Swedish virtual skipper Martin Baerveldt – better known as Tessa94 – has emerged victorious in Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race game.
Student Martin, 23, from Gothenburg, completed the 6,000-mile leg from Melbourne in Australia to Hong Kong, China, in 15 days, 18 hours, six minutes and 13 seconds. He was so far ahead of the fleet of more than 62,000 players that he crossed the finish line more than 45 minutes before second-placed fellow Swede XC Race, and just under an hour in front of Swiss player Rostef.
Martin's leg victory adds to is impressive results in the previous three legs – he finished fifth in Leg 1, was in the top 50 boats in Leg 2 and then led Leg 3 for much of the stage until being overtaken on the final stretch.
“I feel great to win Leg 4,” said Martin, a keen dinghy sailor when he was younger. “I've been playing the Volvo Ocean Race game for the past two editions but this is the first time I've ever made the podium, so I'm very excited.
“I have managed to sleep a little bit each night during the leg but I would get up at 4.30am every day to check the forecast.
“Every available moment I had at school I would be checking my phone to make sure my boat was going ok.”
This dedicated approach worked, and Martin built up such a lead that glory was all but assured for several days prior to finishing.
Even earlier in the game when a host of bold players who had opted for an unconventional route west of Australia shot to the top of the leaderboard, Martin remained confident in his strategy.
“The last few days have been quite relaxed actually – I knew I had it in the bag once we got to the trade winds,” he said.
“I wasn't too concerned when those guys that went west of Australia popped up in the lead because I knew they would have to sail a lot of upwind through the South China Sea, whereas I would be fast broad reaching into the finish line.”
With four good results from four legs, Martin is well positioned on the overall game leaderboard – and depending on where his rivals come, may even be in the number one spot.
“If I've done my calculations correctly then I should be top,” he said. “I would love to win the game overall but there's a lot of racing still do to.”
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