The skies over Sussex, UK were taken over by high-flying, super-fast racing drones on 8 May as teams competed against each other using first-person view (FPV) drones around an obstacle course to take home a £1,500 prize.
The drones, which can exceed speeds of 60mph, were raced in pairs with pilots connected to a live feed of their drone through headsets and competed against each other in 10-minute heats. Points were awarded on the basis of the pilots' ability to navigate the various airborne obstacles.
The race attracted experienced drone pilots and novices alike, according to Jay Turner, one of the competitors. A successful navigation can depend on a number of factors, which evens the playing field somewhat, he said.
"I think as it develops you might get different leagues and skill levels throughout, but at the moment it's every man for himself and every woman, even, but everyone flies anything, some machines are better than others, so it's an interesting time at the moment", Turner said.
FPV drone racing – wherein the headsets allow the pilot a bird's-eye view – is a new sport that has grown rapidly in popularity in the past few years. Hobbyists have seen the sport take off with big tech brands jumping on board as sponsors, while IBTimes UK sampled the exciting sport alongside some of the biggest players on the drone racing scene.
The Dubai Drone Prix earlier this year propelled the sport to a new level. A team led by a 15-year-old from Somerset won $250,000 (£173,000, €220,000) in the inaugural competition.
The winning team from the Sussex relay, Team Fast Forward, pocketed £1,500 in prize money.