Back on Earth in the decades around the turn of the 21st century a thing called "base jumping" was a popular past-time for the spoiled and reckless (basically an urban underclass who dressed and spoke like they were poor yet could seemingly afford to hire helicopters to drop them at the top of mountains or spend weeks of voluntary unemployment travelling the globe looking for tall buildings to scale). The name "base jump" came from the acronym B(uilding) A(ntenna) S(pan) E(arth), things the base jumper would climb and then, you guessed it, jump off. Typically using parachutes or wing-suits to survive the fall, the objective was to have a "wild ride man!" and survive to make a cool video about it that could be shared on social media.
Fast forward nearly 1500 years and we find ourselves parked on top of the 15km high mountain next to Smith Base in the Beta Sculptoris system thinking, well basically ... "let's do this thing!"
So, on with the race instructions (please arm yourself with a strong coffee and a large pad of paper before opening this spoiler 'cos you're going to need to concentrate now and make copious notes).
But seriously, the actual rules (in case the above diagram isn't 100% clear):
1) Fly to the Beta Sculptoris system, head on down to Smith Base (planet ABC 4 A B) and land right on the top of the nearby mountain (landing co-ordinates should be within latitude -5.06 to -5.10 and longitude +97.95 to +97.99).
2) Deploy your SRV and take a screenshot which shows the appropriate co-ordinates, the HUD clock and an indicated speed of zero.
3) Drive to any garage at Smith Base (more on this in a minute) and take a second screenshot which clearly shows you parked inside the garage with the HUD clock visible (no need to request boarding permission, no need to board your ship).
4) Winner is the person with the fastest time between those two screenshots.
More on "driving to Smith Base".
OK, so clearly the word "drive" doesn't quite do justice to the insane, 400km/hr freefall down a 15km high jagged mountainside which you are about to experience. Courage my dear commander, courage! Here are a few tips:
1) You are allowed to repair the SRV as many times as you like on the way down so don't forget to highlight SRV repair synthesis in the right-hand inventory panel BEFORE you set off.
2) The local gravity will tend to pull you down the slope and off to the left of Smith Base so aim to the right of it at the beginning to counter this.
3) Be wary of picking up too much speed, especially towards the bottom half of the mountain as it's extremely easy to overshoot the base by a good 20km or more (I guarantee at least one of you will do this).
As well as the main competition for outright fastest time there are a few additional challenges which you might like to have a go at:
1) "Falling Fast" - winner is the person with the highest displayed speed during the descent (remember, indicated speed is for the direction you're facing in). Include extra screenshot showing speed and the HUD clock to take part in this challenge.
2) "Falling Upwards" - winner is the person with the highest altitude displayed in their SRV HUD during the descent. Include extra screenshot showing the altitude and the clock to take part in this challenge.
3) "Falling With Style" - winner is the person who manages to string together the best series of stunts and tricks during their descent. This will require video evidence of the stunt sequence. Videos will be judged on criteria such as number of spins, loops, rolls, etc, audaciousness of stunt considering speed and terrain, how clear it is that the stunt was intentional and embellishments such as lasers, light flashing and local chat exclamations during the stunt.
Note: screenshots/videos for additional challenges must all occur between the start and end points of a qualifying run (i.e. it's all very well making some totally insane stunt video but if you don't survive and make it to Smith base to tell the tale then I'm afraid your footage will be considered "lost" and your tales of pulling 5km high "switch backside bloody draculas" all the way down will be treated as nothing more than idle bragging[SUP]*[/SUP]).
* actually - although your video won't qualify for the official "Falling With Style" challenge scoreboard, do please share it anyway!
Race submissions should include at least two screenshots (more for additional challenges as described above) which should be uploaded as an album to an image sharing website such as IMGUR. You should then send me the URL of that album along with the following additional details:
- Your commander name.
- Your forum name if different.
- The name of your SRV.
- The time you are claiming for your run.
- The height/speed you are claiming for any additional challenges and, if you're entering the "Falling With Style" challenge, the URL of your stunt video.
IMPORTANT UPDATE TO RULES
Runs should be submitted within 48hrs of completion! In other words, if you complete a run at 22:00 on Monday 21st May then you should submit the entry for that run no later than 22:00 on Wednesday 23rd May. The reason for this is to prevent people from simply sitting on their best runs all week without engaging with the forum thread and the other participants. Part of the ethos of the Buckyball Racing Club is one of active involvement with the group and friendly sharing of times, tales and tips. It's fun for everyone to see the new times being submitted throughout the duration of the event and to see the best racers competing for those coveted top spots on the leaderboard. I do realise that the SRV HUD doesn't show the date. I could change the rules to say that you have to dock in the garage at the end and have the station clock visible in the screenshot but I don't really want to so take this as an informal request to play fair OK? If anyone who hasn't posted all week submits a winning run on Sunday night then chins will be stroked!
Some general rules on how to enter a Buckyball Race (some of which will probably apply) can be found here.
And there are a couple of videos of test runs which you might find instructive and/or terrifying here.
P.S. join us in Discord for live chat before, during or after the race!
Q) Does our screenshot for altitude or speed have to come from our fastest run? Or can we do, say, one run going for altitude, another for speed, and one for time (and style)?
A) I'm happy to have separate submissions for time, speed, altitude and style if that's how it pans out ... as long as the altitude, speed and style ones are each part of a successful run (i.e. with accompanying start and finish screenshots to prove that you set off from the right place and survived your amazing display of altitude and/or speed and/or style).
Q) Is it posssible to ride an SRV on a ship?
A) Riding your SRV on another commanders ship will NOT be allowed, riding it on your own ship however ... well I wouldn't dismiss the idea
Q) How did you manage to find such a fantastic location?
A) I didn't - the location was pointed out to me by "lightspeed" over in the guide-to-good-base-jumping-locations thread so if you like the place then go and bung him some rep!
Q) Is it ever daytime there? (aka "I can't see a bloody thing")
A) Cmdr Bruski has asked me to point out that turning up your gamma/brightness in display settings can make a HUGE difference.
And now a word from our sponsor ...
(image courtesy of Ian Baristan @ Sagittarius Eye magazine)