Header Image - The home of British Drone Racing

November Update

by Richard Rowland

The committee would like to say a huge thank you to all our members that attended the EGM last month. There was an overwhelming majority vote to accept the proposed changes to the constitution and we are now officially the British Drone Racing Association (BDRA). Thank you all for your continued support.

The associations Facebook page has already had its name changed, and we have purchased a new domain name. There will be a small transition period as we transfer the website over to the new domain and make a few improvements.

Work has started on the Club Map, to bring it up to date and make it easier for people to find and contact existing clubs. If you are already on the club map, then please check your emails and confirm we have the correct contact information for your club. If you would like to have your club added to the map, then please get in touch with Matthew at membership@bfpvra.org

It has been decided there will be no increase in membership fees, keeping them at £10 for the year. We will be accepting 2019 memberships from December 1st and are working on systems to make it clearer to members whether they have already renewed or not. The option for auto renewal will also be reintroduced for those that want to use it.

Along side keeping the fees the same, the committee is also working on adding more value to the membership by working with some of the leading commercial entities for exclusive member discounts. We are already in discussion with some of the UKs best to bring our members the top deals for 2019. If you are a retailer and would like to work with the BDRA then please get in touch. Members will also receive a discount at all BC qualifying events and regional series, as well as any events ran by the BDRA.

Thank you to all the race organisers that have applied to host qualifying events and regional series for the 2019 British Championship. They have now all been reviewed, and emails have been sent out to you. So please check your mail box and get in touch if you need anything. There are still more spaces available so please get in touch if you would like to host a qualifier this season.

Finally, we have applied to hold our very own FAI F9U World Cup event as a part of the BMFA Nationals in August next year. If accepted this will give a great opportunity to UK pilots to qualify at home and be a part of the 2019 FAI F9U World Championship Finale to be held once again in China. Whilst we wait for the application to be processed by the FAI our Technical Standards Director (Eric LI-Koo) is busy finalising the team selection process wording which will become a part of the BMFA handbook. As soon as we have more news on this, we will let you know. Fingers crossed that team GB will be represented on the world stage in 2019.

 

 

 

British Championship Qualifying Events

by Benjamin Blackburn

We have updated our events page to include the current list of ‘National’ and ‘Regional’ race events which you could participate in during the 2019 season. Please head over by clicking here.

If you wish to hold a ‘Regional Series’ or ‘National Qualifying Event’ then please complete the relevant application form on the event page (linked above).  As more events are confirmed we will update the list.

Please remember you need to be a BDRA member prior to taking part in any of the events if you wish to accumulate points towards your British Championship qualification. You can sign up to become a BDRA member here.

 

BDRA Constitution 2019

by Benjamin Blackburn

I personally wanted to thank all the members who participated in the EGM last night at 8pm.

For those that didn’t attend the vote was in favour of the proposed changes and the new constitution has been accepted. You can find a copy of the new constitution here. One of the main constitutional changes was the name change and from this point forward the British FPV Racing Association will be now know as the British Drone Racing Association or the BDRA. We will be changing the web address shortly and will keep you informed when that happens.

We also discussed and answered questions on the proposed rules changes, if there are any objections, suggestion or comments on any of the proposals regarding regions, points and or any other changes then please get in touch as in early December we will be officially publishing the rules for the 2019 season.

EGM Reminder

by Richard Rowland

Just a reminder that an EGM is being held on Sunday 18th November 2019 at 8pm to vote on accepting the proposed changes to the constitution. As well as hold a short Q & A on the changes to the new 2019 rules.

The meeting will be held on line via a video stream and discord server. Invites will be emailed out to all members during the day on Sunday, if you have not received your invite by 2pm on Sunday then please get in touch with a member of the committee.

If you can not attend then please email your vote “for” or “against” to chairman@bfpvra.org by midday on Sunday 18th November, in the following format:

I <Your Name>, BFPVRA member number <Your Number> wish to vote <FOR/AGAINST> the proposed changes to the constitution.

You can find the new proposed constitution here and the current constitution can be found here.

Regional Qualifying System

by Benjamin Blackburn

The BDRA wish to introduce a new regional qualifying system for the 2019 season, this regional system will run alongside the current ‘Qualifying Event’ format which we currently use. The idea with a regional qualifying process is that it stimulates the grass roots development of the sport and gets more people involved. Pilots who may not be ready for the pressure of the larger events, but who might feel that placing highly in their local region or even just attending one or two structured races may be an aspiration goal, and a first step on the rung to racing more competitively.

  • The regions within the United Kingdom are enlarged and split into 6 regions (detailed map coming soon)
    1. Scotland
    2. North
    3. Midlands & North Wales
    4. South West & South Wales
    5. South East
    6. Northern Ireland
  • Each region must have at least 5 races which can be a mixture of ‘National Qualifying Events’ and ‘Regional Qualifying Events’.
  • Points earned as a BDRA member attending a NQE will go towards both your National Ranking and the Regional Ranking.
  • Points earned as a BDRA member attending a ‘RQE’ will go to your regional ranking.
  • Each region can have multiple ‘Regional Series’ by different organisers, the minimum amount of races in a series is 3.
  • There is no requirement for a ‘Regional Series’ application to be submitted by the 1st March 2019 as previously stated.
  • Regional Series ‘Finals’ may apply for NQE Status if they meet all necessary requirements.
  • NQE’s require a minimum of 30 pilots where as an RQE’s race only requires 24 pilots.
  • The total amount of ‘British Championship’ positions awarded to a region are determined by both the amount of series races and the amount of QE races that are held in that region.
  • We propose 1x BC position for each series race and 2x BC position for each QE that is ran in the Region with a maximum of 8 positions per region being awarded for 2019.
  • Once British Championship positions have been awarded to the top regional pilots the remaining spots (Estimated 30) will be awarded to the top pilots on the national leaderboard.
  • Non members (who attend NQE’s) will NOT appear on the national leaderboard.
  • All competitors will appear on the regional leaderboard but only BDRA members will be allocated positions at the end of year ‘British Championship’

It may sound like a lot to take in initially but its pretty straight forward, if you race at at a NQE or RQE then it automatically goes towards your points for that region and gives you the opportunity to qualify for a spot at the British Championship at regional level. As previously any NQE races you attend anywhere in the country will go towards your national points score and again give you the opportunity to be invited to the British Championship should you rank high enough. We will be publishing both the regional and the national leaderboards on the BDRA website, you will also find them on IFPV once the season starts.

FAQ

  1. What happens if I qualify on both regional and national leaderboards?
    Your regional ranking is used. The BC position you earned at national level would go to the next pilot on the national list.
  2. What if my region doesn’t have the minimum 5 races required for a ‘Regional Series’?
    There would be no BC positions awarded for your region however any NQE races held in your region still earn pilots points on the national leaderboard
  3. What if I become a BDRA member after I have already completed some race events?
    Only races you competed in after you become a member will earn you points on national leaderboard. On the regional leaderboard there will be a column for all results from all competitors (both members and non members) and a 2nd column for points gained since you became a member.
  4. Why is this change happening when you have already reviewed the rules for 2019?
    After having several application for regional series from different organisers we looked into the rules a little closer and realised that they needed to be more inclusive regarding regions, the old rules gave exclusivity to the organiser who applied early and locked out anyone wanting to apply after 1st March. We understand that not everything can be planned 6 or even 12 months in advance. The new rules give more flexibility for different race organisers in a region to all contribute to that regions qualifying process, also reducing the minimum amount of series races to 3 from 5 for a single organiser should encourage more organisers to get involved in ‘Regional Series’.**Map for illustration only, an accurate regional map will be issued soon.

 

Voting On The Constitution

by Benjamin Blackburn

Dont forget the EGM is scheduled for 18th November 2019 at 8pm which is just 1 week today. The EGM will be held online, the BFPVRA will broadcast a video conference call and will be accepting interaction from you via Discord & Facebook. Full details on the how to participate in the EGM will be coming over the next few days.

However if you cannot participate in the EGM but still want your say then you have an opportunity to vote for or against the new proposed constitution. If you wish to vote please format your email as per the example below and send to chairman@bfpvra.org before 12:00 midday on Sunday 18th November 2019

I <Your Name>, BFPVRA member number <Your Number> wish to vote <FOR/AGAINST> the proposed changes to the constitution.

You can find the new proposed constitution here and the current constitution can be found here.

This vote is regarding the constitution only, we are happy to discuss and answer any questions at the EGM.

British Championship Qualifying Events and Regional Series.

by Richard Rowland

If you are looking to host a qualifier to the 2019 British Championship you will need to fill in the application form to apply for either a Qualifying Event or a Regional Series. Both application forms can be found on our website.

Qualifying Event Application or Regional Series Application

If you have any questions then please get in touch with a member of the committee and they will be happy to help out.

October update

by Richard Rowland

The committee has been continuing the essential work to ensure we are in position to have a great 2019 season. You should now have received the proposed changes for the constitution and 2019 rules for review and feedback. We are always happy to hear your opinions and answer any questions, so do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the committee if you have any.

The EGM is scheduled for 18th November 2019 at 8pm. It will be held online so our members can attend with ease all over the country. Details on how to attend, and how to vote if you can not attend will be sent out to all members soon.

Also, the new scoring system that is going to be used was published this month. The committee believes it will make the season more competitive and fairer, while still rewarding pilots for doing well at larger events. If you have any questions regarding the points system, please get in touch.

Gavin Syme has been elected as the Scottish Secretary and is the newest member of the committee. Gavin is a great asset to the team and will help us build the relationships with our Scottish pilots.

Discussions have started regarding the 2019 British Championship. Topics such as venues, dates and pilot numbers are all being discussed. Do we want less pilots at the BC? Do we want to bring the BC earlier in the year to try and reduce the weather risk? Do we want to move to an indoor venue to mitigate the weather altogether? As always, your thoughts an opinions matter to us so let us know what you think.

Discussions with the FAI are moving forwards and we had two pilots accepted to attend the World Championship currently being held in Shenzen. Unfortunately, due to the time constraints the pilots were not able to make it. Now communications are open we will be doing everything we can to make sure that TeamGB get to represent at next years event. So watch this space.

Finally, Will Annison has joined the committee as Event Safety and Technical Director. We are very happy to have Will support the association with his experience and knowledge and believe he will bring lots of value and support for all of the race directors. Making races better for all involved.

An Interview With Richard Bloxam of Delta Hawks

by Benjamin Blackburn

By Chris Morley

     

Drone racing clubs are the lifeblood of the hobby. They bring pilots together and they sharpen their skills and play host to the phenomenon that is drone racing. This is the first in a series of interviews by BFPVRA with the people behind the clubs and our hobby. What better place to start than the Delta Hawks club and Mr Richard Bloxam.  

BFPVRA: “Delta Hawks has a great reputation. Apart from the name, what makes it so good?”    

 

Richard Bloxam “Haha, I didn’t realise it was so good! Well when the club started back in 2014 our main objective was to max air time for pilots and that has remained a priority. People want to fly, not watch tracks being repaired. First time pilots fly with us they quickly run out of batteries and the next time they come prepared! But any club is only as good as its members and their ability to get involved. We are lucky to have people like Elliot Naseby and Jon Timms helping to organise the club. On race days everyone gets involved and I’m so grateful for that.”             

 

BFPVRA “What else makes for a good club?”  

 

Richard Bloxam: After the members and the stick time, the flying site is key. We are fortunate at Delta Hawks to have access to four good flying sites. We have eight pilots in the air at once and if we need to we can run more pilots on adjacent sites.

 

 

 

BFPVRA: “You have seen a lot of international drone racing. How do the GB pilots compare?

 

Richard Bloxam: “Our pilots are world class. GB was early to adopt drone racing and our density of population has also helped us to train and compete. Gary Kent won his first event at our first Delta Hawks race back in 2015. Since then Gary has gone on to great things of course and many others have gone on to have success at national and international level.

 

GB talent certainly shone through when our first BFPVRA international team (Alfie, Chris and Harry) competed at IDSC in Korea this year. They were competing against some teams that had far more experience at international level, but despite this they did great. Proof, if needed, of the talent in the UK.

 

Photo above Left to right : Harry Plested, Alfie Mitchel, Chris Knight and Richard Bloxam


BFPVRA: “Any observations about the UK club scene in general?”

 

Richard Bloxam: “We are seeing quite a few clubs springing up now, but I would like to see many more. Some of our Delta Hawks members travel hours to reach us. I’d like to see a club within thirty minutes of everyone!

 

BFPVRA: Where do you see the hobby heading and is it a hobby or a sport? 

 

Richard Bloxam: “I would say that it’s a hobby that is growing into a sport. There is the present grass roots racing scene, where most of the spectators are family and friends. That’s the hobby side and it will always have a valued place. But to turn it into a serious sport requires support from commercial organisations that can fund and grow it. We only become attractive to sponsors once we have the audience experience right. Presently, whilst the pilot experience is really exciting, drone racing can be confusing and uninspiring for the spectator. We need to do more to help spectators to follow the action, their favourite pilot or team. We have lots of ideas in the pipeline to assist with this…

 

BFPVRA: “What else will take things forward?” 

 

Richard Bloxam: “On line streaming is very important. So if you look at the gaming world, there are millions of viewers watching certain games. Well we can replicate that in drone racing. We have started to Livestream all of our events and hope that this will bring further sponsorship and people wanting to try drone racing.”

 

BFPVRA: “Yes it’s a real plus that a lot of people in the scene are great with tech. What do you see as some of the challenges for the hobby?” 

 

Richard Bloxam: “Drone racing must remain inclusive and it must be welcoming regardless of age, background or gender. As more people arrive, that’s something we must continue to work hard on.”

 

BFPVRA: “That sounds good, but how do we achieve it?”  

 

Richard Bloxam: “Well at Delta Hawks we have noticed that our practice events are no longer attracting newcomers. We think they feel intimidated by the gap between their ability and that of our regular members. To combat this we are going to commit to having a separate track or practice area dedicated to beginners and less experienced pilots. We will also be offering technical workshops and where possible we will run events with a “club” and “pro” category element.”   

 

BFPVRA: “That’s a perfect example. Thank you very much for your time Richard. It was very insightful.” 

 

Richard Bloxam: “You are very welcome.”

 

If you would like BFPVRA to promote your club and activities then please get in touch via email Chris.Morley@bfpvra.org or contact me on facebook

Proposed Constitution/Rules & EGM Announcement

by Richard Rowland

Please find linked below the proposed changes for both the BFPVRA Constitution and 2019 Rules.

It would be great to hear your feedback and thoughts on the proposed changes.

The committee will be holding an EGM on Sunday 18/11/2019 at 20:00, to vote in the acceptance of these changes to the constitution and discuss amendments to rules. Members will be able to attend the meeting electronically via a video stream and chat, Full instruction will be given. If you cannot attend the meeting you will be able to vote either for or against the changes via email. The link to vote and attend the meetings will be emailed out to our members only, so if you wish to have your say on the future of drone racing in the UK then please make sure you are a current member here.

If members have any other items they wish to be discussed at the EGM then please email them to richard@bfpvra.org by November 4th.

Proposed Constition – CLICK HERE

Proposed Rules – CLICK HERE

Record of Amendments for both – CLICK HERE

Link to folder containing existing documents – CLICK HERE