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Regional Qualifying System

by Ben Blackburn

The BFPVRA 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 5 Regions (Detailed map coming soon)
    1. Scotland & Northern Ireland
    2. North
    3. Midlands & North Wales
    4. South West & South Wales
    5. South East
  • Each region must have at least 5 races which can be a mixture of ‘Qualifying Events’ and ‘Regional Series’.
  • Points earned as a BFPVRA member attending a QE will go towards both your National Ranking and the Regional Ranking.
  • Points earned as a BFPVRA member attending a ‘Regional Series’ 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 QE Status if they meet all necessary requirements.
  • QE’s require a minimum of 30 pilots where as ‘Regional Series’ race only require 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 QE’s) will NOT appear on the national leaderboard.
  • All competitors will appear on the regional leaderboard but only BFPVRA 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 QE or Regional Series 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 QE 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 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 QE races held in your region still earn pilots points on the national leaderboard
  3. What if I become a BFPVRA 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 Ben 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 Ben 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

New Committee Member – Gavin Syme

by Ben Blackburn

BFPVRA Role: Scottish Secretary

The BFPVRA would like to welcome Gavin Syme as a new addition to the committee. After a month long process of nominations and votes by the Scottish pilots, we could like to congratulate Gavin who has now joined us in the role of Scottish Secretary.

BFPVRA Responsibilities:  The Scottish Secretary will represent the community in decisions made regarding the rules and regulations for drone racing and encourage and assist race organisers to run events with “Qualifying Event” status with the aim of giving Scottish pilots another route in to the British Championship alongside the Scottish Nationals.

A little bit more about Gavin Syme

I have been messing about with drones since the end of 2016, starting with terrible toys and micro drones to begin learning as I had not been into any flying rc previously, when I finally got a full size mini quad I knew I wanted to get into racing, I have spent a lot of time trying to get the Edinburgh racing community moving and putting on races and have been helping out with the last couple SDRL events (Scottish Nationals). For the future I’m hoping to speak to all the groups of Scottish racers and try bring them together and work together to make a stronger Scottish racing scene.

New Committee Member – Will Annison

by Ben Blackburn

BFPVRA Role: Event Safety and Technical Director

The BFPVRA would like to welcome Will Annison as a new addition to the committee. Will has joined us in a dual role as both technical wizard on all things drone racing including the Live Time software and also as Event Safety Officer

BFPVRA Responsibilities: keeping drone racing safe and fun, producing the safety rules to achieve that and helping clubs with the technical side of the timing and event software so they can run the best possible events.

A little bit more about Will Annison

How I see BFPVRA benefiting drone racing: Growing drone racing, enabling clubs to put on the best events they can for all pilots at all levels. More packs flown equals more happy pilots!

Favourite racing moment(s): Realising I had somehow made it to the A final and looking at the pilots I was up against thinking I have no hope here… and then not coming last in the final crossed the line in 4th best result ever such a good day!

Best memory of a crash: Doing a lot of race control means I get to see lots of crashes but one that has stood out was Jacob Blakemore trying to victory powerloop the finish gate… and ploughing into it at full tilt.

Any other drone related hobbies: whoops, wings, cars… if I can strap a camera to it and fly / drive it I’m going to do it! I also love tinkering and making stuff and FPV is an inspiration for this.

Scottish Secretary Votes

by Ben Blackburn

Once again thank you for all the nominations for the Scottish Secretary of the BFPVRA. We have 2 nominees standing for the position. Your choices are either Ian Petrie or Gavin Syme.

We are accepting votes from the members of the Scottish drone racing community, to be eligible to vote you must be a member of one of the Scottish fpv/drone racing groups on facebook.

You will need to format your email like the example below :

I <your name>, from <facebook group name> wish to vote for <your chosen nominee name> to be the Scottish Secretary of the BFPVRA.

All nominations need to be sent to our temporary email address scottishvotes@gmail.com before the 25th October 2018. We will confirm receipt of your vote.

British Championship Qualifying Event Points System

by Ben Blackburn

Having reviewed the points system used for the 2018 season we would now like to introduce our proposals for a new points strategy to be used for 2019. During the last season points were awarded based on how many pilots you beat at an event. If you went to a 36 pilot event you could score 36 points by coming 1st, if you went to Weston Park you could score 66 points due to the amount of pilots competing. This means for those that couldn’t attend or who did attend but didn’t do particularly well at a larger capacity event would always remain out of reach of the top positions of the British Championship Qualifying Event Leaderboard. The new proposed system still recognises that pilots must still be rewarded at the larger events but not by so much that it puts the top pilots out of reach for the whole season.

With the new points system LESS points is better. The pilot with the lowest score will be at the top of the British Championship Qualifying Event Leaderboard. The new points system is still going to be based on the results from your best 3 ‘British Championship Qualifying Events’. If you do not attend 3 qualifying events for the 2019 season you will be awarded the maximum 100 points for each. The formula for working out the amount of points you earn at an event is :

(a*100)/b

a = your position
b = the amount of competitors

Then we round the sum to the nearest 0.5

So for example if you came 6th from 36 pilots : (6×100)/36 = 16.5

This formula works regardless of how many competitors are at the event, to see a points spreadsheet for the most common pilot numbers then please look at this example.

 

Both pilots and race organisers do not have to worry about the maths as this will be calculated for you by us when we are adding your ‘Qualifying Event’ data to the new official British Championship Qualifying Event Leaderboard.

We welcome any comments and feedback for these new proposals either through our facebook page or by emailing chairman@bfpvra.org