Volvo Ocean Race 2014 Fleet Credit: David Ramos/Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race 2014 Fleet Credit: David Ramos / Volvo Ocean Race

I’m sailing around the World… from my computer

Every pink dot is another player in the Volvo Ocean Race Virtual game. The fleet is splitting the Canaries.
Every pink dot is another player in the Volvo Ocean Race Virtual game. The fleet is splitting the Canaries on October 15th.

Last year I was talking with one of my sailing buddies about the Volvo Ocean Race and he said there was a game that you could play side by side with the real competitors last race.

I kinda forgot about it until the Volvo Ocean Race started in Alicante, Spain over the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend. I was day late but I did start with some 71,000 other players online my user name is CoffeeRob. You don’t see all 71,000 boats on your screen unless you choose the satellite view. But you do see a couple of players around you, ones your about to pass and the virtual leaders of the race.

Your boat, a Volvo Ocean 65, is exactly like the ones the real competitors are racing and you can upgrade your basic two sails to an extra 5 pro sails (It’s a paid upgrade by well worth it). Your sailing using real weather data, the same the competitors use. Which means their isn’t any other crew to sail your boat while your asleep! The map interface shows you your heading and trajectory with current wind conditions which helps you plot your course. You can upgrade and use the auto pilot which has a bunch of options available.

Your displayed in red, friends/competitors in green other boats are in white.
You’re displayed in red, friends / competitors in green other boats are in white.

The fun thing I find about this game is that it’s all strategy and you don’t need to constantly watch your boat. You set you course and go about your day. Check in at lunch or your afternoon coffee break make sure you haven’t run aground.

I have also found a couple other Canadians (Including WhiteWings who is in the leading group) that are racing and you can tag friends and/or competitors you have made keep track of them as you progress.

It’s been great fun so far. I just never though I would go to be worried about my virtual boat running aground as I sleep.

See you in Gothenburg, Sweden in June, 2015.

Update January 18th : Their are now some 170,000 players in the game. Not all of them actually complete the stage. But you can watch an amazing time lapse by Andreas Heydecke of the second stage below.

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