Coverage of F1 Grand Prix for BoatDesign.Net

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by TerryKing, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    The ShenZhen F1 Powerboat Grand Prix will be held October 20 and 21 on a newly-built lake on the shore of the South China Sea near Hong Kong. I'll be covering this race for the ShenZhen Daily and BoatDesign.Net. This is what the organizers believe the race and the venue will look like:
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    F1 racing uses tunnel hull catamarans that are capable of both high speed and exceptional maneuverability. Overall, the boats weigh 860 pounds (390 kilogrammes), including 260 pounds (118 kilogrammes) of engine. They are 20 feet (6 metres) long and seven feet (2 metres) wide, keeping weight low through extensive use of carbon fiber and kevlar. The tunnel hull design creates an air cushion under the hull, so that at speed only a few inches touch the water, leading to the high speed possible with these hulls.(From WikiPedia: search "F1 Powerboat Racing")

    The ShenZhen race will be run over a very short 5-leg course only 1588 meters long, with the longest straight-away being 372 meters. The boats run Mercury V6 outboards producing about 400 HP at 10,000 RPM. They have incredible acceleration, Zero to 100 MPH in about 4 seconds, and tremendous cornering ability, producing side forces of up to 4.5 G. With a top speed of up to 130 MPH at the end of a straightaway, they are more aerodynamic than hydrodynamic. The following photo will give you an idea of how short and fast these courses are:
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    For a cut-away diagram of an F1 boat, click HERE.

    Here's a typical F1 boat crew getting their boat and driver ready to run:
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    Then they're turned loose at the dock like this:
    [​IMG]

    They roar past the big red pylons like this:
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    After a few laps the water's not flat anymore!
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    These boats ride on the prop and an air cushion, at speed, on the hairy edge of flight:
    [​IMG]

    Get the bow too high with too much power on and a dreaded "Blow Over" can happen:
    [​IMG]
    A little too close and the aerodynamics change, or a little side bump can mean disaster:
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    For a video of that unfortunate event, see the official F1 Boat website at: http://www.f1boat.com
    (Scroll down the left side to find the videos)

    It promises to be an amazing race, and I'll be trying to show you some more of the "BoatDesign" details over the next few days.

    (All photos so far are copyright 2007 F1Boat.com and used by permission)
    Also see: http://www.worldofpowerboats.com/

    AND.. Anyone with corrections or suggestions?? Please email terry@terryking.us
     
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  2. Jeff
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Jeff Moderator

    Thanks very much for agreeing to do this - this should be an excellent feature and something a little different for the Boat Design Net forums.

    Interesting scenery from the other side of the world for those on this side of the pond (or on my little pond on this side of the bigger pond!), and these boats would sure be a rush!
     
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  3. PsiPhi
    Joined: May 2007
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    PsiPhi Newbie

    Great to see some one sharing the "other side" of their life (outside this forum) with us.

    Terry, I would also be interested to know what equipment, lenses and media you will be using for this shoot.
    Have you done Powerboat/Motor Racing assignments in the past?
    Probably get as many good images from the trials and warm-ups as the actual races.

    When are the races being run?
     
  4. TerryKing
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    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    GearHeads :)

    I have not covered a powerboat race before.. Any pointers or suggestions appreciated. I will be shooting testing today and the Race is Saturday (Pole position shootouts), and Sunday (Event).. so I think there's lots of opportunities.

    I don't have the big super-long-lens stuff, but F1Boats and WorldOfPowerboating guys will be there and if necessary we can get some of their pool shots.

    I'll be mainly shooting a Lumix FZ50 which is 12:1 zoom, Image Stabilization, to 10 Megapixels on a 2Gb SD card. If I can get the angles I think I can get good shots for Newspaper / Web. Glossy magazines would need more. I carry a Zoom H4 stereo recorder for interviews and those most-important motor sounds. (Outboards are Motors, Inboards are Engines :p )

    One of my favorite Photographers is John McQuarrie from Ottawa, who does the most amazing aircraft and outdoor shots. When I asked him how he got a particularly incredible shot, he replied, "My stock answer to that is, 'F8 and BE THERE !' ".

    I'm headed to the venue now (we're 12 hours 'ahead' of US East Coast).

    I'll probably keep the 'preliminary' material in this thread, but make separate threads for Saturday Time Trials and Sunday Race.
     
  5. Jimboat
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    Jimboat Senior Member

  6. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    "Setup" Day of ShenZhen Grand Prix for BoatDesign.Net

    This was supposed to be the site setup day and mechanical time for the boat team crews. I went over to talk with Philippe from F1 and David Sewell from WorldOfPowerboats Magazine, and look the venue over. That was fine.. they're great guys and very helpful. BUT then the head reporter from the ShenZhen Daily showed up and wanted a few photos of the preliminaries, "Maybe highlighting the Sponsors". Hmm. OK. "And try to interview a driver, or some crew members". OK. "Oh, and can you write a lead article for tomorrow morning's edition, and make sure you have the photos to us by 7PM the latest?" OK...

    I kinda felt like I was back in school, and a little late with my homework. SO: Here are a few photos of the "Setup" day and a few comments.

    Tomorrow is supposed to be just "Technical Scrutineering" (now THERE's a new term!) when each boat gets (wheeled) over to the inspection tent. Like drag racing, they don't tear your engine down until AFTER and IF you win.

    Ok, this is just an overall shot of the lake... The Pits (uh, "Paddock") are in the background with the crane. The far background is ShenZhen with it's new high-rise buildings. This lake did not exist a couple of months ago (Optional: GoogleEarth shot -click here- The center area between the roads is now the race venue and lake!). It IS incredible how fast they can build things here. Of course they work 24 hours a day. There's a Migrant Worker camp across the street; I'll get a shot of it. For sure won't run locally...
    [​IMG]

    More not-for-publication stuff: The 'ShenZhen Wan' end of the lake is dammed up, and some water just happens to be filling the lake...
    [​IMG]

    There is a lot of feverish setup going on:

    [​IMG]

    The "Paddock". Those boats over on the left look like F16's not F1's

    [​IMG]

    OK, now the BOAT stuff.. Here's the business end of a boat with one of those 350-400 HP Mercs:

    [​IMG]

    A whole lot of polishing going on...

    [​IMG]

    These lower units are slimmed to the max...

    [​IMG]

    A boat about to get it's lower unit...

    [​IMG]

    A few in-stock items, I'D like to have...
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    Wow. This looks more like a hangar than a boatyard.

    [​IMG]

    Team Quatar carefully lines up the motor sandwich...

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    Team Atlantic checks out the drivers controls...

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    The Drivers Seat, from outside... (I'll go for some inside shots tomorrow...)

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    Scott Gillman's usual #1 ride. Scott unfortunately has some health problems and just got out of hospital today in Abu Dhabi. His team-mate Al-Hamli who usually drives #27 will be in #1 this race.

    Oh, note the CamelFace! Hey, these are the Arab Emirates. And I can tell you from my own experience that the relationship between Camels and their owner is very unusual, and almost mysterious. But that's another story. (OK, if you Have To, it's --Click HERE--)

    [​IMG]
     
  7. TerryKing
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    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Give me an angle??

    Hey, Jimboat you know way more than me about this!

    What should I be looking for? What should I be asking? What technical or interesting detail is usually missed in looking at these boats? What do YOU want to ask them?? Anyone to say "Hello" to??

    It must be cool to see boats running on your ideas!
     
  8. charmc
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    charmc Senior Member

    Terry,

    Yeah, daily newspaper deadlines are always much tighter than those of the glossy mags which provide most of the race coverage. :eek:

    Those photos are terrific, Terry! Especially the closeups of the boats in the pits. You're right, up close they look even more like high performance airplanes (might be a good angle for your story). Too bad Scott won't make it, I hope he'll be OK. Hate to admit it, but those 4.5 g turns and the even higher stresses from flips and crashes make this a young body game. Scott is nearly 50, the older warrior has been beating the younger guys with experience and skill, but he won't be able to go on forever (too bad!).

    Nice work, Terry.
     
  9. taobsu
    Joined: May 2004
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    taobsu Junior Member

    Hey Terry,

    The event will be attended by spectators right? I did not see any stands or seats. How much the ticket cost? I knew the ticket for car racing is very expansive in China nowadays.

    One suggestion about the place to take pictures is that, you need find a high vantage point in order to get boats spread out in your photo. With tele lense at typical eye level height, boats will too crowd and sort of in front of each other. Plus when running full spead, there are a lot of water spread. Sometime you can only see one boat. The rest will behind the mist. So birdsview will be better to show the scene of fierce competition.

    So take your closeup at pre game and prelimnary run, and then move higher place for the final.

    I took some pictures in the past for inboard racing in U.S.
     
  10. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Newspaper pages

    I guess there was a little communications gap. Musta been their English; it couldn't have been my Mandarin, which is real sparse. Wo BuShi (Me Bad..) I went to check out the venue. THEY were working on a special issue.
    So, there is a Race Extra out this AM and some of the photos in the posts before this are in it, and the "Oh, could you please write a quick story?" story. The PDF version I have (-click here if you want it-) looks like they used the thumbnail, not the full-resolution photo for the cover. Grrr...!

    Here's a couple of pages:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Maybe more soon, when I'm really trying... sigh...
     
  11. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Coverage of "Scrutineering" Day and testing

    Here are some photos from today, which was just some testing and the inspection of each boat by the race officials. BTW, if you're into this and want any of these photos in higher-resolution, go to: http://www.terryking.us/photoalbum/main.php?g2_itemId=3553
    where you'll see day-by-day albums that are set up to go for publication. NOTE: At the upper right after you click on a photo is a FULL-SIZE option that you can right-click on to download the larger version.

    A boat goes to the water for wet testing. Just a thick disc in place of the propeller.

    [​IMG]

    The motor fires up. Not much of an idle. (Not much of a flywheel!) Those are the VIP tents in the background. Kinda like Horse Racing. Not my kind of money :D .

    [​IMG]


    Technical Crew goes aboard with their toolbox. Wait a minute.. that looks more like a Laptop Computer!

    [​IMG]

    No room on the Lap. No problem, just remove the steering wheel...

    [​IMG]

    Now, let's REV this sucker and get some data! Listen to it ?? --Click Here--

    [​IMG]

    Takes a lot of cooling water for 400 HP at 10,000 RPM...

    [​IMG]

    Lots of flags flying, tents, sponsors and Chinese Money...

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    The Emirates Team boat gets weighed in...

    [​IMG]

    In the Inspection Tent. The China Team boat gets it's radio tested.

    [​IMG]

    If you've ever raced, you know those steely-eyed officials who've seen it all and miss nothing. This is UIM Commissioner Ziggy Boettle.

    [​IMG]

    And, finally for today, a boat flies over Shekou back to its cradle...

    [​IMG]

    Real Racing tomorrow: Time Trials and the Pole Position Shootout.
     
  12. Jeff
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    Jeff Moderator

  13. oporca
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    oporca Junior Member

    Interesting, I live in China and was in Shenzhen this December but didn't know they had these races. I'll be looking out for it next year. Thanks for the info.
     
  14. beeryoni
    Joined: Feb 2008
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    beeryoni New Member

    Wow! that looks amazing!!
    those are some really great pictures!
    wish i did not just find out about this race.
    is it held every year?
    Yoni at horsesring.com
     

  15. tinhorn
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: Massachusetts South Shore.

    tinhorn Senior Member

    An ad on the BOTTOM of the boat? Too funny.
     
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