Aerial Sports League holds premiere drone drag race


As drones grow in popularity, the uses for them flourish. No longer confined to military purposes, they are used in filmmaking, construction and other fields.

One of the newer areas for dones is the competitive scene, and competitions between drone pilots is quickly becoming a spectacle. One of the leaders in the industry is the Aerial Sports League, which teamed up with Comcast to hold the California Drone Speed Challenge on July 20.

Held in the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, the contest pitted 16 competitors from California against one another. They had to pilot their drones through what organizers call a “twisted quarter-mile.” The size of the venue led to the winding track, ASL founder Marque Cornblatt said. If it were a straightaway, the drones could reach up to 150 mph or higher, but because there’s a twist, drones can zip around and reach 120 to 125 mph.

Rivals competed one on one until the winner of a $10,000 prize purse was crowned. Comcast said it would make a donation to the nonprofit, Girls in Tech, in the name of the champion as well.

Cornblatt said the drone drag race was the first sanctioned event they’ve done in the world.

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