And a Child Shall Lead Them: Thai girl, 11, soars at drone championships

Photo: Marcus King/ FAI
Photo: Marcus King/ FAI

Eleven-year-old Wanraya “Milk” Wannapong has done it again, earning top honors yesterday at the first-ever FAI World Drone Racing Championships in Shenzhen, China.

Wanraya took home the gold in the women’s division, cashing in a prize of US$8,000 (THB254,000). The young drone ace competed with 12 other female pilots, navigating her drone through a 650-meter-long obstacle course.

The young drone master, who first made headlines in May when she beat out 61 other pilots to win the 2018 China Drone Racing Open, said she was very happy with her win.

Photo: Marcus King/ FAI
Photo: Marcus King/ FAI

“I loved this track a lot. I liked flying it at night, it was a lot of fun,” Wanraya said.

“Milk” is supported by her father, who helps her practice everyday at their own training field.

The FAI World Drone Racing Championships is a four-day event certified by the world’s governing body for air sports, the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI).

Drone racing, by the way, would appear to be a young person’s game. The winner on the men’s side was 15-year-old Rudi Browning from Australia, who was also the event’s overall champion, beating a total of 127 competitors from 34 countries.

Photo: Marcus King/ FAI
Photo: Marcus King/ FAI

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