The U.S. has a new top drone racing pilot.
Zachry “A_Nub” Thayer of Laguna Niguel, Calif., won the 2016 U.S. National Drone Racing Championships at Governors Island, New York this weekend.
All photos courtesy of the Drone Sports Association
The competition featured 150 drone pilots in the world. Over the last year, 1400 pilots attempted to qualify at 20 regional qualifiers across the country.
Here are the full Drone Nationals results:
- Zachry “A_Nub” Thayer
- Paul “Bulbufet” Nurkkala
- Christopher “M3” Wang
And for the first time ever, ESPN aired drone racing on its ESPN3 live-stream.
“ESPN legitimizes drone racing from a hobby level to a sport level,” said Sahand Barati, chief executive of Drone Sports Association, the racing league that is putting on the New York race this weekend. “ESPN airing it is proof [that drone racing] is going to be a real thing versus just a fad.”
The drones are capable of flying over a hundred miles an hour, but the courses are designed to keep the pilots under the AMA-defined, 60 mph limit.
Quads generally weigh from a few ounces to a couple of pounds with the battery installed.
In drone racing, the top half of pilots in each heat advance. The preliminaries were 8 in each heat. The finals on Sunday saw the final four pilots compete in one, three lap race with the winner being crowned champion.