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International Drone Competition and Conference 2017

Donggang Cistar, Yeongwol & Yeongwol Sports Complex, Yeongwol
October 27th-29th, 2017
Gangwon Province, Gangwondo Tourism Association, JoongAng Ilbo



The International Drone Sports Competition returned for a second year of exciting drone racing as well as in-depth discussions on drone sports. IDSC 2017 set a record in international participation and scale, as over 150 attendees from over 20 countries around the world--pilots, drone race organizers, government personnel, industry persons and CEOs of drone technology companies--gathered in Yeongwol, Gangwon Province, South Korea, to discuss the present and future of drone sports, and of course, to race. 




 Speaker Matt Roberts, Marketing Director at Formula One




As with last year, the event kicked off with a conference. International Drone Sports Conference 2017, where a diverse lineup of speakers from companies and organizations like DR1 Racing, Formula One, Fatshark, as well as well-known online personas in the FPV community such as Steele "Mr. Steele" Davis spoke about shared their insight on the field, the market, and the future of drone sports. 




 Speaker Sahand Barati, VP of Business at DR1 Racing


  DSI Networking Party

After a day packed with insightful presentations from representatives of the various fields in drone sports, Friday the 27th ended with a networking party attended by the speakers of the conference, organizers of the event including the governor of Gangwon Province and Yeongwol County, and, particularly significantly, the expected members of DSI (Drone Sports International). As would become clear to everyone the next day, IDSC 2017 as a whole would mark a milestone in the growth and development of DSI.




 The racing course, an enormous track designed on two soccer fields at Yeongwol Sports Complex



The next day, on Saturday, the pilots made an early start to the competition venue, Yeongwol Sports Complex. Comments and exclamations of surprise and excitement could be heard here and there as the pilots took a tour around the track and took in its enormous size (two soccer fields stuck together) and analyzed the technicalities and skills required to get through certain obstacles. 




 Opening ceremony




An elaborate opening ceremony signaled the start of the competition. Welcoming speeches, singing and dancing performances by K-pop groups and even cheerleaders were in store for the audience. More importantly, the official foundation of DSI was proclaimed, accompanied by a spectacular show of drones and banners, as representatives from its expected members--DR1, Fatshark, Rotor Rush, TBS and more--mounted the stage.  





                                                                                                                                       The course

A freestyle demo by Mr. Steele




Across two days, Oct. 28th-29th, the International Drone Sports Competition 2017 engaged both pilots and non-pilot spectators alike with divisions such as FPV racing, short tracks, freestyle, a much-welcomed freestyle demo by "Mr. Steele," and even a surprise additional division called "Drone Shooting" in which pilots had to pop a quickly ascending helium balloon with their quads. 


 Pilots at the ready


A giant drones demo by Freespace Solutions (Pictured: Leonard Hall)




There was even a giant drones demo by Freespace Solutions. They showcased their quickly-developing Freedom 500, piloting it to fly around the large track, making it clear that races and events centered on such large-scale drones were a real possibility in the future. 





 Minchan Kim wins first place in IDSC 2017

After two days of nonstop, epic racing, the title of final winner of the International Drone Sports Competition went to Minchan Kim, whose speed and agility throughout the entire competition were undeniable.


 First place and second place winners, Minchan Kim and BanniUK, pose for a photo

Luke Bannister, a.k.a. BanniUK of Nexxblades Racing, was crowned second prize. The two forerunners battled it to the last, making for an exhilarating race to everyone watching. 


 A rewarding conclusion to IDSC 2017

The night ended with the award ceremony and a farewell party for the eighty-plus pilots that had put on their best performances for the past couple of days. It was a night of laughter, singing and dancing and good camaraderie. IDSC 2017, a bigger and better version of the inaugural event in 2016, would leave a strong impression on everyone's minds and hopefully build anticipation for an even more improved event the following year.




Download IDSC2018 Rules