Starports can be found in a wide variety of locations, some of them close enough to their parent body that the supercruise approach becomes much more of an art than a science. Many will have heard of Robert Aitken Orbital in Firdaus, where the station famously skims remarkably close above the clouds of a gas giant. Not far away is Votatini, where last year Cmdr TheMadOll, with assistance from Cmdrs Rinzler Black, Frank and Edward Robinson, managed to pilot an SRV from King Terminal on the planet's surface all the way into the dock of the orbital starport Valigursky Orbital.
Close Encounters is a race around some of the area's lower orbits, including Firdaus and Votatini along with a starport orbiting inside the rings of an earthlike world, and an asteroid base within the rings of a gas giant.
Start and finish docked at Kuchner Vision in Kured
In between, call at the following stations:
- Robert Aitken Orbital in Firdaus
- Iben Hub in Iota Hydri
- Big Pappa's Base in Andhrimi
- Valigursky Orbital in Votatini *
Note: The recommended and expected route is to follow the order listed above, or the same in reverse. However, as the low orbits mean that this race has a much greater than normal chance of obscured jumps, I will accept entries calling at the waypoint stations in any order.
* Don't worry, I'm only asking you to dock your ship here, not your SRV!
Entries will be accepted in two classes: Open Unlimited and Scout.
For Open Unlimited class, you may use any ship type, and engineer-modified modules are allowed (as are experimental / Guardian technologies).
For Scout class, Lakon Spaceways invites commanders to try out one of the least common amongst the current stable of ships, the Diamondback Scout (yes, that reads Scout, not Explorer). You may outfit your Diamondback Scout with any modules you like, within the following rules:
- (Engineer-)modified modules are not allowed
- Experimental technology (including Enhanced Performance Thrusters, Guardian modules and anything else only available via technology brokers) is not allowed
- Your ship must have a shield generator fitted and active (too many images of heavily damaged or exploding ships wouldn't help Lakon's publicity aims!)
FSD injection is not allowed in either class.
How to Enter
Race entries must start any time after 00:00:00 GMT on Saturday 16th June, and finish any time before 23:59:59 GMT on Sunday 24th June.
Standard information on how to enter, including example screenshots, can be found on the Buckyball Racing Club website.
In addition to evidence from the start, finish and waypoints, entries in Scout class must provide evidence of outfitting; either screenshots from outfitting at a starport, or (preferred if video) a view of the modules list in the right-hand cockpit panel immediately before or after the race run. Entries in Open Unlimited are not required to provide any evidence of outfitting.
Entries should be submitted through the online entry form (click here).