A brief history of SBC
As we are nearing the 4th edition of Sky Battle Cup (SBC2014) let's recall together its origins...
Lowlands Cup (2006) by Vertigo
The first Condor mega-competition from November 2005 to April 2006
Note: the thumbnail shown above is the only image we now have of the LLC website that has been shut down.
Lowlands Cup (LLC) has set the de facto standards for virtual soaring competitions, with a participant list of over 800 competing pilots.
At that time, scoring was mostly done manually and all participants had to send their igc files to a Gmail box to be processed by the organizers.
After six months, , the final results of the Lowlands Cup were as follows:
- 1. Karsten Leucker (Germany) - Score: 552
2. Wiktor Kozlik (USA) - Score: 543
3. Tim Kuijpers (Netherlands) - Score: 527
4. Tadej Krevh (Slovenia) - Score: 525
In an interview made in 2006 by RaiderOne and Simicro from condorsim.fr, Uros said:
- "Lowlands Cup is a great competition, run by great people. The number and diversity of competitors is simply unbelievable. Last year, at the end of the soaring season (northern hemisphere), it was time for us to organize the big scale competition that we had promised on our pages (Condor Grand Prix). At the time we were very busy with Condor itself. Lowland Cup just came in the right moment. Rather than starting our own competition, we helped LLC team in their efforts. We are now tightly linked, the whole LLC team is also in our beta test team. This winter season's LLC was finished in April, but will be back in September as LLC2. It even might be called Condor Grand Prix."
At that time, a dedicated hosting server was very expensive (and still is) and Vertigo had to rely on guys spreaded in several countries who volunteered to make their personal servers / PC available for the hosting. All those physical servers were launched simultaneously and coordinated by the DS Helper program. That powerful utility developed by hitzi is still in use today!
Unfortunately, the father of LLC, Vertigo, left the community and LLC2 did not see light. However the path was set!
Speed Battle Cup (2007-2008) by Stefke and Andreas
Leveraging on LLC to root the idea of gathering the community on a big winter competition
Stefke and Andreas started becoming famous in the community for their Speedbattle, a 24/24 competition which worked as follows:
- To participate you need Condor - the Competition Soaring Simulator. Then you have to connect to one of our 5 speedbattle servers. The name is SPEEDBATTLE_class. If joining is possible, just click on the class you like and start your speedbattle - that´s all. There is no registration needed. About 2 minutes after the server had restarted you'll find your ranking on this homepage. There are 5 classes (standard, 15m, 18m, classic and open). All 5 classes are 24 h and 2 weeks online. The first 5 tries are counted. Crashing (before completing the task), outlanding and disconnection is one try and will be zero point. The pilot who has the shortest racing time will be the winner. Remember each penalty point adds a seconds penalty to your racing time. You can participate in every class that means the maximum amount of flights are 25 (5 per class). Of course you can join a race more than 5 times but these flights ar not included in the results.
To name their big winter competition, they simply added "Cup" to their 24/24 competition, which resulted in: Speedbattle Cup (SBC). And they adapted the automated scoring system that they developed for Speedbattle. As I recall, one strong and reliable physical server was used to launch all the necessary Condor servers. SBC2007 unfolded from 3rd of December 2006 to 29th of April 2007. And SBC 2008 took place between 1st November 2007 and 30th March 2008. The participation was huge as was the pilots' satisfaction!
Unlike LLC, the SBC websites are still online and the final rankings are still visible.
Aside SBC, Stefke and Andreas did a lot for the community, in many areas. They:
- - Provided a hosting platform for sceneries before the advent of Condor Club
- Developed the Condor Competition Center (CCC) and a custom banner system
- Offered on april fools day 2006) a very cute scenery: Antartica (Fly with bears and penguins!)
- Started (but never released) Soaring Paradise scenery (An appealing new concept of scenery)
- Started (but never completed) the Rent a Server project
Sky Battle Cup (2010-2014) by PhilippeFP and CondorSim.fr Team
Developing and maintaining the heritage of Lowlands Cup and Speed Battle Cup
The decision to take over Vertigo, Andreas and Stefke was not easy, but PhilippeFP, an admin of CondorSim.fr supported by the rest of the team, took up the challenge.
However without the Competion management module developed by Thierry BOD1 on the Condor Club, we would have not been able to step in this adventure!
The spirit, format and set of rules of LLC and SBC2007-2008 were kept and we did only some small modifications over time.
It should be noted that the acronym "SBC" is the same as before, in order to leverage on its popularity. However the full name changed slightly: Speed Battle Cup -> Sky Battle Cup.
For each SBC, D being the date of the 1st race, the thinking has to start at D-3 months while the preparation actions begins at D-2 months.
Below is the technical and human organization for each SBC. It remains unchanged since 2010.