The Nebula Cup (ネビュラカップ, Nebyurakappu) is an annual dinghy-racing competition whose participants generally hail from all-female educational institutes. It is organized and held on the planet Calmwind.
The dinghies racing in the Nebula Cup are launched from an orbital station. Upon entering the planet's atmosphere, the competitors race along a course whose data map has been transferred to the computers of their dinghies .
Throughout the course, carefully employed obstacles - wind forces, various terrestrial phenomena, etc. - bar the paths of the racers, providing the course with vacillating levels of difficulty. The obstacles also give birth to an adrenaline-fueled rush that can only be found in such events .
Racers also have to make careful use of the limited propellant on their dinghies (which may not be enough to reach the end of the course), balancing it against use of the wind in order to reach the end of the course .
13th Nebula CupEditPrior to the 13th Nebula Cup, a few upperclassmen at Hakuoh Academy got their hands on some unreleased racing data. Conspicuously unsatisfied with the course, they had a young Lynn Lambretta hack into the organisers' computers and raise the difficulty of the course to make things more interesting. On the day of the competition, the organisers and racers discovered too late that the race data had been changed. As a result, only two racers actually managed to finish the race while the rest of the competitors were injured. Consequently, Hakuoh Academy's Yacht Club was banned from competing for five years .
19th Nebula CupEdit
With the return of Hakuoh Academy for the 19th Nebula Cup, the organisers made special preparations to make sure that they wouldn't cause the trouble they did five years ago. One of these was to have the Harold Lloyd Insurance Union send a pirate ship to assist with security. Unknown to them, Show assigned the job to the Bentenmaru, whose captain, Marika Kato, was also a member of the Hakuoh Academy Yacht Club .
On the day of the race, the Hakuoh Academy Yacht Club arrived for registration, most of them unaware of the events of five years ago. They were met with a hostile reception from the other participants. Marika attempted to speak with chairwoman Jacqueline Stramp regarding her job, however she was preoccupied with preparations and precautions for the race and didn't pay attention to Marika.After Marika left to borrow a dinghy to observe the race with, the vice-chairwoman informed the chairwoman about Marika being from Hakuoh Academy. Believing her to be up to no good, Jacqueline decided to take another dinghy out to stop her. Shortly afterwards, the race began, with the starting pistol fired by Princess Gruier Serenity.
Not long into the race, the Hakuoh Academy Yacht Club learned that the organisers had set things up to replicate the conditions in the 13th Nebula Cup, something which the other racers had been training for in order to get revenge. Marika was also harassed by the chairwoman in her dinghy, believing her to be intending to interfere despite her protests to the contrary.
Suddenly without warning, a helicraft, belonging to the Bisque Company, emerged from the clouds and started firing randomly on the racers. Learning from her crew that they were after her, Marika flew her dinghy towards them, leaving Chiaki Kurihara to lead the other racers out of danger. After she identified herself to them, the Bisque fired at Marika's dinghy.
Seeing Marika go to such lengths to protect the race, Jacqueline realised that she was wrong about her and moved her own dinghy to aid Marika's, apologising while she did so. Having lost track of which was which, the Bisque fired at both dinghies and scored a hit on Jacqueline's dinghy, bringing it down. Before they could hit Marika's dinghy though, the Bentenmaru descended into the atmosphere and put itself between them.
While the other racers were following Chiaki to safety, Ai Hoshimiya, worried about Marika, split away from the main group and headed to her friend's aid. With Marika aboard, the Bentenmaru was then fired on by the Bisque craft and found itself at a disadvantage, having not been built for atmospheric flight. However with Ai's help, predicting an incoming wind, the Bentenmaru was able to position itself to fire a pulse from its nose cone at the Bisque craft, taking out its right wing.
However as the Bisque craft went down, it fired an electromagnetic weapon which knocked out the electronic systems aboard Ai's dinghy. Wishing to continue the race, Ai opened her dinghy's canopy and continued flying using the stars to navigate. The Bentenmaru then returned to space as the race restarted, much to Jacqueline's relief.