The Volvo Ocean Race can mean altered sleep, isolation from friends and family, and countless hours of caffeine-fueled adventuring without changing your clothes. And all this without even leaving your bedroom! How? With the Volvo Ocean Race virtual game!
Ready, Set, Sail
Boasting over 100,000 users, boating fanatics can now compete with friends and other racers with weather that changes in real-time every 12 hours. All you need to do is log onto the game’s website, register and pick a boat. You can race each leg alongside the VOR fleet, pick your own sails, courses and steering along the way. You must monitor your boat continuously (or at least semi-regularly) or it may run smack into an island. You could wake up after dozing off for a couple hours and your boat is lodged deep in a beach on the coast of Chile.
This game can be addictive. Many hardcore players start off casually, but can soon be found sneaking off from the dinner table to play a round, or getting up in the middle of the night to change course. You may start to dream of this virtual game. There is even a mobile app version so that you can get your kicks while on the train to work. You could be at the shopping mall choosing tonight’s pasta dish and quickly log in to swap out that heavy gennaker.
The game is free to play, with options to buy automatic waypoint settings, sail changes, pro sails, and an auto-heading scheduler.
Armchair Sailors Wanted
Potential health risks include addiction to substances such as coffee and candy, and eye-strain. Staring at the computer has never been so fun, though.
Although you may not impress your buds or parents who you’ve been ignoring for weeks, doing well on a leg may make you a winner. However, a leg win will only earn you a free trip to the next stopover. The grand prize for the race is a very cool IWC Schaffhausen Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph “Ocean Racer” watch.
The best thing about this virtual regatta is that players don’t have to have offshore sail experience to own the seas and take part in the incredible Volvo Ocean Race! Who knows, maybe if you’re good enough you’ll be snapped up by one of the real teams for next year’s event…