Drone racing on show to live Adelaide audience

One of the world’s fastest-growing sports that blends high speed with skill and technology will be showcased to a live audience at the Royal Adelaide Show next month.

Aug 10, 2016, updated Aug 10, 2016

Drone races will be held over 10 nights at the show from September 2-11 in front of an expected daily crowd of up to 12,000.

Adelaide FPV Racing is hosting the races, which will include the South Australian State Championship and Australian International Championship, with total prize money of $25,000

Adelaide FPV Racing was formed only in late 2015 and is already struggling to keep up with demand. It is considering creating new branches of the club to cater for the growing number of members.

Chairman Alan Boldock said the show races would be the biggest drone event ever staged in the state.

“It’s going to give us a pivotal point to pull the community together,” he said.

“It is huge. We have something like eight new people a week wanting to be involved by joining our Facebook group. The amount of products that are coming out and the prices of them is just phenomenal.

“It’s almost the perfect storm of cheap technology that’s making it readily available, plus the technology is getting smarter.”

Three races with four competitors in each race will be held every night from 8pm in the main arena, requiring competitors to navigate a series of gates around the course, reaching speeds of up to 130km/h.

Boldock said staging the races in front of such big crowds would help boost the sport’s growing popularity and cement the Royal Adelaide Show event as a regular fixture on the Australian Drone Racing calendar.

“This is the first time we’ve had an official event in front of a live audience,” he said.

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“We did a demonstration for them under lights at the showgrounds two weeks ago and that made them passionate about it – it can be quite spectacular because they are so fast.”

First-person view (FPV) drone racing requires participants to control drones equipped with cameras while wearing head-mounted displays showing the live stream camera feed from the drones. Amateur racing began in Australia in 2014.

The 2016 World Drone Racing Championships will be held in Hawaii in October, when racers will compete for $US200,000 in cash and prizes.

This article was first published on The Lead.

Topics: Drones
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