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2017 MultiGP Nationals with Music City

The 2017 MultiGP Drone Racing National Championship in Reno, Nevada

 

Nationals has come and gone again this year putting the cap on another drone racing season. TN had four pilots competing this year after a grueling qualifying process that stretches back to April. Music City has had a presence in MultiGP almost two years now and had five pilots attending last years Nationals.

 

Alex “captainvanover” Vanover became the 2017 MultiGP Champ, coming out ahead in a convincing final heat. A relative new comer to the scene he made a name for himself pretty quickly, also having a strong run at this years first International Open in Muncie. Part of the young gun crew at just 17 years old he is the youngest MultiGP Champ to date. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here. DRL birth? DR1 maybe?

vanover

 

On to Music City, there was a lot of hype surrounding this group of guys here in TN. They were in it to win it, hard, sharp, focused practice was the name of the game leading up to Nationals for the TN pilots. The competition is ever growing in the new sport of drone racing and TN pilots want to make a name for themselves.

 

Aaron “BumpyFPV” Bigger made the cut for Serious 60 this year finishing 5th during the 2A Regional Finals, he also won the Music City Local Qualifier. Bumpy has made a name for himself being on a very short list of pilots competing at a high level on a micro class quad (3” prop diameter). These are very tiny quads that most pilots assume just can’t compete with their larger 5” cousins. Bumpy has been proving them wrong time and time again. He had 3 rounds of qualifying in Reno in order to advance to the next round. His first attempt was picture perfect setting a good pace to make the show but ran into some bad luck in later rounds. With three round qualifiers everyone in the racing community knows you need a little lady luck on your side and he just didn’t have enough this time. If anyone will be back for more though its Bumpy.

All in all though Bumpy has came out on top this year, being one of the most respected pilots in Music City. Leading the charge to make drone racing a thing in TN, he built and maintains one of TN’s only permanent fpv tracks and is the first guy to offer a helping hand if someone wants to learn to race. We now run bi-montly racing at his park thanks to him.

bumpy

 

Blake “Nubb” Sams Also got his ticket punched during the Peachtree 2A Finals this year for a chance to go to Reno. He finished 2nd at the Peachtree Cup 2A Regional Final and won the Atlanta DRC local qualifier. He avoided needing to run in Serious 60 by becoming a finalist (top28 qualifier) and automatically advanced to Fast56. He would go on to advance out of Fast56 in a last round cut throat effort to occupy the 16th and final spot. He had some early bad luck during the Final 16 bracket races and would finish 14th overall. Blake has finished top 16 in the only three major events this year for MultiGP. He ran 6th place in Sebring, 11th place at International Open, and finally capped it off with another hard run at this years Nationals securing his spot as a top racer in MultiGP. More to come this year for Blake as well, because he attended the first MDX last year he is also guaranteed a spot for that race coming up in November inside the Mega Cavern in Kentucky.

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 Alex “The Cheif” Campbell is relatively a newcomer onto the racing scene getting his start earlier this year during the Music City Local Qualifier. After advancing from the Local Qualifiers he would go on to run 4th during the Peachtree Cup securing a Serious 60 birth in Reno. Alex has made drone racing look easy the past few months showing signs of being a top contender. He would go on to leave little room for doubt about that after his performance in Reno. After setting an early fast qualifying time Saturday evening, qualifying was cut short until the next day with Alex on the #7 spot going into a final round of qualifying Sunday morning. Only to watch the bubble creep and creep on his position making it clear he had to step up what was already a smashing heat to get the #7 seed. So his last run came under serious pressure if he wanted to make top 16. And pressure might be his new middle name, he came out and smashed his previous mark by over 6 seconds grabbing the #3 seed. His day was not over either, you don’t get the nickname “The Cheif” by giving up or thinking good is good enough. He overcame some bad luck and pulled out a heat win over some good competition in his first high level bracket race. Then finally some mechanical trouble in what would be his last heat was enough to finally take down The Cheif. A valiant effort on his part finally ending up in 11th place at this years MultiGP National Championship. What is next for The Cheif?

alex

 

Evan “headsupfpv” Turner another guy getting thrown into the young gun category at 14 years old from TN. Evan burst onto the scene during a run at Joe Nall taking down some pretty big names. There were still naysayers though even after that, warranted or not. Evan was being asked to prove himself again during the run up for MultiGP Nats. Drone racers are hardheaded by nature, people would say things like “He’s good, but he ain’t that good”, and “ He’s only 14”, and the ever popular “Yeah but he can’t beat me”. All silenced in just a few short work days for headsupfpv, After making the Huntsville Local Qualifer look easy with a 2nd place finish, Evan would shock the drone racing world with an upset victory at the Peachtree Cup 2A Regional Final. Pulling out the upset victory over Nick Willard, and Blake Sams, securing his spot in Fast56 for the Reno Championship. All the while mumbling things under his breath like “I just go fast” and “I’m just gonna send it”. The intimidation factor had been dialed up to 11. But still… He was asked to prove himself one more time in Reno. Like the other two guys that made Fast56 from TN, he was forced to make a near perfect run during the last round of qualifying on Sunday just to make the show. He was plagued with bad luck during the first two rounds but quickly redeemed himself with his last run. The stage was set, he had made top 16 in the worlds most competitive drone race to date. It was time to have fun at that point, and fun he had, advancing enough rounds to come out 10th place overall and to be the best finish to date a Tennessee pilots has had for MultiGP Nationals. Hard to say what the future holds for Evan but I think we all agree now, “its gonna be fast”.

evan

 

Nashville Drone Racing Club Sits Down for a Q & A Session with Paul "Bulbufet" Nurkkala

Nashville Drone Racing Club Sits Down for a Q & A Session with Paul "Bulbufet" Nurkkala

 

Paul "Bulbufet" Nurkkala is a drone racing pilot out of Indianopolis IN, he recently had a long string of successes in 2016. Finishing in 2nd place at Drone Nationals and then to solidify his spot as one of the top racers he would go on to also finish 2nd at Drone Worlds a few months later. With strong showings at MDX and MultiGP Championships he is someone to keep your eye on going into 2017. Paul also has a youtube channel here, that he does almost weekly live-streams of various different builds and then occasionally gives them away to a lucky supporter via random drawings. His channel is a great way to keep up with racing gear that just works. His no bull approach to racing and building is a great way to get some insight in to what you need to go racing and how to put it together. His youtube channel comes highly recommended for anyone wanting to get into FPV Quad Racing ahead of the pack.

This article is also a lead up to a series we are going to do featuring our local pilots here in Nashville. As FPV racing in Nashville heats up we want to highlight all the work and dedication that goes into this fast growing hobby. We are going to feature a new pilot or contributor every couple a months hopefully, everything ranging from freestyle to racing and organization to sponsors.

 

Here is our quick interview with Paul “Bulbufet” Nurkkala!

 

Hi Paul,
Everyone at Music City Multirotor Club would like to thank you for taking the time to do a short q & a with us. We hope you can make it down to Nashville to “Race me bro!” during the 2017 season!

 

Q: Do you have a proudest moment of the 2016 drone racing season?

Honestly, I think winning my way into the DSA nationals was my favorite moment. This took place at the Flymore race in Charlotte, NC. All of the hard work that I've been putting in this year has culminated in that moment.
(See the event video here)

 

Q: Can Shawn “Nytfury” Taylor be beaten?

Yes.

 

Q: Who is your favorite youtuber related to FPV?

That's a great question.. i think it would probably come down to. Stu from UAVFutures and Josh Bardwell for learning and more in-depth content. For flying, it would be A_Nub, Jet, JohnnyFPV, Willard, and Gapit.

 

Q: What are your thoughts on current HD technology, how much longer do you think SD will be the standard?

By HD, I assume you mean Digital, and by SD, I assume you mean analog. I think that there are some criteria that will have to be met for Digital FPV to become a reality. (1) it's expensive, (2) it's heavy, and (3) the goggles on the market don't really support it. As bad as it sounds, we're pretty heavily invested into analog FPV, so I'm wondering how long it will take people to adopt it; i think some of us don't WANT to change, now that we're starting to get good at Analog FPV.

 

Q: You have been known to fly heavier quads than others in the past, how much do you think weight matters? Do you have different builds for different track sizes/types?

Weight doesn't matter. All that matters is how you fly and how you fly consistency. Sure, weight CAN be a factor, but myself and others don't believe that it's the end-all be-all. For example, here's Jordan setting a world record for UTT3 with a GoPro on a heavy freestyle quad: here

You can't look at that and reasonably say that weight is important. That thing is over 600g in the air. Instead, he knows his rig and flies it well, and that's what makes him fast.

I always fly the same exact build, no matter the course. I will change props depending on the course.
(this is the quad: here)

 

Q: What strategy do you take when setting up a practice track? Focused more on weaknesses or more random?

I'm probably more random than I am intentional. But, when I think it through, I always set up an element of a course that I'm not very good at to make sure that I improve on it.

 

Q: A few well known racers have been known to really push the limits on practice time, some reports as much as 50-100 packs a day. What do you think is a healthy amount of practice and how often?

As much as possible at a sustainable pace. For some that don't work full time, 50-100 is a great cadence; it's like a job to them, which is awesome. But for those that haven't found a way to "make it," it's harder to find that much time to fly.

 

Q: You talk about the mental aspects of FPV racing pretty often, do you have a nerve calming ritual before heats?

I don't know that I would call them rituals, but there is definitely a pattern
1) Keep it mellow. Just chill. Run around. Have fun. Poke fun at other pilots. Talk to media people or organizer. Don't zone in -- instead focus on being you.
2) Set your own quad down. Spin up the props. Hover test. Have someone else check video.
3) sit down, and don't put goggles on until the last minute
4) Practice square breathing (in 4 seconds, hold 4, out 4, hold 4, repeat)
5) Fly your own race. Empty your mind, fly against yourself. Ignore everyone else on the track. Do YOUR best, not THEIR best.

 

Q: What do you think would be a good way to encourage local competition while at the same time not discouraging newcomers?

We're a community, right? If people are competing at the expense of newcomers, they don't deserve to be there. Be inclusive, fly. Have fun. Fly your own race.

 

Q: You have started to make more freestyle videos on your youtube channel, do you think learning to freestyle is an important skill to learn for racing?

"Knowing your craft" is the most important part. What I find is that setting up a track and practicing it takes quite a bit of time. Freestyling can usually be less of a time commitment. So, at the VERY LEAST, I'm able to get out and continue to familiarize myself with how my quad flies. Time is a critical factor these days, as it's basically dark outside by 17:30 where I live.

 

Q: What are you looking forward to the most in 2017 FPV racing?

More racing! Really, the part that I look forward to the most is continued growth. I love seeing impact on the community and how it changes over time. I want to see everything grow and become bigger, and to help impact that. So.. any time I can see things on an upward trajectory, I'm excited to be a part of it.

 

Q: Do you have any sponsors you would like to thank?

Atmospheric Adventures
FPV Direct
Ready To Fly Quads

 

 

 

 

 

The 2016 Frosty Prop Fall Bash Spreads Drone Racing Fever In Nashville

Music City Multirotor Club planned on having a drone racing event this past weekend in Smyrna, TN for a small but dedicated group of FPV racers. It started becoming clear about a week before the event that it would become much more than just a handful of friends coming together to enjoy some racing. The enrollment for the race quickly snowballed into an event with more than twenty five competitors from no less than three states across the southeast.

group pic

It is no secret drone racing has been successful in 2016 with popular events such as MDX, Drone Nationals, The Dubai Grand Prix, and many others. There is also growth in dedicated organizations such as MultiGP, DSL, FPV Race League, and DRL that have made it clear drone racing is becoming larger and more organized. Going forward into 2017 a lot of speculation has been made about the direction and growth of FPV racing over the next few years. Chris Thomas from MultiGP made some pretty bold predictions about the future of drone racing in 2017 during the 2016 MultiGP Nationals. Things such as triple the amount of competitors and near vertical lines in the growth of skill levels for national events. A few weeks ago I thought such claims were at best wishful thinking and ego driven talk. I think today after the stunning turn out for a relatively small MultiGP group such as Music City Multirotor Club those claims have much more firm ground. For some perspective twelve months ago drone racing was non existent in Nashville for the most part. A few months later during the summer, racing events in Nashville averaged between five and ten people. A few months after that Music City had no less than five pilots qualify for the MultiGP Nationals. So in the span of about six months drone racing in Music City went from virtually non-existent to nearly putting a pilot on the podium during the MultiGP Championship.

The 2016 Frosty Prop Fall Bash was made around the idea of getting in one more race before the weather became colder. There was also a plan to make a beginner friendly race that could help people coming into the hobby learn what to expect during FPV racing events. A lot goes into making a race happen and because of that sometimes beginners get the impression they are not welcomed and might slow things down or somehow gain a fear that it won’t be fun if they don’t know everything or are not fast etc. So while it is true a lot goes into making first person view mini quad racing a reality the truth is most of those ingredients are well known at this point and really only require some dedication and experience to make happen. I think this event really showed that if you are new and wanting to race, the only thing really standing between that is just showing up, everything else will come quickly over time, understanding the tech, going faster, new friends etc are all just par for the course once you take that leap to just show up and try it.

Overall the event was a big league success not even counting the fact many of the competitors had never seen a race track before. There were 27 racers in total, spread out into five different heats and two classes. Some time stats for the event were 25 heats in just over 2 ½ hours. That is about 6 minutes per heat, or two complete rounds an hour. This was in part thanks to everyone who showed up but also to some key people who were helping run the event. Aaron Bigger, Aaron Anderson, and Matt Bennett really showed some heart for FPV racing and helped keep the event moving along like clock work. Matt Bennett is also a key organizer within the Music City Multirotor Club itself and it is safe to say drone racing in Nashville wouldn't be very far along at all without his efforts.

mattb

All futures are in some part uncertain but if the 2016 Frost Prop Fall Bash is even a small hint of things to come then drone racing in Nashville is here to stay. Everyone with Music City Multirotor would like to thank all the sponsors of the event, without these guys none of this is possible.

 

Vivid Aerial 

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GrabTechRC

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DiatoneUSA

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Atmospheric Adventures

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Multicopter Builders

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Raceflight

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All Saints' Episcopal Church

 

 

Event Pictures 

Videos

 

Nubb Gets The Nod In Rocket City

Nubb gets the nod in Rocket City

Now a household name among FPV racers with a sore spot for losing Nubb or NubbFPV aka Blake Sams took home some hardware from Rocket City FPV this past weekend finishing first. The race was held in a concealed location only known as “Tom’s House” and its no secret why this track is kept secret either. High speed open sections of track that lead into a treacherous transition that can only be described as a wooded alley with a twenty foot tall gate shoved into the middle, and of course a gate at the bottom of the alley you must dive into.

Nubb has been taking serious strides since Feburary when he started flying. After a humbling experience at MDX in “The Cave” he came back with a vengeance. Winning the Division 2A Local Qualifier in Nashville, 2nd at the 4B Regional Qualifier, and finally getting ranked 36th overall in the nation at the 2016 MultiGP Championship. Beating out pilots like Abel “Navihawk” Almaguer, Wes “RRUReady” Comeaux, and others its clear that revenge is coming right along. Its hard to say where Nubb goes from here but its safe to say its going to be somewhere at the top of the leader board.

Nubb being Nubb

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