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Virtual Regatta for Volvo Ocean Race

The best way to be in touch with nine-month long Life at the Extreme adventure is by taking part in Virtual Regatta for Volvo Ocean Race.

Another three years have passed, and the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world is about to begin.

Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018.

I know what about I talking as I was one of 400K VOR (Volvo Ocean Race) virtual regatta 2014-2015 participants and I got a good result in the overall score.

 In company with seven Volvo 65 one-design state of art sailboats and other 400 000 virtual racers, we sailed about 45 thousand nautical miles around the Globe. Roaring Southern Ocean or dead calm in the Strait of Malacca nothing was an obstacle to cross the finish lines. It was a great experience for me especially as I am an offshore racer in real life as well, just nothing compares with these galls and guys on board of Vestas Wind, Mapfre, and other boats.

More detailed information about Volvo Ocean Race can be found online.

The Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race) is a yacht race around the world, held every three years.

Originally named after its initiating sponsor, British Whitbread brewing company, it today carries the name of its current owner, Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo Cars and Swedish multinational manufacturing company, the Volvo Group.

The first race began from Portsmouth, the United Kingdom on September 14, 1973.

I hope that time to time will stop to some race details either it be some specifics of navigation and route or live events from on-board activities.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post I took part of Virtual Regatta of VOR 2014-2015 and was in touch of almost every detail of the real race. Half a million people took part, and I could not find any other similar event with so many participants. I guess that most of the virtual racers (like me) have some knowledge about sailing, but it does not mean that it could not be a total beginner. Like every game, Virtual Regatta has a detailed instruction, it called Help Centre how to participate.

You can use PC, MAC, tablet, iPhone or any other smartphone on your favourite browser except Internet Explorer but Safari has some restrictions like lack of full-screen mode.

Today is October 14, 2017 and the first MAPFRE in-port race in Home Port Alicante Spain is about to begin. You can watch online here

Congratulations to MAPFRE, the winner of the first in-port race of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018, Alicante Spain.

Next event is leg One Alicante-Lisbon 22 October 2017.

To participate in Virtual Regatta for Volvo Ocean race 2017 simply login and follow the screen tips. In fact, you can play incognito but I sincerely recommend make your account to get all benefits. As almost every game you can be a free player but for the relatively small fee get more advanced boat equipment and other tickets as weather, waypoints and more.

This year the paid options of VIRTUAL REGATTA OFFSHORE 3 are slightly changed and ticket system has been implemented. Sadly but I suppose that it will be more expensive to get all benefits throughout the entire race. In the last VOR virtual regatta, I paid about 23 EUR in one single payment and got everything. Let’s see how much it will cost after a couple of weeks in the offshore race.

The core of Virtual Regatta Team gals and guys come from France but I guess that they are in close cooperation with the world’s top sailing elite.

I am not anymore a big computer game fan although years ago I used to play mainly simulator mode games like Colin McRae Rally, Need for Speed or Ship Simulator.

When it comes to Virtual Regatta then I guess that it is much more just online simulator computer game. For real skippers like me, it is some kind of a challenge, the test of skills, learning process and most of all an exciting adventure whole nine months. Yes, and I hope to visit Hague in Netherlands alive in June 2018 to meet and see seven state of art Volvo Ocean 65  one-design boats, crews and virtual sailors again. I visited Gothenburg Sweden in June 2015 where final events of VOR 2014-2015 was in progress. I spent unforgettable five days and don’t regret any minute being there.

Unfortunately, I did not take part of other online games just last VOR regatta.  As I mentioned above some rules and conditions have changed. Mainly it is regarding navigation tools and weather. It is hard to say in advance, although I took part in the live event of Prologue race, but it was not enough to evaluate the new credit system. I guess that either it will be pricier or, to fit in the last regatta budget, more effort will be needed to put and more accurately calculate the courses and tracks.  Mainly because of not being able to get access to weather forecast data.

Here is the screenshot of main events and stats of Virtual Regatta.

I guess it can be helpful for Virtual Regatta for Volvo Ocean Race gamers.

Bulgarian smart guy Cvetan Ivanov, sailor, computer and programmer guru and so on has created automated weather routing software.

  • It can save you a lot of effort and hours of time spent plotting charts and looking for optimal solution by hand.
  • It should be able to predict your boat position in the next 12 hours accurately and help you schedule watches, turns and waypoints
  • The new weather forecast is available earlier. This gives you more time to make decisions.
  • It helps you make strategical decisions, but won’t make them for you. You decide on your own strategy by setting the goal.

So far I did not use it in a real event but in any case, the information provided on his website is certainly helpful and timesaving opportunity for virtual, and real as well, sailors.

Besides the cool routing feature, the forum alone is worth to be the member. I found the real value information in one place. Let’s see in near future how this knowledge help improves my stats in the race.

Finally, the Volvo Ocean Race top performance around the World sailing regatta has begun. Watch exciting footages of the first leg from Alicante to Lisbon.

The leg one from Alicante to Lisbon has finished.

The real race winner is „Vestas 11th Hour Racing “followed by „Mapfre” and „Dongfeng Race Team “. Congratulations to Danish American team.

Virtual Regatta winner is „Sideshow“ from the UK.

I am not satisfied with my score. The strait of Gibraltar I was in the second hundred zone but did not follow zigzag course recommendation, and due to the lack of WPT tickets, I set Help which on the next morning dropped my boat back to the 11 300 position. My lesson learned is, do not use Help function and if you are about to fall asleep better set a straight course to expected morning position. Either purchase Waypoint marks. Anyway, during the next part of the race, I regain almost 5K for my final score. Start of the Leg 2 from Lisbon to Cape Town on November 5, 2017.

I think that next will be bad news for Virtual Regatta for Volvo Ocean Race participants.
What?
It is no secret for VOR (Volvo Ocean Race) VR (virtual regatta) skippers that the present ( at the time of writing 1st November 2017) options of the game is far from the spirit of fair competition. Not only because of high ticket prices and expensive each leg boat set up bundles. Lack of polars and 4knt wind threshold are just some of drawbacks comparing the previous VR2 version of the game.
As I mention above Bulgarian skipper and programmer Cvetan Ivanov has created Sailing Simulator to help virtual skippers not only for VOR game and free access is open for everyone on zezo.org
Due to the VR3 issues and lack of the forum on virtualregatta.com many skippers, Leg 1 winners, and top ranks included, very actively discussing there.

Philippe, founder/owner of Virtual Regatta as stated in his signature has blame Mr.Cvetan Ivanov and call him as a
Read a forum thread as you will find much useful information from members.
What do I think about it myself?

Honestly, I will participate in next leg two Lisbon-Cape Town, hopefully spend another 14.99 EUR to fully equipp my boat, hope not to spend a dime for cardgame like ticket system.  If nothing is changed, then it will be last time sailing in this platform.

Today November 3 2017 the Team Brunel wins The Mirpuri Foundation In-Port Race Lisbon.

It was exciting to see how Brunel followed by Mapfre which cross the finish line just  seconds later. It was the unforgettable sprint around Lisbon including a photo finish like in Formula One.

Watch full replay

 

The epic leg from Lisbon to Cape town has started yesterday.

After a spectacular loop on Tagus river whole fleet of Volvo Ocean 65 boats reach up to 30 knt begun their voyage and hard choice of the right path towards the Table Mountain.

The popularity of Virtual Regatta for Volvo Ocean Race has fallen. At the moment ranking table shows only a bit more than 50K boats vs 75K on the first leg. Reasons? I I assume that it is a set of different reasons as the high price of boat bundles, schoolboy-like interface and barrel, lack of polars and much more even compared with last edition VR VOR2. Personally, I am not particularly satisfied with the fact that there is no forum and game management attitude to criticisms and recommendations.


Anyway, I am in the sailing mode for now at least. It is hard to refuse of the challenge as this is the first time when westerly waypoint Fernando de Noronha is removed. Live boat skippers and navigators, as well as virtual, are free to choose either go higher speeds route on trade winds or choose shorter but riskier African coast track.
Those will be exciting and sometimes sleepless three weeks.

Another day is passed and the first time I step to the leaderboard.
Actually, this is no big achievement yet, because 6000 miles ahead, but it’s nice to see my boat „andrel“ among the top 50 boats. Many previous stage leaders, as well as real boats, chose to go far to the west. Our company approaching African coast. Low winds ahead and this is a risky decision. Then we’ll see who will be the winners.

Today is November 13, 2017

Virtual fleets are split and a phrase „The West is Best“ this time seems true. Almost half of the route has sailed but the west route fleet in company with real boats weather forecast is more promising to reach Cape Town before African coast route boats.

MAPFRE, the Spanish-flagged team led by skipper Xabi Fernández has won Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race, a 7,000 nautical mile marathon from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa.

Leg 2 – Provisional Results – as at Saturday 25 November at 00:18 UTC

1. MAPFRE — FINISHED — 15:10.33 UTC – 19 days, 01h:10m:33s
2. Dongfeng Race Team — FINISHED — 18:02.39 UTC – 19 days, 04h:02m:39s
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing — FINISHED — 19:37.53 UTC – 19 days, 05h:37m:53s
4. Team Brunel — FINISHED — 00:14.47 UTC – 19 days, 10h:14m:47s
5. team AkzoNobel +323.7
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic +324.9
7. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +326.6

Belgian virtual skipper Rémy Quetstroey has triumphed in the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race game.

His boat finished more than two hours ahead of any other boat – a real rarity in a game with so many players. He crossed the line at 00:22 UTC on Friday, 18 days, 11 hours, 22 minutes and 16 seconds after setting off from Lisbon. French player tame bird crossed the line in second place, with La_Semillante TPN, also from France, in third.

My strategy was to avoid following the big players because by doing that I would never be able to get ahead of them,” said Rémy, a cruising yachtsman. “I knew from playing this game before that it is always better to get to Cape Town by being west instead of going down the African coast but in my opinion the star players were going too far…“

My Congratulations

My choice to stick with African coast was wrong, and partly it is because I blindly trusted the Zezo sailing simulator. No doubt that Zezo is very helpful you just need to learn how to use it properly.

One thing is in short distances up to ten days legs. In long sailing routes, you have to be smarter. Not only weather forecasts but by studying historical data as well as experienced skipper reviews and common sense by choosing the right track.

I have more three days to go to see Table Mountain on the horizon, but I have learned much in this leg regardless Virtual Game drawbacks comparing to the last second edition.

I have not decided yet on participating in next VOR legs. It will depend on how much VR3 creators will respond to criticism and pricing.

Before my virtual boat reaches the finish line watching Volvo Ocean Race Edition 2017-2017 Leg two in less than four minutes.

Leg 2 in 200 seconds

✔️ An epic Lisbon start✔️ A big finish in Cape Town✔️ 7,000 miles in between!What an incredible Leg 2! Here's 3 very wet and very fast weeks in 200 seconds 👇

Posted by Volvo Ocean Race on Saturday, November 25, 2017

 

Epic Leg 2 of Volvo Ocean Race edition 2017-2018 from Lisbon to Cape Town is completed.

Lessons learned and for me, The West is Best has definitely become a reality.
Am I satisfied with my result? Honestly, no.

 

Next adventure begins in about a couple of weeks towards Down Under wonderful port and city Melbourne.

Will I participate in it? Probably, however, yes.

 

The final standings after Leg 2 for Volvo Ocean Race Edition 2017-2018

Cape Town In-Port Race December 8, 2017

Unfortunately, my favorite Vestas 11 Hour Racing had some troubles and lost his starting first position and finished in fourth place. Dongfeng Race Team showed perfect tactical skills and performance.

Congratulations!


I am ready to conquer Southern Ocean winds and icebergs. My virtual boat in on standby and fully equipped. Leg 3 to Melbourne starts on Sunday.

After twelve years of absence, the Southern Ocean Leg 3 is in progress again.

Legendary Roaring Forties with 7 to 11 meters swells are expected. Is this more about brawn than brains? Not anymore when boat speeds reaching 30 knots, then brains are in the first place. For virtual skippers not easy to choose the right track, and so it’s even more exciting. The annoying barrel has gone at least for now. It is just the first miles sailed, and Cape of Good Hope slowly disappears behind the horizon.

Trying to escape from the first Southern Ocean storm.

Virtual skippers in company with real Volvo Ocean 65 yachts just a couple of days after the start of Leg 3 from Cape Town to Melbourne.

 

December 21st 2017

For hundreds of other virtual skippers and me, Leg 3 from Cape Town to Melbourne is completed. This is my best score ever achieved 617th out of more than 65K boats.

The first goal is reached, and I am first from about 50 Latvian skippers. The last stage was match racing with another Latvian boat and finish line I crossed just a couple of minutes ahead. Real VOR 65 boats still in exciting race performance and all of them doing incredible Life In Extreme. I hope the first couple will reach Melbourne on Xmas eve.

 

December 27th 2017

The Leg 3 of 2017/2018 edition of Volvo Ocean Race is almost completed. Team AkzoNobel still about 150 miles from Melbourne finish line and right now making upwind sailing with low speeds and the weather forecast is not too encouraging to reach the docks for today. Anyway, the team is in a good mood, and the only drawback is a little time to rest before the start of next Leg 4 to Hong Kong which is scheduled for 2nd of January 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The short summary of this tough Southern Ocean passage.

After an absence of 12 years, Cape Town to Melbourne’s leg is back. It is part of the route from the original Whitbread Round the World Race. It is double point leg like the stage from Auckland to Itajai.

All in all, no major accidents except Annie Lush racing aboard Team Brunel, was injured when she was washed into the aft guardrails by an errant wave.

Team AkzoNobel during one gybe damaged the track that attaches the mainsail to the back edge of the mast. It slowed down the boat speed and even after the second successful attempt to repair the track the boat lost so many miles to the closest rival.

One more failure suffers the second podium yacht Dongfeng Race Team which make them nervous right before the finish line as Vestas 11th Hour Racing was insistently chasing.

The team reports the port keel ram, which helps to cant the keel (pushing the keel on an angle to one side to increase righting moment, and thus speed and power), is not working properly.

All in all, it was really physically hard sailing especially for crews sailing close to ice gates and gybing almost every hour. It was on the edge of human abilities.

Here are standings after (AkzoNobel not finished yet) Leg 3.

Leg 4 from Melbourne to Hong Kong was started the 2nd of January 03 UTC.
It’s 5,600 miles of racing. A quick glance at a map will tell you that there’s plenty of land between those two spots.

Any other hazards?

Tropical Cyclones: The January start date for this leg puts them well into the cyclone (hurricane-sized storms) season for this part of the Pacific, and there is a good chance that the leg will be influenced one way or another by a cyclone somewhere in the Pacific.

North-east Monsoon: Once the fleet break clear of the Doldrums, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands they will be headed north-west in the north-easterly Trade Winds. So this should be a pretty fast section, more or less a straight-line drag race all the way to the finish line in Hong Kong.

Virtual Regatta for this leg is postponed for me due to the wrong setup for my boat from the game developer side. I still waiting respond to my ticket and refund of full pack boat setup € to PayPal. Attitude to customers from Virtual Regatta is getting worse.

 

To be continued

8 Comments

  1. Tooting Tummy

    Hey, thanks for sharing this post! Wow, I really had no clue that such a race even existed. It’s the first time I have heard of it. What’s most surprising is the fact that it’s been around since so many years. This definitely seems to be a fun and intriguing sport and probably deserves a lot more awareness and recognition. Shall share with my friends and family on social media.

    Reply
    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks for stopping by.

      It is nothing strange if you never heard of Volvo Ocean Race round the World sailing regatta. Definitely, you know about Formula One highest class of single-seat auto racing events or Nascar which is so popular in the USA. There is nothing to deny that these car races are so widely advertised and mainly it most oriented for business making bets and so. I am not sure for all hundred but never heard that Volvo Ocean Race officially allow making bets.

      Anyway, this event is much closer and more exciting to me, especially since I can virtually participate in it in real time.

      Reply
  2. Dave

    Thanks for your Blog. I started watching documentaries on YouTube about this race and the men and woman involved are really tough. I would love to do a race myself but I probably couldn’t hack it. Do you need to have sailing experience to play the game? I don’t want to download it and get lost in technical jargon.

    Reply
    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Dave. I think that never is too late to start something new. In fact, you can participate in Volvo Ocean Race Virtual Regatta game as a complete beginner and even pay nothing as there is an option. Instruction for dummies how to manage sailboat for a virtual game is available on game site.  You do not need to download the game on your computer or tablet and smartphone. I confirm that you will get a lot of positive emotions and the real pleasure. See you on race. My boat name is „andrel“ and flag state is Latvia.

      Reply
  3. Rostef

    It sure can be addictive this game. We hope they change the fact that the cards you get are very random. If you buy the navigation pack you might get 8 Waypoints although you only need programs. So be aware, that with this new version, if you want to sail competitive, it means either a lot of money, or a shit load of playing time.
    As if for me, in and after the straight of gibraltar, it meant setting the alarm clock and gybing every 30min throughout the night. That’s the price for a good result, almost like sailing your watches in the real race and never sleep more than 3hours at once :-).

    (just that we have work and a wife that need some attention, too :-))

    I will probably be off for the second leg, due to holidays… maybe I’ll sail in cruising mode, not sure yet…

    Cheers and see you in capetown.

    Rostef

    Reply
    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi, Roster and glad to see you on my blog post. You are right that to be on top rows of VOR virtual race you either spend sleepless nights and days as well or keep three digits $ budget for auto sails, waypoints and weather tickets. For me, this new interface is worse than last one. I guess that I will be racing the next leg to Cape Town without any paid tickets. Luckily Zezo Sailing simulator gives opportunity to get rid of weather tickets, but in any case, it is far from the perfect. BTW, I think that „virtualregatta“ will lose in money when implementing this tickets system. As I remember in last season VOR count about 300K boats comparing today, it is about 80K. Let’s see the numbers in a week. Anyway, hope to see you in the race again. My boat is „andrel“ flag state Latvia.

      Reply
      1. Rostef

        Hi Andrejs

        You are right. The card gamne sucks. I hope They noticed that now after all the comments that were made in the zezo forum and that the CEO of Virtual Regatta did read.
        I did race Leg two without any payd cards. Well, I bought a navigation pack just at the beginning, but at the end, I still had 125coins left from the 400 given to me at the beginning of the leg. I just worked with the barrel and the full options pack (wich one we, by the way, have to buy with real money and not possible with the coins from the game!!)
        Managed 8th place, but with too much sacrifice on real life.

        Zezo is great and nice. It seams that he is the only one at the moment to use the winds alsmos like VR to receive a proper routing. So it makes it a bit less interesting, since we all have the same track.
        I would love if he would offer optional routes, that would make the story a whole lot more interesting…

        Fair winds and I’ll be back for leg 3. Boat Name rostef, swiss flag

        Reply
        1. Andrejs (Post author)

          Hi Stefan. You’re in 8th place, cool and my Congratulations.
          When it comes to paying players and free option, I mean boat set up pack, then free players have no chance to reach the podium places as boats are slow and even the best experience and sailing knowledge cannot help. It is still not clear for me regarding Full Pack for 14.99 EUR. Will I have to buy a new one at a different price for each leg? This option will not give an opportunity to participate in VOR for many folks. You are right regarding Zezo tracker. Even in the last leg, I used it with caution. It gives me an opportunity to compare winds and not every time Zezo data fits with VR.
          Anyway, Cvetan helps a lot, and I will deffinately donate. I would like to see the Leg 3 to Melbourne boat pack option price and not sure that will pay for the boat and hardly believe to be in fleet again.
          P.S. I hope you read this http://zezo.org/forum.pl?tid=6027

          Reply

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