Introducing the 2021 MSFS Endurance Race Series (Charity fundraising group flights)

After the huge success of the recent Cannonball Run event, I received multiple requests both publicly and privately from several members of the community to either run a repeat of the Cannonball or organize another similar race. Many different people remarked to me how much they enjoyed the friendship, camaraderie, and community-building they experienced during the Cannonball Run and the immense sense of accomplishment they felt from completing that very challenging flight, so I want to keep the positive momentum from that great event going.

I don’t want to saturate the calendar with too much of a good thing, though. I decided to limit the number of large community events I’m organizing in 2021 to one per season. Each of these races is inspired by an epic real-world motoring, cycling, or running event. Here is the schedule for the inaugural year of the MSFS Endurance Race Series (dates are tentative and subject to change, all races will start in the morning of the local time zone of the departure airport):

Spring: Indian Pacific Wing Race
April 3-4, 2021
Perth (YPPH) to Sydney (YSSY), Australia
1,773 nautical miles
Estimated flying time: ~15-16 hours at an average ground speed of 120 knots
Charity to support: Royal Flying Doctor Service
“…a solo, single-stage, unsupported, road cycling race ocean-to-ocean across Australia. The race starts in Fremantle, Western Australia and finishes at the Sydney Opera House whenever you get there. The clock does not stop. There is no prize money. Nothing is at stake except honour.” Thus reads the description of the Indian Pacific Wheel Race (affectionately known as the “IndyPac”), said to be cycling’s most grueling long-distance challenge. We will be re-creating this incredible overland journey by air, flying an eastbound course across the entire length of Australia from Perth (the closest airport to Fremantle) to Sydney.

Summer: Paris-Dakar Rally
Paris, France (LFPG) to Dakar, Senegal (GOOY)
July 3, 2021
2,277 nautical miles
Estimated flying time: ~19-20 hours at an average ground speed of 120 knots
Charity to support: Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders
For over 40 years, the Dakar Rally has been the premiere annual off-road motorsport event. In recent years the race has shifted locations to various places around the world from South America to Saudi Arabia, but we will be using the classic route of Paris to Dakar. This epic flight will take our pilots over picturesque France and Spain then through the harsh conditions of the Sahara Desert in Morocco and Mauritania before finally reaching our destination in Senegal.

Fall: The Terry Fox Marathon of Hope
Stage 1: St. John’s (CYYT) to Thunder Bay (CYQT), Canada
Stage 2: Thunder Bay (CYQT) to Victoria (CYYJ), Canada
September 4, 2021 (Stage 1), September 11, 2021 (Stage 2)
1,460 nautical miles (Stage 1), 1,349 nautical miles (Stage 2)
Estimated flying time: ~12-13 hours (Stage 1) plus ~11-12 hours (Stage 2) at an average ground speed of 120 knots
Charity to Support: The Terry Fox Foundation
Terry Fox is a household name in Canada, but to anyone not familiar with his story, he was a talented young distance runner until he was diagnosed with cancer. Doctors treated his illness by amputating his right leg and replacing it with a prosthetic. In Newfoundland on April 12, 1980, the 21-year old ceremonially dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean as he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research, with the goal of eventually dipping his leg into the Pacific when he reached his home province of British Columbia. To put the magnitude of his athleticism into perspective, extremely fit individuals train for months to run a single marathon. Terry ran 143 consecutive marathons on one good leg. Tragically, he had to stop his journey on September 1 in Thunder Bay, Ontario when his cancer returned. He didn’t survive to finish the race, but his perseverance in the face of adversity made him a national hero in Canada. To date, over $750 million has been raised in Terry’s memory for cancer research.

It is too long to complete an entire coast-to-coast flight across Canada in a single day, so we will divide this event into two stages on consecutive weekends. The first stage will be a re-creation of Terry’s actual run, from St. John’s to Thunder Bay. The second stage will be from Thunder Bay to Victoria, the remaining portion of Terry’s Marathon of Hope if he had survived to finish it.

Winter: Cannonball Run 2
New York (KJFK) to Los Angeles (KLAX), USA
December 26, 2021
2,150 nautical miles
Estimated flying time: ~18-19 hours at an average ground speed of 120 knots
Charity to support: TBD
IT’S BACK! The original event that started this madness is making a triumphant return for 2021. You know it, you love it. JFK to LAX. Get hyyyyypppe!

MSFS pilots should feel free to participate in as many or as few of the events as they wish. We will award glory and bragging rights to the winners of each individual race and then crown a grand champion at the end of the year to the pilot who completed all four events in the fastest combined time.

As with the 2020 Cannonball Run, all races must be flown using a single-engine GA plane. I will start individual threads for each race about a month or so before the start date with the rules for that specific race. If you have any suggestions for anything I can do to make these events truly special, please post your ideas in this thread. Good luck, pilots, and happy racing! <3

2021 MSFS Endurance Race Series Rules

  1. Each race in the series will have an individual winner.
  2. The Grand Champion of the 2021 MSFS Endurance Race Series will be the pilot with the fastest total time across all four events combined.
  3. You must fly a unique aircraft type in each event to qualify for the Grand Champion. You may not fly the same plane in more than one race.
    3a. Additionally, you may only fly one (1) of the following three planes across all four races: Cirrus SR22, Extra 330LT, Pitts Special S2S. For example, if you fly the Cirrus in the Australia event, you may not fly ANY of the Cirrus, Extra, or Pitts in any of the subsequent three races.
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Registration for Event #2, the Paris-Dakar Rally, is now open. Check out this thread for all the details:

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Reserved for future updates (2).

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This is amazing! Looking forward to them.

I have a suggestion: treat plane crashes caused by pilot errors more severely than the CTDs. This way the pilots who are more careful will have an advantage over reckless fliers :wink:

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What about aircrafts for all the events ? Are they going to follow the same we had for the Canonball run ? Perhaps this time include the Extra :smiley: ?

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What about aircrafts for all the events?

CONFIRMED: ‘Air Gordon’ added to list.

Why not a Different Class for each Plane Type ?

Make the playing field even, so it is all about Pilot skill, and not Pot luck on selecting right plane ahead of time, for the weather of the day.

I would have thought that there would be enough “Sponsors” of these CHARITY event, to have a prize for each Class.

This would also open up the event for a far greater range of Aircraft… from Cubs to AirBus !

Things may change in the future, but as of now there are no prizes. These events are for fun and for glory! Hopefully that should be motivation enough to participate. :slight_smile:

This is a General Aviation event only. IMO there’s no point in organizing or participating in an Endurance Race if you’re going to use an airliner. Flying from Perth to Sydney or JFK to LAX are regular airline flights and thousands of sim pilots are already flying those routes (or similar) in MSFS everyday. But doing those same routes in a single-engine prop plane…now that is something special.

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Fair enough – your event – your rules – and thank you for taking the time to organize them.

Having taken up to today, to get caught up and back on a decent sleep schedule, I doubt if I would fly another one, unless I could pick a different GA plane, like the King Air, or some other Twin… but that’s just me.

Whatever the next few events are, I shall watch some of the time they are on with interest, remembering the first 24 hour marathon that almost killed me !!!

More like his event, our rules :stuck_out_tongue:
Seedy listens to the community :smiley: . However when he sticks to a rule there is a good reason behind it.

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As far as I am concerned, if he is the one putting in all the work t o make it happen, its His rules and His event.

Anyone that does not like that, is free to try creating their own event, and then see just how much work it is.

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You’re actually both right. I do listen to the community and actively solicit feedback and suggestions for how I can make these events better and have more people participate. Sometimes I accept suggestions because I think they’re really good ideas, but other times I reject suggestions because they’re contrary to the vision I have for the event. For example, there’s nothing special about flying YPPH to YSSY in an A320. Several real-world airlines operate that exact route, and I’m sure many MSFS pilots are already re-creating it virtually as part of their regular simming. What’s unique and challenging, though, is doing that same route in a small plane like a Cessna 172 or DA40. I certainly hope nobody gets upset or takes it personally if I reject a suggestion!

To put this into the proper context, my personal completion time for the 2020 Cannonball Run was 21h49m, but I easily spent at least 4-5x that time organizing and administering the event itself. It was a tremendous amount of (unpaid, volunteer) work, but I was happy to do it and so pleased to see it resonate with the community as strongly as it did. I certainly wouldn’t be organizing four more similar events this year if I hadn’t gotten such an overwhelmingly positive response to the first event of this style. :slight_smile:

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We greatly appreciate all the hard work and effort put into this. Thank you.

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Looking forward to competing in these upcoming events. Will give me the opportunity to learn to fly different single engine planes than those I normally use.

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Ooooo, this gives me an idea. For everyone competing in all four events to become the grand champion, what if we had a rule that you had to fly a different plane in each race? That would encourage more variety in aircraft selection overall and also introduces another strategic element about which plane is best suited for which race.

What say you, community? Good idea, bad idea?

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id do it. would the 172 g1000 and the 172 steam gauge count as different aircraft?

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The DA40-TDI and DA40NG definitely count as different planes because they have the same airframe but different powerplants. With the C172 G1000 and C172 steam gauge, that’s a tougher call. They’re otherwise completely identical planes except for the avionics. My gut instinct is to say we can count them as different aircraft types for the purpose of this challenge (assuming the community likes the proposed “no repeat plane selection” rule and we go ahead with it), but I’m willing to have someone change my mind on this…

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for me, the 2 172s may have the same airframe, but i fly them completly differently due to one having a pretty easy to use glass cockpit (imo). in sims before msfs2020, i did use some Steam cessnas, but i was only ever doing local flying where i knew the area, but the g1000 in the 172 in msfs really helps when doing these cross country events, while the non g1000 doesnt have many of the features id normally use

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For me the use of glass cockpit vs steam gauges all come down to a transition in technology.
It’s like comparing old school phones with smart phones.
The use of software / computerization of your cockpit.

That’s how I see systems like the g1000 / 3000. It’s a step forward and what it does is enable flying precision in a way you just can’t quite achieve with the steam gauges.

The actual g1000 has a lot more features compared to what we have in the sim today. I know coz I have studied every single page of the g1000 manual :smiley:

I know a lot of IRL pilots have preferences over steam gauges simply because they have hours of flying with the 6 pack gauges. But that’s primarily because it’s more cost effective for flying schools to own one of those steam gauge aircrafts for training purposes. Look at the SpaceX vehicles that took astronaut’s to the ISS. It’s all glass cockpits with 100% automated flying. Compare that with the space craft that flew Neil Armstrong to moon, and you’ll see a trillion buttons , knobs and gauges :smiley:

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Hi Speedy could any of the challenges or (a new challenge) incorporate a change of aircraft at each landing phase ie. like a triathlon?