2022 ice storm recap
for the kids
You know our story; it’s the one that begins with a team of MMS students who found a love for drone racing, but couldn’t find anywhere to compete.
In an effort to give our students more opportunities to race against teams of their peers, Milwaukee Montessori School Head of School, Monica Van Aken created an international drone competition right here in Milwaukee!
For the inaugural race, we knew everyone would love it, but we didn’t know how to tell everyone about it.
So we went old school and held a press conference! Along with Monica, we asked some of our local pilots (Brian Melton, Tadd Eells, and Josh Willms) and our drone team students to speak on why this event was so groundbreaking.
the big weekend
And it worked. We had over 60 pilots from ALL OVER THE WORLD register, several influential sponsors, and even more spectators who had purchased tickets online after seeing us on the news.
We prepared for the big weekend by recruiting volunteers from MMS to help the MultiGP team set up and clean up and spent all of Thursday night building the track.
Friday was the day our pilots began to arrive! They checked in, got their hoodies, went through safety inspection, and then made their way to the pilot pit to set up their station and get comfy for the next three days.
The drone pilot community is a close knit one and witnessing them all reunite and reminisce was a heartwarming experience for all.
Once the pilots arrived and settled in, it was time for the track walk. And this track walk was different than other races’ for two reasons;
1.) The pilots had never seen this track before, it wasn’t on the simulator before the race!
2.) They were walking on ICE!
Track walked. Hoodies on. Let’s go!
Friday started with some warm ups and money races for each class. This was a fun way to get everyone loosened up and ready to race for the big money on Sunday!
Saturday was qualifying races and Sunday was the big finale. Who would win it all?
The best part of the racing? The world-famous announcing from Joe Scully!
No good drone race is complete without its fair share of tech problems. Whether their quad was stuck in the net, caught fire on the ice, or just wouldn’t stop flying straight into the ceiling, these pilots worked hard to troubleshoot their issues and get their machines back in racing shape!
To get back in the game, pilots engineered their software, repaired their hardware, and found a morale boost among their fellow pilots.
Drone racing (and crashing!) can take a lot out of you! Which is why it’s so important to be surrounded by friends at the race.
As if racing indoors on the ice wasn’t unique enough, the Ice Storm also encourages spectators to come and watch the races!
Adults and children alike watched as drones sped through the air, either from the bleachers, looking into their own transmitter, or while huddled around a television near the pit.
There was a fantastic mix of Milwaukee Montessori School families and Milwaukee residents in attendance all weekend.
As a spectator, you’re coming to the race for one of two things; either to watch a pilot win a race…
Or TO See some epic crashes!
so hard to say goodbye
After all of the winners were announced, it was time to go home and return to our regular, drone-less lives. But before we left, Captain Vanover (the pilot who works with famous director Michael Bay) made time to sign autographs and give hugs, further proving that the drone racing community is full of the most welcoming and sincere group of people around.
We had the best time putting this race together and spending time with everyone in the MultiGP family. We can’t wait to continue this race next year!