How drone racing craze is really taking off in Spain

A new sport debuted in Spain this weekend: drone racing.

How drone racing craze is really taking off in Spain
Photo: Don McCullough/Flickr

Drone pilots flew their mini-flying machines around a specially-designed course in this weekend’s National Open drone race, held in O Porriño in Galicia, northwestern Spain.

This new “sport” – part flying, part video gaming – involves participants guiding their drones around a course with the aid of a video camera strapped to the unmanned aerial vehicle.

Drone pilots aim to get around the course, which is littered with obstacles, in the fastest time possible, beating their opponents.

The pilots wear special headgear that gives them a first-hand perspective of the view from the drone.

“You have to concentrate very hard, watch out not to hit any of the obstacles that are in your way,” one drone pilot told Atlas España, who filmed the event.

The discipline attracts people – but it must be said, mainly men – from all walks of life, especially those interested in engineering, science and technology.

Event organizers stressed that drone racing is an “aerial sport” and not a game for children. The drones fly at speeds of up to 130km/hour and there are crashes aplenty during the high-speed races.

Drone racing has become more and more popular in recent years; there is even a drone racing league (DRL) based in the United States. 

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