Slovenian virtual skipper Ziga Rebek has become the latest skipper to add victory in a stage of the Volvo Ocean Race game to his name after winning Leg 3.
Competing under the psuedonym LJadra, Ziga completed the 6,500 nautical mile leg from Cape Town to Melbourne in 11 days, four hours, one minute and 34 seconds.
The 41-year-old businessman from Ljubljana finished just over a minute ahead of Sweden's second-placed Nilhos_1, and one minute and 39 seconds ahead of Charlie 2010 from Holland in third. Incredibly, the top 50 virtual skippers finished within just 16 minutes of one another.
Ziga puts his Leg 3 success down to his positioning for the monster storm that battered the real Volvo Ocean Race teams for several days. He opted to be the most southerly boat out of all the 66,000 players – and with no Antarctic Ice Exclusion Zone to keep the virtual sailors away from ice, he was able to hook into the very best conditions.
Amazingly Ziga, a keen offshore sailor, had to step away from his computer for two days during the leg when he went on a business trip, but still managed to cross the line first.
“The big decision that led to my success was when the big low came through I decided to be the most southern boat in the fleet,” Ziga said.
“It was a really close leg – just one mile between the top ten. I had to miss two days because I was on a business trip, and I really didn't know until the end how it was going to work out. Thankfully it did, and I'm really happy.”
Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Melbourne to Hong Kong starts on January 2.