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.
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.
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.
All Saints' Episcopal Church