Camp Fraley Ranch, just southeast of Bend Oregon, a venue known for its polo school, club and matches, is hosting the Pacific Northwest International Drone Racing Association Drone Nationals Qualifier on July 16 (Boy, what a mouthful). 60 pilots who are still aiming for their own ticket to race at the Drone Nationals in early August are packing their custom built machines and FPV goggles to prove their skill.
The U.S. National Drone Racing Championship in New York is an exciting event for racing enthusiasts all over. It is the first event to make it onto national television through ESPN, helping legitimize the sport in the average person’s eyes. The Pacific Northwest qualifier is one of 19 qualifying events for the nationals, and only 5 winning pilots will be invited from it.
Justin Healy, a local coordinator for the event has been working with numerous organizations, like the Academy of Model Aeronautics, to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The race is on a kilometer-long track with gates and flags to serve as checkpoints for the pilots. Any pilot who misses a gate gets disqualified.
“To have one (race) in our backyard is cool, especially since this is the first year, and we can continue to have it as an annual thing,” he said. “For now. we’re trying to get something that works right for the first time, and we’re getting everything together quickly.”
For more information on this qualifier race and others, be sure to check the IDRA’s site out.