Sunday, December 07, 2008

Blue Water Yacht Racing for Blue Collar Skippers

In the winter of my discontent and lingering Bush Derangement Syndrome, I seek diversion from politics wherever it can be found. One of the distractions I have found is the Volvo Ocean Race.

Well, actually it's not the Volvo Ocean Race itself. I'm not nearly physically nor fiscally capable of racing around the world in anything as demanding as a sailing yacht. What I've sunk a few hours into is the Volvo Ocean Racing Game (VORG). Instead of eight physical yachts racing around the world in 10 legs in extreme conditions, I get to race with 82,000+ competitors from 191 countries around the world in the moderate conditions of my own study. And, more importantly, it doesn't cost me a dime.
However, it would be more fun and less impersonal to race with friends I know, so I thought I might entice my pals from the Blogosphere into testing the waters of the world.

On 13 December, 8 real yachts and 82,000 virtual yachts will start the 3rd leg which goes from Cochin, India to Qingdao, China, taking Singapore to port. I would like any of my readers to be in that number!

VORG (the virtual race) has been sanitized so that there are no collisions, no rules of rightaway to be enforced, and no piracy! The demands on steerage consist in adjusting sails and course at least twice a day, although more attention is recommended.

Between now and sometime on 11 December - the deadline for finishing the 2nd Leg - there's an opportunity to register, name, design (paint), and launch your virtual yacht. During this interval, you will be able to test-drive your yacht. And I'll have a boat in the water, giving you pointers. The game allows for communications between boats.

So, I hope some readers, you valiant few, will take me up on this invitation. In hopeful anticipation, I'm hoisting my very excellent second glass of Nerello del Bastardo Marchesi di Montecristo to all who do, as well as to an end to a diminution of politics.