College sports history was made last weekend with the first ever Collegiate Drone Racing Championship, which was hosted by Purdue University. MultiGP was honored to sanction and officiate this event, which was a preview of the 2018 Collegiate Drone Racing Series, scheduled to take place at colleges across the nation next year. This inaugural event drew 48 collegiate drone racing pilots from 26 colleges and universities to compete in both team and individual events, to see which school, and which pilot, were the fastest.
Even the blustery conditions, with gusts over 20 MPH, were no match for these competitors. The majority of pilots were seeing lap times that averaged in the low 20 second range, this was a highly competitive event for all pilots involved. “It was a fantastic event,” said the president of the Purdue Drone Club, Tyler Landers. “It was a bit windy, but I think everyone had a good time.”
The Collegiate Drone Racing Championship also attracted a fair amount of spectators, more evidence of the growing appeal of drone sports. “The fun of flying the drones is it’s a 3D sport,” said Michael Gianoutsos, Chief Marketing Officer for MultiGP. “It’s a cross between virtual reality and real life.” One of the biggest reasons for the growing popularity of drone sports is that the pilots, and the spectators, use VR-style goggles to see – in real time – the perspective from the cockpit of the drone. It gives an immersive quality that is lacking in other spectator sports.
When the drones finally settled, the team winners were met with applause. Georgia Tech was crowned the victor, with UC Berkeley coming in second. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona placed third and Purdue University finished fourth. In the final individual’s race Ivan “Envy Astro” Rodriguez from the University of Texas at Arlington bested his competitors to take first. Corey Ibanez from the University of California, Santa Cruz took second; Nick Willard from Georgia Tech earned third, and Dominguez Hooper from UC Berkeley finished fourth. All of the schools received over $15,000 in equipment and prizes.
With the stellar success of the 2017 Collegiate Drone Racing Championship this year, MultiGP is already working hard to establish the guidelines for the 2018 Collegiate Drone Racing Series. Be ready for more colleges, more event locations, and more competition!
MultiGP is the largest professional drone racing league which hosts frequent competitive gatherings and casual events within its network of over 1,000 MultiGP Chapters and 16,000 pilots world-wide. MultiGP nurtures its Chapters by providing tools, guidance and community to make drone racing fun, organized and rewarding for pilots, Chapter Organizers and spectators. Programming such as the National Championship, Regional Series, International Open, Universal Time Trial Tracks and Chapter Tiers are designed to allow the drone racing community to compete in an easily accessible yet structured format with the goal of progressing the sport. MultiGP is the Academy of Model Aeronautics Special Interest Group for First Person View (FPV) Racing. For more information, go to www.MultiGP.com