02 November 2010

Racing Blob

November 109, ISGC Season 4
Race 3: Sinq Laison

This race was nuts. I mean, I can barely recall all the way back to Season 4* but whoever was there for race 2 will remember that one, such a complete and utter mess that it was. Complete. Utter. Mess.

The race region was Sinq Laison, home of Uni of Caille (rah!). Back then we were mostly a UC student team, we flew as Scuderia Caille and were the shiny underdog to Kay's all-star DragonStar and Takashi's challenging Venture Racing Team. But Sinq is our region and we were flying as locals. We had something to prove.

Speaking of locals, by the way, Sinq is also home to Rancer and a whole lot of fun people who like to hang out with blasters and gatecamps. They do not take lightly on trespassers because, you know, it is their region.

You do not have to live in 0.0 to see the problem there.

That was, at least, what we expected.

We started out in Auberulle for the pre-race. Gyra had warned us that she would be a bit late, she had been having other commitments during the week and had had to outsource the track to someone else, but finally made it to host the race. She gave us the undock signal and, like lovely little lemmings that we are, we hit the first few waypoints: Olettiers, Rancer, Miroitem. Not finding the dreaded space pirates was a big relief but also a bit meh, we had been wondering how to evade them. Maybe it was pirate day.

We did not stick around for long anyway and went on to the next waypoints deeper into lowsec, Lamadent, Otou and Rorsins.

I know you must be thinking but Quin, what about the race itself? Like, who was in front and who was falling behind?

The answer: what difference does it make? It all went wrong starting waypoint seven. But now that you ask and just for the record, I would like to point out that I got there first.

Waypoint seven, Thelan.

[ 21:01:09 ] Quintrala > can 7 empty?
[ 21:01:26 ] Kayleigh Jamieson > Can 7 empty
[ 21:01:28 ] Takashi Kurosawa > Yes I think so too
[ 21:01:33 ] Saithe > is it just me or is there notging in wp7

There, see? I just wasted twentyfour perfectly good seconds, waiting.

A racer ages about a year in that time.

Gyra directed us to WP eight, Crielere which meant going back through Rancer again, ugh :/

[ 21:05:50 ] Quintrala > wp8 empty too?
[ 21:05:59 ] Kayleigh Jamieson > Um, WP8 appears empty as well.
[ 21:06:22 ] Kazuo Ishiguro > Ok, where's wp 9?

How is it that they say? "Once is an accident, twice is coincidence..."

We were directed to WP nine, Ambeke

[ 2007.11.11 21:08:37 ] Takashi Kurosawa > I cannot open can at WP9
[ 2007.11.11 21:08:44 ] Quintrala > bad password at Ambe
[ 2007.11.11 21:08:49 ] Kayleigh Jamieson > This is so not my day :(

From there onwards, almost every single waypoint was messed up in some way or another. WP10 had the wrong password, as did WP12 to WP14. While we waited, we even appreciated the irony of WP11 being okay. Gyra only knew the right password so she could not help beyond following the rules, that is, waiting for the second racer to report an error and then direct the pack to the next waypoint. Every time this happened, the few in front of the pack got delayed and the ones in the back had time to catch up.

The result? We were pretty much a racing blob.

WP15 Olettiers VII - Asteroid Belt 4

[ 2007.11.11 21:25:01 ] Quintrala > bad Wp 15
[ 2007.11.11 21:25:11 ] Kazuo Ishiguro > Finish line?
[ 2007.11.11 21:25:12 ] Takashi Kurosawa > confirmed
[ 2007.11.11 21:25:13 ] Kayleigh Jamieson > Coonf

See, right there? That was me, 10 seconds in the lead. Which, by the time ISGC confirmed, looked up and typed the finish line, would have evaporated. That's like a hour of flying, with 10 seconds to show for it, already gone by in the time it took you to read this but now that everyone was around I could be first as easily as last.

Unless... it occurred to me that it was not the destination but the journey what mattered: I would just pick a gate and warp. What was the worst that could happen? Did anyone know where to go next? Tell you what, certainly not at the can.

So how many gates did we have in that system? Four. Eenie, Minnie, Manny, Moe... Dondenvale!

I warped off, fingers crossed. If I was wrong, I would just have to do the exact same thing everyone else would: warp to the correct gate. Nothing lost with trying, that is, if Gyra so kindly waited to announce until I had already landed at the Dodenvale gate. Now if the announcement caught me mid-warp...

Of course, the announcement came in when I was nine seconds into my warp: FINISH: Unel IX - Chemal Tech Factory

I frantically punched the new navi data as my destination and, as a result, one gate in my overview lighted up in yellow. It was Dodenvale.

Just in time, I jumped on contact while they were all in mid-warp behind me :)

As it turns out it was a short, mad dash to the finish line. The entire blob was docked within two minutes of the winner. Kay was fourth, Tak was second and I... I had beaten him by those exact same nine seconds I had gambled back at Olettiers, yay!

After all that practice, after trying so hard... my first interceptor win!

Race results: annulled

ISGC Gyra: ... for those that attended will attest to the complete chaos that ensued during this evening's race.


This event will be considered an exhibition, or practice exercise, and will not be counted towards the League scores. We will return to Sinq Laison at the end of the season as a make up event. For those interested in the details, I have provided track information and a raw data of the performances from the participants that attended this evening.


At least we met no pirates on the way. **


* ((I can not remember so I cheat. Having a crap laptop helps, it is full of logs that go back forever.))

** ((Stay tuned if you want to know what happens when you get this false sense of security around dodgy places..))