By Press Release Submitted to Published Apr 13, 2022 at 3:47 PM

When Wisconsin’s first indoor professional drone racing competition over ice comes to the Pettit National Ice Center, 500 S. 84th St., on April 29, experienced drone pilots from around the country will have some drone racing students to thank for the idea, according to Monica Van Aken, Head of Milwaukee Montessori School.

“Drones are very popular right now, and they’ve helped our students embrace technology, creativity, and teamwork resulting in winning first place in one of the world's most competitive international drone racing contests,” said Van Aken. “We thought, if the students love this, wouldn’t it be great if Wisconsin had a unique professional drone racing competition where families and everyone could watch the pros race and also be inspired?”

The school has partnered with MultiGP – the world’s largest professional drone racing league, to host the Ice Storm Drone Racing Competition at the Pettit National Ice Center Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1. Some of the most celebrated professional drone pilots in the world will race over ice at the US Speedskating Training Site from one end of the facility to the other competing for $25,000 in cash prizes.

“Thousands of drone racing competitions are held each year, but less than 5% are indoors, and this one will be especially unique stretched over two indoor ice rinks connected by a 20X20 corridor,” said Roger Bess of MultiGP. “Spectators will have a chance to see thrilling professional racing as the drones crush speeds from 90 to 120 miles per hour over the ice. This sport has widespread popularity with young people because it combines the thrill of flight with precise eye/hand coordination, quick thinking and creativity to maneuver hairpin turns. It will literally be entertainment at a mile a minute.”

MultiGP indicates more than 50 drone pilots have already entered the competition from Wisconsin, New York, Florida, California, Alaska, Montana, and as far away as Toronto and South Korea.

Some of the top professionals competing will include:

  •     Evan “HeadsUp” Turner, two-time DRL World Champ and three-time MultiGP Champ
  •     Alex “CaptainVanover” 2019 Drone Racing Leagues World Champion
  •     21-year-old Mason “Hyper” Lively; the MultiGP 2021 Tiny Trainer Spec Champ
  •     18-year-old Minchan Kim, who will be visiting from South Korea and is the Drone Champions League MVP Pilot of the year in 2020 and 2021

The drone pilots control their aircraft by wearing head mounted First Person View (FPV) goggles that put the view from the drone camera right in front of their eyes. Since most FPV goggles also support an audience mode, spectators and judges can also view the pilot’s footage in real-time.

“To be a professional drone racer, you need to have fast reflexes on the sticks, be ready to fly every day possible, and practice all types of courses,” said Brian Melton, a professional drone pilot from Brookfield, WI. “This event allows us to practice on a novel, super-fast track. The space is perfect as pilots have designated workspace to repair the equipment that we will inevitably break (or crash) during our races, and we have a schedule that allows pilots enough time to repeat the process over and over again. Plus, with all of the other world-famous pilots attending, we’ll be able to see all of the latest new drone tech and of course spend a lot of time studying the competition to know their strengths and weaknesses.”

“As part of our overall commitment to the community, we are proud that we are the host location for this first-of-its-kind competition over the ice at the Pettit National Ice Center,” said Randy Dean, executive director of the Pettit National Ice Center. “This family friendly event provides yet another opportunity for everyone to enjoy our facility in a new and unique way.”

Viewing areas will be available along the route and the races will also be projected on the Pettit’s large viewing screens. Access to the drone pilots and their aircraft will occur between events so enthusiasts can learn more about the sport.

Tickets to the competition are $10 a day and children 5 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at         

Racing Days/Times

  • Friday, April 29, 6-10 p.m. Prizes for all first and second place racers
  • Saturday, April 30, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. All day racing
  • Sunday May 1, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Finals champs against champs