The Chiba round of the 2016 Red Bull Air Race season is the only race over open water; this provides some testing conditions for the pilots....
1. Water reflection
When pilots race they always look for reference points on the track to orientate them. The sun's reflection bouncing off the water can disorientate the them into making small changes in their lines – costing time.
2. Onshore and offshore winds
The change in the winds will mean the pilots will have to make alterations to their lines. With the open water track in Chiba, the winds can change several times throughout the day.
3. Ocean currents and moving pylons
Strong ocean currents could cause the pylons to move on the barges, altering the race lines ever so slightly – and in a motorsport where thousandths of a second count, it could be costly.
4. Turbulence and changeable conditions
Ask any pilot and they'll tell you that no wind and smooth flying is perfect for racing. With Chiba being out on the open water, conditions can change from one lap to the next. So the pilots need to be prepared to adjust their lines.
5. Hard turns
It's a fast, straight track with very technical vertical turning manoeuvres at each end. These will be the biggest challenge for the pilots. They need to make sure they don't over G or cross the safety line – both of which will put them out of the round.