What To Know When Hosting Your Own Drone Race | Drone Racing Report #16

Make sure to subscribe to get your weekly fix of fpv freestyle and drone racing content! You can also help us out by liking and sharing this video! Tell your friends to check us out as well, and stay tuned for future contests and important announcements A lot of FPV pilots want to get into drone racing, but many are intimidated by larger events and organizations

There are now many local grassroots organizations with meetups and small racing events, and a lot of these chapters can be located through organizations such as the AMA and others But in many cases, there are groups of pilots who either don't have a nearby chapter to join, don't have any nearby races, or just want to host their own Here are a few tips for setting up and hosting your own race First and foremost is the location A good location will have plenty of open spaces for racers and spectators, and of course the track

You will also need to have permission to fly there and host an event Many public venues such as parks might be ideal for racing, but can be difficult due to public safety concerns, or local rules banning drones Some might also require a permit to host an event, so be sure to find out before scheduling your race Many venues might also require proof of insurance or a liability waiver Safety will be paramount when choosing a spot

Pick a location where spectators and pilots can be separated from the action, and free of any property that could be easily damaged You will want a buffer area around the course and have the ability to keep people and animals out Private locations can be an excellent choice as the landowner controls the property A friend with some acreage is ideal, but don't be afraid to approach a business or private landowner to see if you can use their property There may even be a mutual promotional opportunity

The next step will be laying out your course Again, safety is your number one concern Make sure that pilots and spectators are away from the course or behind a barrier Fencing is ideal, such as the backstop of a baseball field or tall chain link fence You also want to keep people away from the crash zones

These are typically at the turns and locations on the course where crashes might happen, such as near obstacles Consider the skill level of the pilots in your layout A simple course will be boring for an advanced pilot But a difficult, technical course will be frustrating for a novice Finding a balance between technical turns and speed is key

If you make the course too fast, then the equipment will become more important than the pilot Try and use natural features whenever possible Trees, boulders, and elevation change make your course much more interesting with more variety Many events now even use buildings as part of their design, but always make sure you have permission first

Also be sure you can easily retrieve a crashed drone Fetching your quad from the top of the building is not ideal Put your start/finish line on a straightaway, and clearly mark the course to avoid confusion There are many racing gates that you can purchase online, but you can also construct your own out of PVC We like using pipe insulation or pool noodles on the gates to lessen the damage of a crash

The gates should be small enough to be challenging, but large enough for the quads that are racing If you are new to course design, look at some real-world racetracks for inspiration We also like to copy and modify designs from drone racing simulators Some simulators, such as Velocidrone, let you build your own tracks from scratch This is a great way to test out and tweak your course before building it

You can download a satellite photo from Google Maps to draw your course in a paint program beforehand, or go old-school and simply sketch it out on some paper For the race itself, you need to have a clear set of rules and guidelines for the format of the race and how you will determine advancement and a winner Timing systems and devices are ideal for big events, but might not be practical for a simple local race Be sure to think about how the race will be officiated and the rules enforced Officials, referees, and spotters should be designated beforehand Pre-Race checks are VERY important

Begin with pilot check in and registration with the referees Make sure all the quads are inspected to ensure they conform with your race specs, and do a safety check All the components need to be secured and there should be no loose parts Batteries need to be fastened tight with velcro straps, and wires zip-tied A frequency/channel check is also critical to make sure racers are not stepping on each other's signals

Pilots should be assigned a frequency before a race Communication is also very important Have an official with the pilots, and spotters on the course Plan out your signals beforehand and let the pilots know what they are Each official should have an airhorn or whistle to signal every pilot to land immediately for safety if necessary

As the race coordinator, you may wish to think about requiring pilots to have insurance and sign liability waivers It is also good practice to have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of a battery failure The final tip is to make sure everyone has fun Though the competition can get serious, most of us fly because we love it Following up your race with food, friendship, and fellowship is a great way to cap off the day and send your event out with a bang

Please help us out and subscribe to our channel for future drone racing content If you have an idea for a topic, let us know in the comments… we cover a new topic at the end of every week If you are a Freestyle flyer, check out our Top-5 videos every monday where we highlight our favorite FPV videos from the week before You can post your own FPV video at the Drone Racing International FPV Facebook Group Look for the link in the contents

Visit ShopDronucopiacom for drones and drone accessories And as always, happy flying!

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