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Virtual Drama

post of the week

Virtual Drama

While many around the world sleep, a battle for First Place Over-All in the Volvo Ocean Race Game (VORG) has been running since Sunday’s start of the real race. The stakes? A new Volvo C30 and bragging rights that you beat over 205,000 other boats over 9 legs and 8 months of intense navigating and course adjustments. The virtual sailors use real weather information, maps and the game models the real VO70 performance, including sail failures, using a simple interface to choose their course and sails. Each skipper is his or her own navigator and weather forecaster.

This leg is particularly intense as it is one of 3 legs that have to be included in the 6 that add up to your Overall score, and the the skipper with the lowest score gets the Volvo C30. To add to the drama this leg takes the virtual boats through the Kattegat, old Dutch for "Cat Hole". At just under 1.5 nautical miles (NM) wide as it appears on the computer screen it’s a real challenge for the virtual sailor when the outline of their boat at highest magnification is 2.5 NM wide and 6 NM long! The location of the boat is represented by a single pixel, but you can appreciate the challenge! Acute attention must be paid, and even so, the scene of the Telefonica Blue’s grounding was repeated many times in the opening hours of the race including for some of the highest ranked players. Read it all.