This article was originally published in the October/November 2016 issue of The Drones Magazine.
Let me preface this short, but sweet article with the notion that I certainly do not need an excuse to do some FPV flying, whether it’s through gates or freestyle. Give me a crowd to do it in front of and the chance to raise some loot to go towards research to end children’s cancers and I’m there in a heartbeat!
For the past seven years, the Goshen Stampede, a local rodeo in northwest Connecticut, also featured an RC car race to generate money for cancer research. Originally dreamed up by Pat Bovat and Steve Palmer (formerly of Pin Shop Hobbies), the car racing had been handed over to Lester Bastenback of Wolcott Hobbies for 2014 and 2015. The weather was not friendly, to say the least, and the fact that most racers were running nitro rigs meant that indoors was not an option. After almost a decade of car racing fun for charity, the Race For A Cure was done.
Fast forward to 2016, just weeks before the event. Stampede organizer, Sean O’Neill, reached out to Bovat who then contact Petr Hejl and myself to see if we could put on a show for the crowd if given the “swine barn” to play indoors. Of course we accepted the challenge and of course the weather was beautiful all weekend, but I digress. We managed to cob together a small venue, complete with bleachers protected by safety netting and an 80 inch monitor in front of the seats for live viewing of whatever pilot was up at any given time.
We also set up an RC crawler course that was basically a scale rig with an FPV setup out front. The driver who got the fastest five laps of the weekend with the goggles on went home with brand new Temper crawler from Horizon Hobby. The barn itself, with high roof and open rafters was perfect for the Tiny Whoops and every pilot that showed up was packing one. Venom Power even provided an ample supply of their new 150mAh 1S packs for all the Tiny Whoop pilots. There were loads of other raffle prizes donated to help raise more funds for the cause and for that, I must thank Hobbico, 2DogRC, Hitec and again, Horizon and Venom.
Though TrackMate Racing hooked us up with a sweet deal on a timing system, there were no organized events as the space was simply too small for 200-250 class machines to go up against each other. That, however, did not stop Michael Nieves and Ken Pleil from putting on a show for the crowd. Yours truly constructed seven gates. Complete with LEDs so there were plenty of obstacles to dance around. Petr Hejl and Chris Dileo kept the action going when the big machines were down, getting up close and personal with the higher rafters and keeping the crowd enthralled. All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. We had a great time, we made a bunch of money to donate to The St. Baldrick’s Foundation and we showed a heck of a lot of people just what FPV is … in addition to dispelling some myths. If you’re in the Northeast on Father’s Day weekend in next year, be sure to check us out at The Hog Barn FPV 2016!