The 2015 California State Fair will be holding a first-of-its-kind competition, the U.S. National Drone Racing Championship.
The inaugural event, which will be held at Bonney Field July 16-17, is officially sanctioned by the Academy of Model Aeronautics and organized by Flying Grounds Inc. Sponsors include FatShark, Team Black Sheep, Parrot, MultiRotor Super Store, FPV Racers & Explorers, Flight Club and NorCalFPV.
The competition will feature California-style, high-speed racing with 250-class multi-rotor airframes. California-style racing has a slightly smaller course but a much more challenging design, says the California State Fair, adding that the competition will attract 200 of the best pilots in the U.S. to compete for a total cash prize of $25,000 (provided by Flying Grounds Inc.).
Pre-qualifying rounds and time trials will take place on the first day of the event, followed by racing the next day. All races will take place on a professionally designed course, with features including under/over obstacles, slalom, hairpin turns and challenging gates. An invitational, freestyle acrobatic competition will also be included to showcase the best first-person view (FPV) pilots.
“With California as a key epicenter for technology, agriculture and entertainment – for the nation and the world – we are pleased to bring these industries together in the vast educational forum that the state fair provides for the public,” says Rick Pickering, CEO of the California State Fair. “At the heart of the state fair is the ability to celebrate the rich and unique heritage within our state while also providing a breathtaking window into the future.”
The California State Fair invites all intermediate to advanced FPV racing pilots to register, which has a fee of $99 ($79 for students) and a deadline of July 1.
Free public events (with paid fair admission) include a “Drone Planet” pavilion, which showcases companies and organizations in the drone agriculture and racing industries, and the “Drone Hangar,” featuring inventors and airframe makers.
More information can be found here.