A 14-year-old from Caledon, Jadon Churchman, will be representing South Africa at an international drone-racing championship in Shenzhen, China.
Churchman is part of a four-person team including financial planner Devon Barnett, accounting student Luke Bakke, and engineering student Ruivan Branco.
This is the first time South Africa will participate at the FAI World Drone Racing Championship, taking place in November 2018.
This form of drone racing is called first-person view (FPV) drone racing, and is comparable to a first-person-view video game where the racer feels as if he or she is dodging and flying through the air at speeds varying from 70km per hour to 200km per hour.
Drone racers see all the action from the perspective of their drone by wearing virtual reality (VR) goggles, which allows them to access views which are physically impossible to otherwise.
Although this may sound like an amazing experience, first-time FPV pilots often suffer from vertigo after their first session.
The FAI World Drone Racing Championship will allow each competitor to participate in a series of races while flying multicolored drones powered by at least three propellers. These drones will weight less than one kilogram each.
The number of World Cup points awarded to the winners will depend on the number of competitors partaking.
Drones have become popular in South Africa, and Cape Town in particular.
The country’s very first drone store, Dà-Jiang Innovations, opened in the heart of the Mother City in April. Better known as DJI, the drone store has 300 stores across the world, with its flagship operations based in New York, London and Hong Kong.
The Cape Town store is located on Strand Street, in De Waterkant.