The Lin'an Tianmu Cup drone racing competition, the first of its kind in East China's Zhejiang province, concluded on Jan 28, local media outlets reported.
The event showcased over 100 "pilots" across three categories – Open Group, Youth Group, and Women's Group – with participants from Beijing securing victories in the Open and Youth groups.
Drone racing is a high-tech sports discipline classified under the International Aeronautical Federation's aeronautical sports sequence – F9U. It has recently gained recognition as an official event for the 2025 National Games and the 2025 World Games.
Utilizing advanced image transmission technology, pilots navigate drones through obstacle courses, with the competitor completing the track in the shortest time emerging victorious. Hence, the sport is often referred to as "Aerial F1".
During the competition, participants sat on a podium, controlling first person view drones with exceptional speed, comparable to a supercar. Equipped with controllers, participants deftly maneuvered their drones, wearing goggles that provided a real-time first-person view of the drone's perspective, allowing for precise execution of complex maneuvers.
Originating in 2014, drone racing has gained popularity among youth globally and is recognized as one of the three emerging intelligent technology sports, alongside esports and robot combat. The sport enhances the hand-eye coordination and reaction speed of young participants, making it an ideal competition for youth engagement. In China, drone racing enthusiasts have been growing in numbers since 2015, with an estimated several hundred thousand youths receiving drone training at various levels nationwide.
The choice of Lin'an Yidu village for Zhejiang's inaugural drone racing event is attributed to the village's comprehensive drone training system, an established drone flight camp, and favorable airspace conditions.