Student Blake Gabriel Reaches New Heights in Competitive Drone Racing
Posted May 1st, 2020
Many have called it “The Sport of the Future.”
Former NBA executive and the new president of the Drone Racing League (DRL), Rachel Jacobson, describes how the events work:
“Elite pilots race DRL’s high-speed FPV (First Person View) drones through the most thrilling three-dimensional courses ever created outside of a video game in iconic locations around the globe.”
Amidst a world gone virtual, this futuristic, professional league is ahead of the curve, blurring the lines between technology and sport.
Crown College student Blake Gabriel has ridden the wave of the sport’s success, becoming one of the top pilots in the world. Last fall, Gabriel raced in the MultiPG Global Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida. MultiPG is the world’s largest drone racing league.
He is set to compete in the 2020 Collegiate Drone Racing Championship (CDRC) this weekend. The race was canceled initially due to the virus, but it is now back on. The race pivoted to the online streaming simulator version, which is used in the professional leagues as well.
Drone racing has become more prevalent in high schools, as it has significant STEM benefits. Gabriel competed in the first Minnesota State High School Racing Tournament at Apple Valley High School, finishing first in the elite drone race last year. Drone racing entertainment startup Hydra FPV organized the event. CEO and co-founder Marty Wetherall said drone racing is a “STEM education revelation hiding inside the sport of the future. So, getting high school teams going on it makes perfect sense.”
Jacobson comments, “By engaging with the sport, you learn so much about engineering, robotics, and physics, which — as a parent homeschooling my twins right now — is a dream come true.”
The opportunities for STEM education through this new sport are endless. As a Crown community, we are excited and honored to have one of our students to compete at this virtual competition this weekend!
The race, both team and individual races will be live-streamed this weekend.