Virtual Volvo Ocean Race for armchair fans

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Kochi, Sep 30: Armchair experts now have the chance to test their skills against the best offshore sailors in the world with the launch of Virtual Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 - the race's official game.

The virtual race will mirror the 37,000 nautical miles of the world's premier ocean race and there's a Volvo C30 up for grabs for the winner along with a number of other prizes, according to a Cochin Port Trust (CPT) release quoting Race offcials in the UK on Tuesday, Sep 30.

Just like the crews aboard the Volvo Open 70s, virtual racers will compete in real time and real weather conditions on the same race track against the Volvo fleet. They get to use the weather data available to choose their headings and sail plan.

Developed in partnership with UnitedGames, the game is free to play but players can also purchase additional information with a share of the proceeds going to The Save the Albatross Campaign.

According to Marijn Harinck, CEO of UnitedGames, the game has been designed to be as close as possible to the real thing.

''We built the game together with our partners from Virtual Regatta who are sailors too and their knowledge about virtual sailing and our knowledge about gaming make this game unique. It is a game by sailors for sailors,'' he said.

The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will be the 10th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain, on October four 2008 with in-port racing, it will, for the first time, take in Kochi, Singapore and Qingdao, and China before finishing in St Petersburg, Russia, for the first time in the history of the race.

Spanning some 37,000 nautical miles, stopping at eleven ports and taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world's premier yacht race for professional racing crews.

UNI

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