Annual Centrum Sailboat Racing
They have to spend all that money on something.
OverviewOnce a year the Centrum elite participate in what is perhaps the most lavish and expensive sport found anywhere on the Quassus Continent- a high stakes sailboat race. The race occurs during the month of Aqua, on the clearest day with the calmest seas. The goal is to be the first to navigate around the islands of Centrum- Visus Island, Magna Soror, and Parva Soror. While the race is considered to be largely exclusive to the Centrum elite, royalty and other wealthy individuals from elsewhere on the continent have participated in the past. The royal family members from places such as the Kingdom of Helia and the Queendom of Lunaria have been known to participate as competitors in the past as guests of high honor. The most recent royal guests were the Kings of the Kingdom of Vhara, King Arrek Frosthammer and King Fozik Frosthammer who competed against each other in 1275AGC.
The race began as an Avistarian event. It was held for the entertainment of the royal family. As Avistar began to collapse from within, eventually leading to the invasion of the Kingdom of Helia, the event was slowly dying out in favor of more terrestrial pursuits. When Centrum became a center for merchant activity, the merchant class resurrected the sport in a big way. Now, fast sailboats doubled as a sign of wealth and as a tool to win expensive prizes. The current champions of the race with a win streak six years and counting belong to the Mabara family- owners of the Mabara Guild. Half of these wins were done on technicalities that are still a topic of conversation among Centrum's populace.
Competitors must begin at the Marina, navigate to specific points around Visus Island in a specific order, and then return to the marina. Whoever is the first to cross the finish line wins the race (at least that's how a winner used to be chosen). Navigation points are often marked by specially painted buoys. These buoys also come equipped with lamps that are sealed to prevent sea water from extinguishing them.
Components and tools
A sailboat, a crew, provisions, and maybe a lawyer on hand to help "interpret" the rules.
One has to pay a fee in order to participate. The fee is so great that only the rich merchant class can afford to enter the race, notwithstanding the price of commissioning the construction of a sailboat and hiring a crew for said sailboat. Officials monitor proceedings on ships of their own and from the Lucet Lighthouse. Their role is to ensure the rules are followed. However, many claim that these officials have been increasingly compromised as their verdicts on conflicts between participants have begun to show favoritism.
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Growing Political GamesThe luster of the sport has been tarnished in recent years by internal political matters. No longer can a winner be declared simply by making it to the finish line first. The political matters often force a small change to the rules or to disqualify a competitor outright according to the wishes of the more powerful family. As a result, the focus is now less on the sport itself and more on the political infighting of its participants.
Attacks on CompetitorsIt is well known that the participants of the sailboat race have enemies. Sometimes these enemies make an attempt on the life of the participant when they are relatively isolated in the sea. Attempts at increasing security have been made by way of deploying galleons to patrol the sea, but the risk remains nevertheless.
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