The virtual skipper has opted for the shortest route, hugging the coast of Brazil, as the fleet of more than 42,000 players races 5,700 miles north to the finish line in Newport, USA. As is so often the case in yacht racing, competitors are having to choose between sailing further but in potentially better wind or taking the more direct option.
As the distance to finish is measured to waypoints, any sailors deviating east of the rhumb line – effectively a straight line from the start to the finish – are punished in the rankings at this early stage.
Consequently the top players, for now, are those who have headed north straight out of Itajai, but the price they pay for that move is lighter winds and adverse current. Alongside Captain K are the likes of fellow Swedes beerduck and Comfort26, 730e from the Czech Republic and France’s boombi and sonic06.
Meanwhile the likes of Sparky from the USA and Sweden’s Maja Cara-Fe have adopted a similar route to that of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet proper, heading east in search of stronger, more favourable breeze.
Their price is that they currently sit way down the rankings somewhere in the 31,000s. Which pack will come off best? With less than 500 miles sailed of Leg 8, there’s still plenty of time for upsets. And it’s not too late to join in – just go to volvooceanrace.com/game to sign up.