The sprint from Cardiff, Wales, to Sweden’s second city Gothenburg will only take a handful of days to complete but it will have a lasting impact on the leaderboard. With only two short legs remaining, two virtual skippers have emerged as the contenders for the Volvo Ocean Race game title.
One is 23-year-old Swedish student Martin Baerveldt, better known as Tessa94. The other is 37-year-old British player Mark Campbell-James, AKA Sideshow. Both have proved their skills as virtual skippers over the past nine legs, winning five of the stages between them.
Campbell-James, winner of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race game, kicked off the scoring with a win in the opening leg from Alicante to Lisbon, then added victories in Legs 6 and 8.
Baerveldt, a relative newcomer to Virtual Regatta, has less stage wins than his rival, with wins in Legs 4 and 7, but more consistent results place him top of the overall scoreboard.
There will be many thousands of virtual sailors on the start line when Leg 10 kicks off on Sunday, but all eyes will be on the race between the two at the top.
From Cardiff the route will take the fleet north round the tip of Scotland then down into the North Sea, around the southern tip of Norway and then east to Gothenburg. Despite its short length it could still be a tricky leg – the fleet could encounter big winds from the Westerly Storm Track or light, fickle breeze from the Azores High.
Which virtual skipper will be chosen to join the Volvo Ocean Race crews at The Hague for the final ceremonies? Only time will tell.
To join in Leg 10 of the Volvo Ocean Race game go to www.volvooceanrace.com/game to sign up.