Shenzhen, China, 4 November 2018 – Rudi Browning from Australia has been crowned FAI World Drone Racing Champion after a stunning four days of competition in Shenzhen, China. The 15-year-old pilot beat 127 other drone racers from 34 countries to win the title and the prestigious FAI gold medal in a final race that was watched by tens of thousands of drone fans around the world.
“It feels absolutely amazing,” he said afterwards. “I dreamed of this, and it is incredible that it has come true. I couldn’t be happier.” Browning, who went home with a prestigious FAI gold medal and a $24,000 US winner’s cheque, added: “I am a very competitive person and I aim high. “The goal was to win everything I could. A lot of luck comes into it, as well as skill, so everything came together and I am super happy.”
In the other categories, Oscar Nilsson of Sweden won the Junior competition, 11-year-old Wanraya Wannapong, from Thailand, claimed victory in the Women’s event, and Team gold medal went to Australia. Susanne Schödel, Secretary General of the FAI, the World Air Sports Federation, said: “It was a pleasure to see so many competitors from around the world, lots of young people, competing over four days for the title of FAI World Champion.
The medallists – full list
1. Rudi Browning (AUS)
2. Bastian Hackl (AUT)
3. Karlis Gross (LAT)
“I’m really stoked,” Browning said. “I had a lot of ups and downs on the way here but this is definitely a massive high!”
1. Oscar Nilsson (SWE)
2. Qianti Hu (CHN)
3. Rudi Browning (AUS)
“I’m really really proud,” Nilsson said. “The Overall title was my ultimate goal but winning the junior title still feels great.”
1. Wanraya Wannapong (THA)
2. GaYeon Mo (KOR)
3. Ting Yu Chao (TPE)
“I would like to thank my father for his support,” Wannapong said. “I loved the track here and would like
to be Overall Champion one day.”
3. Republic of Korea
“The boys raced their hardest and I’m really proud of them,” said Team Manager David Crepaldi.
The FAI is also delighted to announce a new world record: Timothy Trowbridge of Switzerland set the
first ever record for speed over 100m with a racing drone by hitting an average speed of 114.2382 km/h.
About the FAI World Drone Racing Championships
A total of 128 pilots, including 44 juniors and 13 women, from 34 countries were in China this week for
the first edition of the FAI World Drone Racing Championships, which ran from November 1 - 4, 2018.
The Championships culminated with a Final on Sunday 4 November, followed by a Medal Ceremony
at which the overall winner was crowned the first ever FAI World Drone Racing Champion.
FAI Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded in four categories: Overall; Women; Junior; and
National Teams (consisting of up to five pilots).
The winners also took home a share of the $250,000 prize pot, with the Overall Champion claiming
FAI media channels dedicated to Drones