The winner of World Drone Prix in Dubai is a 15-year-old teenager
You believe this is still an amateur sport? What would you say if you knew that a 15-year-old won a 250 000$ prize, by winning one of these competitions?
Not so long ago, drone races were held in fields and in closed factories, but with the development of new technologies, virtual reality and keen interest in this sport, drone races are setting foot on becoming a professional sport. Out of many drone competitions that occurred within the year, the most important is definitely the one held on 11th and 12th March in Dubai. This drone race, called World Grand Prix, gathered about 150 teams from all over the world.
In order to qualify for this race, teams had to submit videos of their races. After careful consideration, the organizers chose the teams for this year’s qualifications. The teams that qualified ensured their participation in Sky Dive competition in Dubai, after which came the most prestigious drone race – World Drone Prix.
32 teams that participated in World Drone Prix competed by the system of elimination, until the big finale, held on Saturday night. The final drone race was watched by 2000 visitors, who enjoyed both the races and loops that the drone pilots performed. Among the visitors, there were a large number of respectable businessmen.
At the end of the hot and exciting evening, the winner was the team Tornado X Blades Banni – UK, with a 15-year-old Luke Bannister from UK, who triumphed over the home team – Dubai Drone Tek. Along with the victory, Luke Banister’s team won the check for 250 000$.
Dubai Drone Tek, with the second place, also won the prize of 125 000$. The third place and 50 000$ belonged to the team VS Mescheriakov and the fourth place and 25 000$ belonged to the Dutch Drone Race Team SQG. The sponsors also provided numerous special awards – for the fastest lap, the best local team from the UAB, etc.
The racing track, 591m (646 yd.) long, was lit by multi-colour lights delineating the way for the drones. On the track there were arches the drones had to go through. To make the race even more exciting, the race architects made a large number of ups and downs, as well as sharp curves, where the pilots had to show their special skills.
Drone pilots have the sense of virtual reality, enabled by a special headset with the camera filming in the first person view so that the pilots see everything that a drone sees. Visitors, by watching the video, have the same impression, along with the sound of drone which reminds the visitors of Formula 1.
The very suit also looks like the suits of Formula 1 racers.
These races attract more and more serious sponsors, and the very sport investors who are, for the most part, set up for investments in NFL league. Their growing interest undoubtedly shows that drone races will attract the attention of media more and more.
It’s not entirely accidental that this race was held in Dubai. Last year, Dubai was the host of Drones For Good competition, organised with the aim to emphasize the humanitarian character of advanced technology.
Apart from that, the city will be a host of Future Sports Games, where there will definitely be drone races.