DRONE RACES FOR PILOTS, BY PILOTS TAKE OVER WHISTLER'S BEND

Sanne Godfrey
The News-Review
 (Roseburg, OR)
Sports Reporter
Aug 20, 2017

Drones buzz through the air and pilots stand just outside the yellow caution tape with headsets that cover their eyes and remote controls bigger than their heads.

An X Class drone zips past a flag durring a practice race at the 2017 West Coast Throwdown held Saturday at Whistler's Park (Mike Henneke/News-Review photos)

First-person-view, or FPV, drones have taken over Whistler’s Bend Park this weekend. The drone racing started Friday and will continue until later this evening.

Derek Brown of Next Level RC is hosting the 2017 West Coast Throwdown, which drew people from as far as Mexico and the Eastern United States to what he calls “our secret gem of an FPV playground.”

“We’re the first to pull the trigger on an event like this in Douglas County,” fellow organizer Nathan Baker said. “This is a great place to do it.”

What makes Whistler’s Bend perfect for drone racing are the variations in open and wooded terrain.

A course was laid out, complete with obstacles such as rings and gates, on a field that was 75 percent grass and 25 percent densely wooded area.

The wooded area caused some trouble for Angela Jacques, of Mexico, who piloted her x-class racing drone into the trees more than once.

X-class racing drones are bigger, longer drones that are fairly new to the racing competition. “It’s like flying a boat,” Brown said.

(Full Article)

Edie Alderette-Sellers