shower or two but the wind blew in at 25 knots and treated us to excellent Esperance flying conditions at Observatory beach then a bit of Dynamic soaring at Observatory Pt followed by some big lift conditions back at Observatory cliffs where we had held the competitions. It was a good way to finish off our Esperance trip as the next day we had to make the long trip home. I will be holding the same event next year at the same time if you wish to join in, please contact me for details. I may also be running an event on the 24th of November 2007 or 1st of December 2007 in Esperance. If you wish to be part of these please contact me with the dates that suit you, if I get enough numbers then I will go ahead with the new event on the preferred date we can get the most flyers to.

Please follow the link for hi-res photos from the weekend:

reporter: Paul Marshall (email)