Next generation of joy-stick jockeys fly into future with drone racing

(KOVR/CNN) — The next generation of joy-stick jockeys is here and they’re not controlling two-dimensional video game images. They’re flying into the future with live drone racing.

Over 120 pilots from all over the world are competing on a course built at Cal Expo in Sacramento.

It’s huge that Carlos Puerdolas of Spain is participating — he’s dubbed the Lebron James of drone flying.

Puerdolas and other pilots have mounted cameras on their drones and are flying them by looking through goggles all while using a remote control to race.

It’s called FPV, or first person view. “And it really feels like you’re inside,” Puerdolas said. “In fact, when you do this for a while, it becomes second nature and sometimes you see yourself from outside and you laugh. You think ‘who’s that?’ because your brain just connects completely with these things.”

The same goes for 17-year-old Wyll Soll, one of the youngest racing. He’s learned everything about drones by surfing the web.

“I’m really impressed,” he said. “They did a really good job because a lot of the courses I’ve seen which are really nice they used trees or other obstacles, so to create just such a really great course in such a small area is really impressive.”

These drones are zig-zagging around the course at speeds of 80 mph and averaging 25 second laps, all for a championship belt buckle and $25,000.

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