MinChan Kim came out on top in Busan, South Korea and was crowned the winner of the GiGA World Masters a few weekends back. BanniUK represented Europe’s Tornado XBlades as they faced off against Korea’s Team KT.
A dual event hosted by IDRA and Korea Drone Racing Association (KDRA) the event also included an introduction to drone racing and an opportunity for local attendees to try it out for themselves. Third Law Sports followed up with a chat with IDRA Founder Justin Haggerty and victor MinChan Kim to see how it all went down.
Third Law Sports: How did the partnership with KDRA come about, and what was is Korea’s drone racing scene like?
Justin: We met James Kang, the founder of KDRA and Asia Drone Racing Organization (ADRO), while working on the World Drone Prix in Dubai. The drone racing scene in Korea, much like professional gaming, is fantastic and has a lot of potential. We wanted to work with KDRA to make Korea one of the leaders in drone racing, and help promote Korean races to the international community.
Over the two days of racing, the GiGA World Masters enjoyed nearly fifty thousand spectators on Haeundae Beach. It was a constant flow; some staying several hours to watch the competition.
Media distribution for the GiGA World Masters was also a great success. From online content, the GiGA World Masters reached 1.4 million viewers within a week after the event.
Third Law Sports: How did the locals take to drone racing lessons? How well received was this educational ‘give it a go yourself’ element?
Justin: Education is a major mission of both IDRA and KDRA. The best way to develop knowledgeable and involved fans is by providing the opportunity for spectators to learn how to fly (both safely and legally), where to find local organizations, and about the technologies behind the products.
‘Give it a go yourself’ was well received by the spectators. Many people are extremely interested in drone racing, but don’t know how to get involved.
Third Law Sports: MinChan was the victor in a battle between two of the sport’s youngest and best known pilots…how was the showdown?
Justin: The showdown was exciting! We can’t wait to see Team GiGA5 and Team Tornado XBlades at another race. Hopefully, the competition between MinChan Kim and Luke Bannister will get more teenagers involved in drone racing.
Third Law Sports: You mentioned pre-event that it would be the first in drone racing to be broadcast in HD. Any issues?
Justin: The Connex HD Prosight worked great! Some pilots had some issues with it during practice, but we were able to work out the kinks. Not all of the pilots had flown with it before.
We also brought the systems to Shanghai and the D1 Asia Cup to help promote the hardware and HD broadcasting for drone racing.
MinChan also provided Third Law Sports with some comment after his win. He said, “The course was great fun! I started out with RC Helicopters at age 4, and it was only earlier this year in January that I started drone racing.”
“The life of a drone racing pilot is a busy one with events all over the world. My current goal is to win in Hawaii in October!”