Thanks to ESPN, the next chapter for drone racing will slowly begin to unfold. The IDRA signed a contract with ESPN to host the first Drone Nationals, which will be taking place in New York on August 5-7, 2016. In order to make ensure the epicness of this race, qualifying races are being held all over America, with the top five pilots for each race allowed to continue to the Nationals.
Our local race took place in Los Angeles on June 25 and hosted by local flying group LAFPV, with over 70 pilots in attendance. Despite the summer heat, pilots of all ages took to the course with eagerness.
Rather than go by timed laps to determine the winners such as in previous races, the Los Angeles Qualifier employed a point system to where passing through gates would give the pilots points. The rule was though that pilots had to go around every flag otherwise any gates passed after a missed flag would result in zero points. Pilots could opt to miss gates in order to focus either on the single or double gates scattered around the field, or aim for the six gate line up near the start of the course.
Crowds watched in amazement and frustration and many pilots attempted the six gates, most crashing mid tunnel but some few pilots able to make it all the way through.
With LAFPV partnering with DroneSquad, racers and audience membered watched as the points began to accumulate for each pilot. By the end of the day, we had our winners coming into nearly over 100 points.
First Place: Christian “Provo” Petersen
Second Place: Jake “Yubeta.Blv” Yubeta
Third Place: Matt “Macdepot” Leewaye
Fourth Place: Manny “Arknabbit” Acera
Fifth Place: Vince “Aerial_Engineer” Murdzak
The pilots gave it their all, though many went home with broken quads and dreams. As for LA’s final five, we look forward to seeing you on ESPN as the pioneers of the future sport.