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22. september 2008

Norwegian Championship F3F

The lcd display showing the weather data
Not much space to do landings, but I think no accidents occured.
Depot, very close to the edge. But OK for this time since the wind speed was low.
Sceptical guys following one of the flights.
The weather station was placed a little bit down into to the slope to secure good and correct values.

This year it was held north of where I live approx. 2 hours away. I get there by driving through 2 under sea tunnels and a gas driven ferry which really can take a lot of cars and trucks.

I wanted badly to do well in this competition and I was thinking this was the most important contest this year. So there was nothing wrong with my motivation. But looking at the forecast earlier in the week it looked like it could be a no comp. On Saturday we waited patiently for ca 6 hours before we got legal wind. Everybody was keen and we installed the weather station and managed to start ca 15.30. 3 hours later we had 4 rounds and the Championship was secured. Good because we had 6 guys coming from the north of Norway and some other from the south as well. With wind from 3-5m/s times varied from 48 to 97 seconds it was not exactly even conditions but at least by using the weather station the CD had an easy task giving a few reflights. By all means even with this device it remains an outdoor sport with sometimes huge variations, but at least you can understand why you did not manage a good time or even realise that you in fact had some luck if you did a fast time. It is not very difficult to see what is going on when you log every flight.

After 4 rounds I was in the lead ahead of Arild M and Bjoern Tore. Some new faces also showed up and the 2 youngsters from Bodoe, Joergen and William flew very well.

Next day was a bit better and we could start the flying much earlier but we also had to quit early as people had planes to catch. But 5 more rounds made it a good event and it was more even with less thermal influence. Times was between 48 and 65 seconds. Winning times each round was between 48 to 53 seconds.

I extended my lead and won ahead of RollaRolf and Bjoern Tore.

Espen Torp 7796
Rolf Inge Waaga 7384
Bjoern Tore Hagen 7344
Dag Skoglund 7204
Arild Moellerhaug 7192
Joergen W Stensen 7115
Rolf Boerge Rettedal 6897
Geir (8) Njaa 6817
Kjell Gai 6699
Bjoern Andersen 6578
William J Ringkjoeb 6548
Richard Pleym 6349
Tor Bruun 6137
Oystein Aadland 2386
Jarle Aadland 2286

The organizer of the contest was Haugaland RC club and even they did not get as much helpers as expected the competition was a success and also thanks to Kaare who operated the weather station.
Espen 23.9.2008

3. september 2008

Viking Race, Slovakia 2008

Kjell Gai, Norway
Doug smiling renaming his Furio

Vaclav waiting for yet another launch.

Greg Dakin, UK

Mathieu with his solid stance
Kai and Majo
Mark taking a bite of Grahame's BP sponsered Ascot
Kyle giving the model a good launch
Rado after a good flight, in the lead after 14 rounds

ET-Air fleet, 2 times RaceM X-tail
Benthe and Kai taking the "boat" down after a long day.

Me and my "brother" Grahame Reed

Marian "Majo" Maslo preparing for yet another round with big thermals coming his way.

Gerardo with a nice handle bar on his Freestyler3
We are well into the Viking Race 2008 which is this year held in Donovaly mountains in the middle of Slovakia. The same place as 6 years ago.
The competition has so far been a lottery (5 days of flying) and many pilots are happy and many pilots are not so happy with the conditions they are given. I am in the last unfortunatly means far, far down the ranking. Right now after 14rounds I am at place 31. Only 25 points behind my rival Greg Dakin! I will catch him in the end I think.
I discovered a new method of getting to the horizon after falling down the slope due to not much lift. Lukas Gaubatz showed us the first day a spectacular way of doing it. When he first did not make the horizon he dived to get more speed and pulled up in the last second to make and tailslided back towards the ground but he recovered nicely and now has put a name to this manouver which is now called a "GAUBATZ"
However if you do not make it and end up in a tree it may be called a "GAUBATZ-REED".

After Thursday (4th of September) we have completed 18 rounds, The conditions on Thursday was still variable but not so much. If you got a thermal it was possible to do a low 40 second run. Most pilots ended up in the 50-60 seconds window. I jumped to 21st. place mostly because of the second discard round was applied. It is very even between pilots anywhere on the list so full focus is needed the last day that will be Friday. No flying on Saturday in other words. I hope all pilots agree that this is enough.
Finally a little bit time to write again. Congratulations to Marian Maslo with Slovakias first win in a Viking Race. Radovan Plch took 2nd. place while Pierre Platon grabbed 3rd spot.
Really important to mention was the job of the organisors, they did a good job for 7 days and without them there would not be a race!
Espen "Schnell wie die Forelle" Torp #21

27. juli 2008

New activity

This morning I got up early and decided to take a trip to Feistein Lighthouse just offshore close to where I live. The weather was very good and it must be for a beginner like me to make a trip like this. The day before I was practising falling out and entering the kayak and the test went on fine so I felt a little bit secure after I had done that. The waters between Sele harbour and Feistein is known to have very vicious under currence and very often the waves get quite big in this area. But not today, I checked the forecast and it looked good. To get out there took me only 25minutes. I had one and a half round around the islands before I found a place to go "onboard". You can see from the pictures how wonderful it is out there. The temperature was around 25 degrees and my guess is that it is probably only 5 days a year out there like this one. This was actually the second time on the Lighthouse, last time was in 1983 when I was serving in the Navy. I had a task to operate a camera sensor which followed a "Penguin-boat to boat" missile during the Penguin test program. (

22. juli 2008

Eurotour Portugal

I finally decided to attend the F3F Eurotour in Portugal. I made a short detour via Madrid to meet some people in a company making UAV autopilots. Then I got a ride with Alvaro Silgado and his girlfriend Manuela over to Lisbon. The trip took a couple of hours more than normal due to heavy traffic out of Madrid. Alvaro had a new nice Tiguan so the trip was very pleasant.
When we finally arrived in Lisbon my good old friend Jorge (JC) Infante met us and he took me to his new home in Estoril (not far from the famous Estoril F1 Race track). Next day we went to the Santa Iria flying field and several good friends was here already. This was where the Viking Race was held 8 years ago. We had a promising weather forecast with lots of wind. In fact I measured wind speeds over 20 m/s both days. We had 11 rounds the first day and 5 the next day. 24 pilots started and not so many finished all rounds unfortunately. With rather tough landing conditions it was a fight to keep the models ready for the next flight. I had a good lead with almost 400 points before the last day but it was not enough. Franz Demmler (Germany) made use of all the good air he got and beat me with 650 points in 5 rounds! (he had a 100 points penalty also, so in the end he was approx. 160 point in front of me). My conditions was not the best but maybe I got all the good air already in day 1? Inaki Elizondo (Spain) managed 3rd spot. Kjell Gai (Norway)flew really well and took 8th spot with his Pike Brio. I am looking forward to see what he can do with his new Ceres F3F. I flew my RaceM X-tail and a set of Aris wings on a RaceM X fuselage. Both of them working really well. I think the Aris wings on the X-tail fuselage seems to be a very good model. The CG can be brought back and suddenly it can turn much quicker than normal. My RaceM worked well for me as it has all year since I got the X-tail fuse. It is a dream to fly and handling is so easy.
Fastest time of the comp. was Jose Carrion with a 35 second ballistic run!


1 Franz Demmler 12701
2 Espen Torp 12540
3 Iñaki Elizondo 12270
4 Gerardo Lozano 12160
5 José Carrion 12131
6 José Costa 11980
7 André Austen 11974
8 Kjell Gai 11825
9 Álvaro Silgado 11783
10 Andoni Gorriñobeaskoa 11718
11 Pedro Lemos 11477
12 João Faria 11454
13 Claudio Figueiredo 11305
14 Américo Gonçalves 11155
15 Vitor Gandarela 11055
16 João Figueiredo 10867
17 Manuel Costa 10661
18 José Rocha 10567
19 Tomas Norrby 10446
20 João Costa10134
21 Lorenzo Dávila 8585
22 João Mestre 6237
23 Rui Silva 4423
24 Fernando Moro 2293

3. juni 2008

Ørebro Open F3B

I do not know exactly how many times I have entered this competition but it must be close to 17 times now. And why do I keep returning to this competition? Several reasons I think. First of all it is tradition, second it is the people and the third reason is that it is relatively close to me (only 14 hours one way.....)
The club members of Ikarus is doing a good job I think, year after year more or less the same people show up and run the comp in a relaxed way. They now also a have some catering and that makes it more easy for us pilots.
The participants from year to year is a good mix of newcomers and veterans and it is always good to see some new faces and the old friends in F3B. I certainly missed the Danish pilots this year. I hope they can make it next year.
Well maybe the distance for me to Ørebro is not so close but at least I do not have to take a ferry to get there and that is good.
We had very good weather this time and pretty warm as well. It was close to 30 degrees so we could not complain.
I had a plan to fly to Stockholm this year and drive with Conny Ulvestaf to Ørebro but I changed my mind since Kjell wanted to tag along. Kjell did his first ever F3B contest and was up against Martin Weberchock, Martin Herrig and Pasi Vaisanen in his first ever distance flight. Kjell flew his Pike Brio to perfection and got a win over those experts!
Kjell and me flew with Team Tornado (Conny, Owe and Peter) and the team worked well both days.
I got 8th. place this time and was pretty happy with that given I missed 3 minutes in the first duration. I flew a sub 15 speed for the first time since 1997 I think and won the second speed round. Also distance was good and I only lost 1 lap to Andreas Herrig (24 to 23 laps). I had a good fight with Martin W. and won with 26 against 24 laps in the last distance.
Results can be found here:
Pictures will come....


21. mai 2008

Neuhardenberg F3B

Last year Francisco on the right asked me if I would like to join him and the team he is flying for (TU Dresden) in some Eurotour event and I must admit that I was very glad to get this opportunity to fly in the same team as the best pilots in the world at the moment. Their team spirit and professional attitude is very high and to experience this from the inside was very interesting. I was very glad Axel Freiberg could pick me up from the airport in Berlin. I am also thankful to Holger Au (Contest Director) to stay in their house over the weekend. The contest was held in a relaxed atmosphere and it seemed that all participants was enjoying the contest. The flying field is very well suited for this activity and it also provides for variable conditions.
As mentioned the Dresden Team worked well and they do in fact have an own Team Manager in Reinhard Dylla. This is not something that all teams have of course but from my point of view a big advantage. In this contest also the father of Mike Müller was present and did a good job.
I got very good help from all the team and in the end had a good result with 7th. place. Martin Herrig won with Thomas Dylla and Mike Müller on 2nd. and 3rd. place.
For full results check and
Look here for more photos:

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13. mai 2008

Norway Open 2008

The weather forecast did not look good for this years Norway Open, nice weather but not so much wind. Luckily the forecast changed the last day and we managed 4 rounds with minimalistic conditions. We are proud to announce that we used our new weather station with great success this day. All flights were measured and we will soon publish the results. We used an average for the flight itself both for wind and direction. All pilots agreed on this new method instead of the old rules. We also agreed that a re flight would be given after the flight was finished if it was ruled under the level and that the pilot could choose either reflight or keep the score.
It was quite amusing to see the pilots being more interested in the weather measurements than their times. It is our club member Kåre Aareskjold who have made the weather station. We will look into offering it to others.
Slope used was Obrestad south.
Windspeed was between 3,1 to 4,5m/s.
Fastest time of the day was 66 seconds.

The conditions was not super but I think very, very even and to master so little wind is just as difficult as master other conditions. It is not so nice to hear comments like "this is not F3F". F3F is not about the fastest speed, it is about mastering all kind of conditions and slopes. Those who can do that will do well, always.

So we had a competition (4 round) and the next day we choose to go to another slope (Austre Bokn) which is much higher and has more thermal influence than the previous slope. This turned out to be a big success with another 8 rounds with pretty good conditions. The weather station was used but since the wind speed and direction was not an issue the results was not so interesting as day one. But we have the data and will publish them soon. Windspeed was between 5 and 9m/s Thermals where coming and going but the variations was not so big.
Some pilots did DS circles in the landing area and this was not so popular among the organizing staff. Please let us not see this while we are trying to run a competition. Some pilots had trouble in the landing and got minor damage.
Fastest time of the day was 41 seconds.
So we had 12 rounds after 2 days and we were very happy with that.

Next day did not have a good wind forecast but we could maybe make a round or two. Unfortunately one pilot provoked the Contest Director by flying a DLG on the slope when the organizer was still setting up the course even he was strictly told not to fly. It almost came to a fight between the CD and the pilot and the jury made the decision to call off the competition. This could be seen as a drastic decision but the pressure on the organizer had been built up over the whole weekend and enough is enough. We have always had a non flying rule before the contest start. This was told specific for the last day and when someone chooses to ignore this just to provoke certain people we will and can not tolerate this. Everybody wants to fly before the contest and that can sometimes be solved with a zero round. But we never do a zero round after round 12! If we let everybody fly, time will run and this could effect the number of rounds. One guy asked for a flight to test his newly fixed V-tail, he was not allowed this. A hand launch on the field would have solved this this problem.
It was unfortunate that this time we had to cancel the whole day but we still had a good competition. It is really sad that one person can cause so much problems.
I would like to apologize to all participants for his behavior. We hope that we can invite to next years Norway Open after we have evaluated this years event.


Our sponsor offered us a Swift EPP model which was won by Kåre Aareskjold.

Many thanks to all that helped us during the competition with buzzing etc.

End results:
1 Espen Torp, Norway 10719
2 Bjørn Tore Hagen, Norway 10565
3 Dag Skoglund, Norway 10289
4 Jørgen Larsen, Denmark 10119
5 Arild Møllerhaug, Norway 10116
6 Tom Erik Smedal, Norway 10032
7 Rolf Inge Waaga, Norway 10019
8 Jack Farstad, Norway 10013
9 Angus Lee, Hong Kong 9749
10 Andre Austen, Germany 9744
11 Rolf B. Rettedal, Norway 9674
12 Geir Njaa, Norway 9539
13 Kjell Gai, Norway 9495
14 Jo Grini, Norway 9184
15 Jørg Becker, Germany 8973
16 Martin Knöpfel, Germany 8489
17 Jan Eric Klausen, Norway 8427
18 Tor Bruun,Norway 8050
19 Kåre Aareskjold, Norway 6130

3. mai 2008

Rennesoy, 2.5.2008

Gloomy rainy day and not so cool to fly F3B

Me with my new Foxtrot Aerobatic glider
Arild is really making it clear what I shall to in the DS circle!
Landing approach, it does not look to be but it was.

1st. of May should have been a local F3B contest here in my region but bad weather with rain stopped it quickly. Next day was much better and Kjell Gai and me met went to Rennesoy to meet Arild Moellerhaug for some fun flying and F3F practice. Forecast was promising and it turned out to be even better. We all clocked sub 40 times with Arild all the way down to 34 seconds using his Aris. I flew my RaceM and my best was 38 seconds. I did not bring any ballast except my steel joiner so I hope some of the lost time was due to that fact. But Arild looked sharp and I was impressed. Kjell flew his Brio very well and I think he will move up the ranks this year. I also had the chance to test my RaceM in some rather light DS but rough air DS and it was steady as a rock.

I spent the day before to finish my Foxtrot which is an aerobatic model made by some of my friends in Slovakia. This was a very pleasant surprise and both Kjell and me enjoyed flying. I even tested it in DS and it was very easy to control. Landing was not so easy as this slope really demands crow brakes. But I managed so it was all in all one of the best flying days for a long time.
All pictures: Kjell Gai

19. april 2008

Norway Open 2008 Eurotour F3F

This years sponsor is: Smartmodel, Hong Kong

This years Norway Open is held the 10-12th of May. The entry list is very good and we have pilots from 5 nations so far:

1 Andre Austen, Ger
2 Jörg Becker, Ger
3 Espen Torp, Nor
4 Rolf B. Rettedal, Nor
5 Geir Njaa, Nor
6 Arild Møllerhaug, Nor
7 Rolf Inge Waaga, Nor
8 Tom Erik Smedal, Nor
9 Jørgen Larsen, Den
10 Bjørn Tore Hagen, Nor
11 Jack Farstad, Nor
12 Dag Skoglund, Nor 66154 75/76
13 Angus Lee, Hong Kong
14 Kåre Aareskjold, Nor
15 Kjell Gai, Nor
16 Jo Grini, Nor
17 Tor Brun, Nor
18 Martin Knöpfel, Ger
It is still possible to enter.

This years sponsor is: Smartmodel, Hong Kong

5. april 2008

Spain, La Muela 2008

Finally I was back at the Tooth after 4-5 years. I like this place and it is a good place for hosting F3F competitions. Yes it is inland but the fact that it is sticking up like it is makes it suitable for any wind direction.
This year only 35 pilots entered the contest and some of these did not show up so the total was around 30. A good number if you ask me. You get to fly relatively often and this is good. As far as I can remember we had all kind of conditions from 3m/s to 20m/s and with sun, rain and even hail. At least 2 rounds was cancelled due to change in conditions (I think).
The organizers did a very good job and we all got a T-shirt and a goodiebag. One item I liked was the A3 size calendar with all F3F Eurotour events already plotted into it. I was in the lead from round 2 and kept it all the way. But I really had to fight and Carlos did what he could to try and catch me. Variations in the conditions made it more exited than I like. Alexis Marcheal was 3rd and could have been a lot closer if he did not do so many mistakes. Well I guess it was an early start even for Alexis. My new team mates, Juan and Tomas from Malaga, was taking care of me during the contest and I really apriciate that. Tomas Eklund is a Swedish guy who moved to Spain some 30 years ago. He is now a Spanish citizen. He used to be a hang glider pilot but have now moved to RC gliding and has quickly become an enthusiast.
On Sunday one of the bases was hit by a model. Luckily nobody got hurt. This happend when the wind was very weak and the model did not have much speed. Please consider at all competitions to move back the bases so people can be in safety when we do our sport.
Some results and info can be found here:

Tomas, Juan and me. The Malaga Fantastico!

French camp.


Tomas Eklund and me after the contest