Community Event / Creation Announcing SpeedBowl 3 - Chasing Sanderling 9./10. November 3305

Halo Jones and PrimetimeCasual


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In cooperation with The Buur Pit
And Paradox Wing
Event artwork by CMDR Rheeney
Original artwork by Allcrowsareblack​

What is a SpeedBowl and why should I care?
SpeedBowl I was conceived out of CMDR PrimetimeCasuals find that high G worlds break the speed limiter built into our ships. Using the correct technique, CMDR Sanderlings final run achieved over 9.000m/s in normal space during the inaugural SpeedBowl.

The premise is using a combination of FA OFF, angle of attack and vertical thrusters to prolong your fall towards the surface while accelerating all the way down. And not dying in a massive fireball at the end.

SpeedBowl II built on that and added a planetary outpost as finish line, requiring pilots from all around the Bubble to not only fly fast but with high precision as well.

If you are looking for a quick introduction to FA OFF, enjoy speed and a challenge but can't invest the time and resources to build a bespoke ship - this event is for you!

A short retrospective on SpeedBowl II
SpeedBowl II was a great iteration on the premise of SpeedBowl I. All participants enjoyed it and Frontier Developments once more provided some highly sought after exclusive prizes.

After a hiatus due to Distant Worlds 2 - where we hosted a special, friendly edition of SpeedBowl - it was time to look for things to improve. We could not find many, as the combination of a short run (only 10 minutes), a target to aim for and a shipyard to rebuy was close to perfect. For SpeedBowl III, we simply went looking for another location that would tick all those boxes and provide an added challenge.

And we found it.

SpeedBowl III will push the limits once more!

Rules in a nutshell for SpeedBowl veterans
If you participated in SpeedBowl II, you might think you know all about precision bowling. Right? Wrong!

SpeedBowl III takes the same ingredients, but mixes them up.
  • New office! We've moved to a different Discord!
  • Drop-in altitude remains at 200 km!
  • There is a set of target coordinates!
  • There is an upper altitude limit for the finish line!
  • We require full run videos to be eligible for the official leaderboard
  • There is a bonus challenge available!
  • Race run duration stays at less than ten minutes!
  • Rebuy your pancake candidate just in orbit!
Event location
Event location is 61 Virginis, a nice, calm world of 4.01g not far from Sol. The finish line is Margulis Depot, a circular settlement with a group of signature towers that will play a role in the bonus challenge. There are also full-sized stations in orbit, so even the maddest of all Bowlers can park their Corvettes there, ready to drop in at a moments notice.

Event date
All times referenced are according to the ship clock and calendar.

The date for the SpeedBowl III race weekend is the SAT 9. / SUN 10. November 3305. Any submissions showing a cockpit clock between 00:01 on the 9th and 23:59 on the 10th are valid. Please try and not cut it THAT close, again.

Please be aware, that due to timezone differences the final results might not be available until the evening of the 11th of November. We will aim to publish preliminary results as soon as possible though.

There is no signup. Just turn in up to three submissions during the 48 hour "Speed Bowl Weekend" and you're in! In order to better judge the amount of organizational work needed, we'd still appreciate a short "I'll go bowling" in this thread.

Ship and engineering limitations
None! Bring whatever you're ready to risk!

Open / Private Group / Solo
Whatever you want! Lone wolf or pack racer, everyone is welcome!

Like all SpeedBowl events, this one will be open to ALL PLATFORMS, even though we acknowledge it might be harder on consoles to secure the footage required as race entry submission.

Full rules for event submissions
  1. Each contestant has a limit of THREE official submissions. Try as often as you like, but once SpeedBowl weekend is here, you have THREE submissions to make it count. Details are outlined below.
  2. The official race venue is 61 Virginis, Margulis Depot. Submissions from other locations will not be accepted.
  3. All entrants must use normal space thrusters (no frameshift / supercruise / orbital cruise entries accepted).
  4. No limitations on flight techniques as long as you stay in normal space and do not exceed the 200km starting altitude.
  5. All entrants must start the video at zero metres per second at 200 km altitude with Margulis Depot selected and visible as target. The ship clock should show a time before the deadline on Sunday, meaning you are allowed to cross the finish line after that, as long as you start your run before midnight. While there are no fixed starting coordinates, we recommend starting your first run at around 1500 km distance to the target and adjust from there.
  6. Finish line are the towers of Margulis Depot, with a maximum altitude of 2000 m and a maximum distance of 2000 m from the Margulis Depot sensor point.
  7. Survival is mandatory! All contestants must include braking down to zero m/s and hovering in a stable manner on their submission video.
  8. Editing your submission post is disabled in order to prevent tampering with the contained video.
Important note
Contestant do NOT need to land.

You are also allowed to fast-forward the video after the start, in case upload size is an issue - please leave at least the first 30 seconds, "a good amount of time" around the finish line and then the final stop and hover at normal speed.

Bonus challenge
This edition features for the first time, the Sanderling Challenge. Not only is the aim to beat the twice reigning champion himself, CMDR Sanderling, but doing so in a matter that would please the Mad Scotsman.

Gamble your hypersonic vessel of your own choosing and fly between the towers of Margulis Depot while achieving your highest speed. Yes, we mean the tight gap, not the huge one!

This will mark your run as eligible for the bonus challenge, giving you huge boasting rights and the chance to beat the fastest pilot in the galaxy at his own game!

Submission - Video
Submitting a video is now the required method. We will make exceptions if you have technical difficulties and will work with you to upload a video to any hosting service of your choice. Simply record your race run, upload it to a provider of your choice and link to it in the official Discord submission channel (see below).

Please announce your submission in this format, to enable us to automatically process your entry:

YourCmdrName - shiptype - shipname - submission number out of three​


PrimetimeCasual - Hauler - Fat Bottomed Girl - submission 2 of 3​

The race judge will respond if the submission is judged a valid run or not. Here is an example of a valid, full submission (skip to 8:30 for the finish line):

There will be prizes for the fastest speed achieved, as judged by CMDRs Halo Jones and PrimetimeCasual. Frontier Developments was kind enough to provide these for us, so there will be prizes for all platforms once again!

You can find the selection of prizepacks here:

1st Place
  • Frontier Krait MkII Paint Job
  • Two Community Prize Packs of your choice
2nd Place
  • Two Community Prize Packs of your choice
3rd Place
  • One Community Prize Pack of your choice

CMDR PrimetimeCasual has put together a short introduction to Gravity Effect Flying, or "SpeedBowling". This should help first-time participants to understand the concept, while also serving as a baseline for veterans as to what speeds to expect. Current trials point to 3500 m/s top speed as baseline competitive, while the podium spots are expected to exceed 4200 m/s.

You can find the videos in the next post or on the YouTube channel in the SpeedBowl II playlist.

Communication and submitting screenshots
- The Buur Pit was kind enough to provide us with a place to chat, hang out and boast in text and voice. We will accept submissions in the official Discord channel. You can also use the provided voice channels to organize yourself into groups for the event or just for chatting with fellow speedfreaks! If you are unfamiliar with Discord, Don’t PanicTM! A member of the admin team will respond if you ping them with any issues or queries.


Forums - Please also continue to use this thread to chat about ships, engineering and techniques, as well as keep a look out for announcements and leaderboard updates during the event weekend.

Twitter - While there is no official Twitter channel for submissions, we propose using the official #SpeedBowl3 hashtag for all tweets related to this event. You can also follow @Cmdr_Halo_Jones and @PrimetimeCasual for more event coverage:

As well as The Buur Pit on YouTube for special event coverage.

Please keep an eye on both this top post and the second post in the thread in advance of and during the SpeedBowl event. They will be regularly updated to communicate any changes to the rules and to keep track of officially submitted speeds.

Rules FAQ

Q: I have this amazing speed run screenshots that put me on the podium and...
A: Sorry, but due to the exclusivity of the podium prizes, we require video footage for all podium finishers.

Q: Do I have to fly in a straight line?
A: No. But you must not exceed 200 km at any point in time.

Q: How precise do I have to be above Margulis Depot for it to count?
A: "Above" Margulis Depot is counted being within 2000m from the sensor point - keep Margulis Depot targeted.

Q: What if I impact at Margulis Depot and survive?
A: Ineligible. We have means to verify if your run impacted or not. Having video evidence makes this a lot easier for both judges and pilots.

Q: To I really need to go between those towers in order to post a valid run?
A: No, as long as you are below 2 km and within 2 km from the sensor point, you are fine. The tower gap is only for the Bonus Challenge. And major boasting rights, Cmdr Chicken.

Q: Can I use different ships?
A: Totally! The only limitation is that each CMDR can not have more than three submissions but that can be three different ships, obivously.

Q: Do I HAVE to start betweein 1.4 and 1.6 Mm?
A: It is recommended by experience. But you CAN start from farther away or from closer by. It will probably either slow you down or make it a lot harded, though.

Q: What if I go below the terrain, but due to being too fast for the netcode to catch me, I survive flying underground?
A: Altitude has to remain positive at all times. This is clearly a bug in terrain generation / collision detection and would, by common sense, constitute an impact.

Q: Can I use Force Shell Cannons fired by another ship to boost acceleration?
A: Dude. No. Just, no. Creative thinking though!

Q: Are submissions per Commander or per platform?
A: Per physical person, actually. (Per Discord account for technical reasons).


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Standings 02:00 UTC, 11 NOV 3305 (end of event)


And the winners of the Sanderling Bonus Challenge, as judged by Sanderling himself, are:

1. AkenBosch, 4103 m/s, Viper Mk.3 - Small gap, dropping into it, FA OFF flip braking.
2. Azzbo27, 4006 m/s, Viper Mk.3 - super low approach, frontflip corkscrew, FA OFF flip braking.
3. CrimsonGamer99, 3951 m/s, Beluga - FA OFF Braking a whale of a ship


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For the Distant Worlds edition, there was a shortened "In A Nutshell" tutorial:


As well as these rather talky videos, but if you're unfamiliar with the principles of gravity effect flying, these should get you started. While these videos were made for SpeedBowl II, the techniques required at Margulis Depot are quite similar.




Request for clarification:
The date for the SpeedBowl III race weekend is the SAT 9. / SUN 10. November 3305. Any submissions showing a cockpit clock between 00:01 on the 8th and 23:59 on the 9th are valid. Please try and not cut it THAT close, again.
Should that read "cockpit clock between 00:01 on the 9th and 23:59 on the 10th are valid."?
With just over a month to go I've finally got myself over to 61 Virginis to start my practice runs. My speedbowling Hauler (The Harkrider) is currently in transit from Speedbowl 2 but in the meantime I've left a stock hauler sized hole in the planet surface some 500km past Margulis Depot and now have something in mind that I want to try in the Mamba I flew here in.

Gratuitious photo of The Moonshiner with her glorious new RACING paintjob.
How wide is the gap between those towers? Would a type 9 fit?
I suspect that will be the least of your problems! If you haven't yet tried spedbowling and discovered the levels of skill required to even get within several kilometers of the base then all I can say is be prepared! :ROFLMAO:
P.S. what I'd really like to do is fly straight into the base's entrance tunnel at 4000m/s! I mean, there's zero chance of pulling up at the end but that's almost a moot point because there's 0.0000001% chance of getting into the tunnel in the first place!
I know it's difficult to get accurate but if the t9 won't even fit then I will need to find where I left the courier. Maybe when I get home later I will see if it is big enough I will reply to this later with a rough guide on how wide the gap is
Be mindful that there are actually two gaps. The one between the main, central tower and the smaller ones is "massive" by Speedbowling standards and should fit a T-9 well.

The "Sanderling Gap" for the bonus challenge is between the two smaller towers - a T-9 will fit, but only if you time your barrel roll perfectly!
A little bit of low altitude cruising.

The base? Oh that's like a 1000km behind me. That's my single biggest problem right now. No matter how far I back up (I'm currently starting nearly 3Mm away) I'm always 500km past the base before I manage to get down to low altitude. On a high-g world who'd a thought that getting down would be my problem.
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