3,2,1… GO! The 2023 FAI World Drone Racing Championship in Korea starts this Friday
The city of Namwon in the Republic of Korea is buzzing with excitement as the world’s best drone racing pilots have arrived to compete in the 2023 FAI World Drone Racing Championship (WDRC), part of the World Drone Festa.
Renowned as the biggest competition of its kind, a total of 115 competitors are registered for the Championship. They will battle it out in Namwon’s Sports Town complex, Jeollabuk-do from 6-9 October 2023, in an exhilarating high-speed drone race, with cash prizes up for grabs.
The challenging track twists and turns around ramps, tunnels, hoops, straights and a cube feature, and has been designed to test the skills of the pilots over an optimised trajectory of 725m.
Drone racing tends to attract highly-focused younger pilots. In total there will be 40 juniors competing, as well as 65 seniors, with ages ranging from nine years old to 47.
Twelve female pilots will participate, including Thailand’s Wanraya Wannapong who won the female champion title in both previous editions of the WDRC in 2018 and 2019.
France’s Killian Rousseau is currently top of the World Cup Ranking, followed by Pawel Laszczak of Poland and Roland Ronto from Hungary.
There are 29 national teams plus six wild card individual competitors registered, and pilots are travelling from as far afield as Finland, Israel, South Africa, the USA and a number of Asian countries.
Prize money is on offer for the top four pilots in Individual, Female and Junior categories, plus the top six Nations. The best individual will win 15,000,000 South Korean won (just over 11,000 US dollars).
This is the third edition of the 2023 FAI World Drone Racing Championship. Previous events were held in 2018 and 2019 and this is the championship’s hotly anticipated return after the pandemic.
FRIDAY 6 OCTOBER
- 2023 FAI e-Drone Racing Cup - Part 1 (8 races) and Opening Ceremony
SATURDAY 7 OCTOBER
- 2023 FAI e-Drone Racing Cup - Final (7 races)
- WDRC Qualifying rounds 1-3 (24 races each)
SUNDAY 8 OCTOBER
- WDRC Additional and Elimination rounds
MONDAY 9 OCTOBER
- WDRC Elimination rounds, Juniors Final, Women's Final, Overall Final
- Medals & Closing Ceremony
Follow the live streaming
- 11:30-21:10 (KST), October 7, 2023
- 08:30-20:20 (KST), October 8, 2023
- 09:00-14:00 (KST), October 9, 2023
The first ever e-Drone Racing Cup
Not only will spectators see the elite of the drone racing world race around the obstacles at high speeds, but they will also be part of the World Drone Festa, which includes the final of the 2023 FAI e-Drone Racing Cup in which 32 pilots will compete for cash prizes. This is the first ever race of its kind, and will be livestreamed on the FAI Air Sports Youtube Channel: 13:30-15:30 (KST), October 6, 2023 09:00-11:00 (KST), October 7, 2023
Drone Soccer Open International Cup
Drone Soccer originates from Korea, and visitors to the World Drone Festa will also be able to watch the Korean FAI Drone Soccer Open International Cup, which will feature 70 competitors in two categories. Live Streaming: Korea Aero Models Association Channel: 10:00-17:00 (KST), October 7, 2023, 10:00-18:00 (KST), October 8, 2023, 10:00-16:00 (KST), October 9, 2023.
Photo credit: FAI / Marcus King