CASTROVILLE, Texas – Technology is taking the sport of racing to the next level.
Castroville is welcoming competitors across Texas for a race among drones on Monday.
A set of special glasses and new obstacles, and a mixture of technology and sportsmanship make the sport especially unique.
The city will hold its first drone racing competition at the Medina Valley High School track complex.
The course is set and pilots are already practicing with a new obstacle called the gravity gate.
“Instead of the racers having to maneuver throughout the gate horizontally, they have to fly through this one vertically and it’s a little more of a challenge,” David Hook, air boss for the race, said.
That’s not the only challenge. Competitors will need to wear a special pair of virtual reality glasses as they try to steer through obstacles on the field.
It provides an up-close-and-personal perspective.
“Like, you’re in the drone — that’s the best way I can put it,” Ivan Rodriguez, a competitor in town from Dallas, said. “But if you have vertigo you’re going to have a rough time under the goggles.”
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“Now you’re dealing with a different part of this whole thing you didn’t know you were going to have — the emotional part, controlling yourself, calming down and flying like you know you can fly,” Sedrick Herderson, from Fort Worth, said. “It’s really something people will have tough time with you see guys shaking with their sticks and everything and they just need to calm down.”
Money is also motivating pilots to stay the course. There’s a total of $3,000 in cash prizes up for grabs in the race.
Many of the pilots said they first got interested in drone racing after watching YouTube videos.
Monday’s race starts at 1 p.m.
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