Swoop Racing in the Galactic Empire
As old as the Old Republic, swoop racing has been around since the second swoop was built. Swoop racing is a very dangerous sport. So dangerous in fact, that swoop racing was only allowed on sanctioned racing tracks and illegal outside of all official tracks and arenas. This high speed sport was originally kept under tight controls because it was as dangerous to bystanders as it was to the racers themselves. At over 400 miles per hour, an unsuspecting street merchant or innocent bystander exiting their homes was at lethal risk simply by being in the right place at the wrong time.
After the rise of the Empire, the Emperor was more interested in imprisoning the fringe and criminal elements whose vehicle of choice were swoops and also making sure to take these powerful vehicles away from anyone who could oppose him. Swoop racing was made illegal and used as a tool to imprison all of the best swoop racers to jail racing criminals and insure there would be no one to teach the best techniques to a new generation of racers.
"First things first, swoop racing is illegal. The Emperor doesn't allow for formal competitions. Get it out of your head right now that your holo-picture will be idolized by little beings across the galaxy. There ain't no official races. Now for a fee, I could be inclined to give you the waypoints of some old tracks that us swoopers used to run. Some former champ left a protocol droid behind at his favorite tracks, you know, just as an historic marker. If they ain't rusted out, I think they still record times. I've even heard of some small time chumps using those droids as official time keepers for their own racing events. Some don't even use swoops, they run it or ride animals around it. But I ain't part of that. No sir, the Empire treats me too well to want to break the law. "
- Former Professional Swoop Racer
Check out the first three swoop tracks.
At the heart of swoop racing is a simple vehicle called a swoop. Designed for one passenger, the vehicle is basically an engine with a seat. To drive the swoop at speeds that can exceed 400 miles per hour, the driver is equipped with kneepads, footpads and handgrips that control speed, steering and altitude. To enhance the handling, the driver must carefully shift his weight in the seat. This vehicle has no armor, no weapons and no crash protection, but it does have a seat belt.
Swoop racing is a popular sport that takes place in huge domed arenas called swoop tracks. The arenas hold tens of thousands of spectators. The race is made up of circular flight paths and obstacle courses designed to challenge the agility and skill of each driver. Read the article.
The Return of Swoop Racing
Since the discovery of the first illegal swoop tracks earlier this year, swoop racing has begun to emerge. Too small to be cared about by the Emperor as he plans his attacks on the Rebellion, swoopers have used the modules from the original race droids to create new race droids and new tracks. Here are the latest reports on the new swoop tracks:
"This is one of the longest and most arduous races in the galaxy. Don't bother with it unless you have the time and stamina. The Empire doesn't come here often, so it gets a lot of use from swoopers looking for an illegal race. The trouble is most of them do not complete the marathon. Beware of dangerous beasts, pirates, confusing mazes and a very large and active volcano."
The Old Great Wall
Base of Mount Chaolt
Mouth of the Beast
Spine Snake River
Nine Day Island
Nashal River Race
"Mostly this track has been used for recreation and youth races; very few professional events have been staged here. The course primarily sticks to major waterways around Nashal and therefore is impractical for mount or foot racing. On a hover vehicle, it is considered a delightful afternoon outing."
The TH Causeway
Narmle Memorial Rally
"Legends say that this track retraces the route used by local smuggler, Trein Veltin as he tried to elude authorities intent on his arrest. Weaving through the streets desperately trying to lose his pursuers he made it out of the city. Unfortunately his escape was cut short due to a fatal collision with a flesh eating chuba. Since that time many have made the run in his memory. Eventually it became a semi-formal track for a thoroughly illegal street race."
The Back Alley
The Forgotten Heroes