2016 Drone Worlds

Drone Worlds was supposed to attract the cream of racing from all over the globe. It almost did. Champion pilots  from most continents arrived to complete with the best of the best. I helped build the hype early - as I was asked to - but after getting shafted a number of times by Scott Riefsland, the organiser, I made up my mind not to have anything to do with either the racing or the freestyle events.

Scott was the same organiser who organised the first Drone Nationals in Sacremento in 2015 and then followed it up with the 2106 Drone Nationals in New York a month before the Worlds. I could see the worrying signs so I opted out gracefully. I did nevertheless go to Hawaii and I watched the train wreck from the sidelines.

At the end of the event everyone agreed that this "schemozzle" had put the hobby back years. It was very badly organised, done on the cheap with little appreciation of the technical difficulties, ran with rules that did not make sense and the pilots were never the focus. The organiser was hoping to make money (for his superannuation) from sponsors but most pulled out after a similar debarkle in New York and those that did support the event ran a million miles away when it finished, never to return. It was a total unmitigated disaster that I was glad I avoided - despite the public criticism that was hurled at me before and during the event.

I did though have a very relaxing holiday with Kathleen and my parents in a glorious country.

My videos practicing for and advising others about an event I ended up not competing in. The Worlds was supposed to make this sport go mainstream. It certainly did that but in the wrong way - by concentrating all efforts on commercial gains ahead of pilot needs. In the end pilots realised they were simply cannon fodder for people to make money and sponsors realised they were being taken for a ride.

"There are so many things to like about FPV - it's an out of body experience like no other. Unfortunately, like most sports, as soon as the word "competition" gets introduced the spotlight is refocussed away from the pilots and towards the greedy commercial operators whose only interest is putting money in their own pockets and using FPV as a excuse because it is new and exciting." Chad Nowak (FinalGlideAUS)