Virtual Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 – it’s just like the real thing but you can stay home to play. And now it’s double the fun
ALICANTE, Spain – Two giants of ocean racing – one virtual and one very much reality – have joined forces to provide gamers with a double treat for the next nine months.
The Volvo Ocean Race is the sailing’s leading round-the-world crewed event and Virtual Regatta boasts the world’s largest sailing gaming community with peaks of more than one million players.
Together they are launching two games for the first time for the forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 that will allow both serious gamers and casual players the chance to immerse themselves in the real action at sea.
So what’s in store?
Virtual Regatta Offshore allows players to participate in all nine legs of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, with your virtual boat. Your boat sails 24h a day/ seven days a week. It’s up to the player to select the best heading and sails for the conditions. The game is available on all web platforms or from the Virtual Regatta apps (Android and IOS).
A 3D arcade-style game will allow players to get to know the Volvo Ocean 65, the new one-design boat that is being used by all teams. The objective of the game is to complete a short, technical course – as fast as possible. The game will be made available to the public in the stopover villages of the Volvo Ocean Race but it will also be online and on mobile applications (Android and IOS).
Follow the action online with Sébastien
For the nine months of the 38,739-nautical mile Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, an online news programme highlighting the virtual race entitled “Virtual Regatta News” will be hosted by the popular French presenter Sébastien Destremau and co-produced by Cypok Media. The programme will feature news related to the virtual competition: interviews with players, advice and reports about the actual race.
Kicking off in September – and all in a great cause
Virtual Regatta and the Volvo Ocean Race are working with Save the Albatross Campaign to bring you the Prologue of the Virtual Volvo Ocean Race. The virtual fleet will depart from the Isle of Wight on September 15, onboard the new Volvo Ocean 65, and arriving in the port of Alicante. All profits from the race will go to the Save The Albatross campaign, helping save these magnificent sea birds. This race is exclusively available on Virtual Regatta and will not count in the final ranking of the Virtual Volvo Ocean Race.
They said it…
“We hope to have hundreds of thousands players from five continents taking part in the Virtual Volvo Ocean Race. The international reach of the Volvo Ocean Race aligns perfectly with our objectives, and we hope to have immense success with this project. This year we have a number of innovations that we hope players and the partners of the Volvo Ocean Race will enjoy. Records are meant to be broken!” - Philippe Guigné, CEO of Virtual Regatta.
"Virtual Regatta and Volvo Ocean Race are the best at what they do and together we make a partnership which we’re sure will attract big followings for both our new games. One will be an opportunity for race fans and serious gamers alike to replicate the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 itself with all the kind of tough tactical choices the sailors themselves have to make at sea. And the other will be an arcade-style game which you can play online in just a few minutes and challenge your friends to see who’s best at the helm. I can’t wait for the virtual action to start!” – Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Save these dates now
September 15 - Departure of the Virtual Volvo Ocean Race Prologue
October 4 - In-port race in Alicante
October 11 - Departure of Leg 1 from Alicante to Cape Town
Dock Talk: Team Vestas Wind bank on mix of experience and youthful energy to get the job done
ALICANTE, Spain, September 1 – Chris Nicholson’s Team Vestas Wind crew will enter the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 with less time to prepare than any of their rivals but brimming with experience combined with youthful energy.
The Australian skipper is banking on the tried and tested including two sailors with seven Volvo Ocean Races under their belts already – New Zealanders Tony Rae and Rob Salthouse – in his crew announced today.
The pair is joined by two other crew members with Race experience, Dutch navigator Wouter Verbraak and the first Argentine to be named for this year’s race, Maciel Cichetti.
Nicholson will also have plenty of new talent on board with 23-year-old Australian Tom Johnson joining Danish Volvo Ocean Race first-timers Nicolai Sehested and Peter Wibroe.
To complete the team, Irish film-maker and photographer Brian Carlin will be responsible for bringing the story of Team Vestas Wind to millions of fans around the world as Onboard Reporter.
Said Nicholson: “We need a crew with plenty of guys on board who know exactly what the Volvo Ocean Race is all about, guys who can hit the ground running and help make us competitive in the shortest time possible. And we also need a team that can gel quickly because this race more than ever before, will be about teamwork and making the right decisions together.”
Nicholson continued: “We’re confident we’ve achieved just that with a mixture of huge experience in Trae (Rae), Salty (Salthouse) and myself and guys who are ready to learn from them like Nicolai (Sehested) and Peter (Wibroe). Vestas’ core business values of accountability, simplicity and collaboration are spot on for what we’re trying to achieve with our crew. If we can show those qualities under the extreme pressure of the Volvo Ocean Race we’ll do just fine.”
The line-up in full with their sailing - and human - credentials:
Chris Nicholson (Australia)
Nico has competed in the Volvo Ocean Race four times. He has represented Australia at the Sydney and Athens Olympics and is a six-time world champion. He’s cool under pressure and one of the sport’s nice guys – but underneath there’s a fierce competitor. He finished second last time in 2011-12 as skipper of CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand.
Other Interesting Fact: Fourth time around the world. Was an electrician by trade and was once a miner.
Family: Partner + two sons + one dog + two horses + two chickens
Nicolai Sehested (Danish)
Role: Trimmer and boat captain
Nicolai has a solid background in match racing having recently competed in the SAP Extreme 40 series. One of the shining stars in Danish sailing. He’s got a big job for a young man but he has an old head on those young shoulders.
Other Interesting Fact: Grew up on a farm and is a keen hunter.
Family: Parents + two older sisters
Peter Wibroe (Danish)
Role: Trimmer, data processing and food.
Pete also has a solid background in match racing. He was a crew member of the SAP Extreme 40 and has competed in the Melges 32 and RC 44. Pete has a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences with a master’s degree in nanotechnology.
Other Interesting Fact: Growing up, he always wanted to be a musician, and his biggest talent was his ability to sleep during transportation – let’s hope he can stay awake on the boat! Pete’s bachelor of nanotechnology thesis topic was: “Exploring encapsulation efficiency in single vehicles by passive transport across bilayers around phase transition”. (Amazing!)
Family: Parents + one brother + one sister
Tony Rae (New Zealand)
Role: Hellman’s trimmer, medic, sail maker.
Trae has competed in the Volvo Ocean race four times. He has been a member of Team NZ since 1987 and has been with Team NZ for all seven of their America’s Cup campaigns. He is one of the most respected men in the sport of sailing and if all goes wrong, he boasts a singing voice to cheer up his crewmates. He’s the front man for the Volvo Ocean Race rock band.
Other Interesting Fact: Had two cats but had to sell them because he was doing this race.
Family: Wife + two daughters
Rob Salthouse (New Zealand)
Role: Watch captain, driver, trimmer, sail maker.
Salty has competed in three Volvo Ocean Races, four America Cup regattas with Team New Zealand, eight Sydney-to-Hobart races and five Atmel Cup races. Knows the sport inside out and will be once again Nico’s rock on board after sailing with him in 2011-12 on CAMPER.
Other Interesting Fact: This will be his fourth lap around the world.
Family: Wife + two daughters + one son
Tom Johnson (Australia)
Role: Hellman’s trimmer and bowman and sail maker.
Don is the youngest on board Team Vestas. He has recently competed in the SAP Extreme 40 Sailing series and has a strong background in Moth and 49er sailing. Nico predicts his background on high performance dinghies will help him develop into one of the fastest drivers on board Team Vestas Wind.
Other Interesting Fact: He grew up in Mandurah in Western Australia and when not sailing, he surfs, skates and goes camping.
Family: Parents + one sister
Wouter Verbraak (Dutch)
Wouter has competed in the Volvo Ocean Race twice, the America’s Cup, the 2011 Barcelona World Race and all world major regattas.
Other Interesting Fact: Wouter loves skiing with his family. Unfortunately missing out on this year’s skiing means he will never keep up with his 10-year-old son’s 93kmh skiing!
Family: Wife + one son + one dog
Maciel Cichetti (Argentine)
Role: Watch captain, Driver, Trimmer
Cicho has a wealth of experience across the Volvo Ocean Race and Americas Cup. He is a World Champion in the RC 44 sailing class and a highly sought after trimmer in the TP 52’s. His experience of one-design sailing with the TP 52s, Melges should be invaluable.
Other Interesting Fact: Born in Argentina, married a Swede, has three children who were all born in different cities around the world. Favourite pastime includes watching rugby with his son, enjoying “asados” (Argentinian barbeques) with friends and (if time permits) trekking in the mountains.
Family: Wife + two daughters + one son
Brian Carlin (Irish)
Role: On Board Reporter (OBR).
Brian has a long history in film and photography in the sailing arena in both match racing and America’s Cup. He is responsible for all media content received from onboard the boat and also responsible for food. He’s an Irishman so he’s a born communicator who has already made himself popular with the crew. Let’s hope he can cook well too!
Other Interesting Fact:He is also an Architect. He would live in South East Asia if he had the chance.
Family: Parents + one brother (who is a chef)
You can keep up to date with Team Vestas Wind’s journey via http://teamvestaswind.vestas.com and via our social media channels:
WHAT’S NEW WITH THE REST OF THE FLEET?
Dongfeng Race Team – First there were four and now there are six. Dongfeng have added two more Chinese sailors to their race crew – Kong Chencheng (Kong) and Liu Xue (Black) – after both returned to the fray having originally pulled out. It takes the number of Chinese in the squad to six with skipper Charles Caudrelier planning to rotate them throughout the Race. Both Kong and Xue dropped out of contention for places after finding early training too tough but then the lure of the Race drew them back and team boss Bruno Debois was happy to welcome back two very talented sailors. ‘Black’ summed up why he’s back: “A Volvo Ocean Race sailor should be a team player, determined in mind with a strong body. That’s who I want to become.”
Team Brunel – Skipper Bouwe Bekking was all smiles when he steered his boat into Alicante – the first of the teams to arrive at Race HQ – just before midnight on Friday. After a four-day trip from their training base in Lanzarote, Bekking reported all was well with both the boat and the crew beyond a handful of routine maintenance fixes for the Volvo Ocean 65. He’s also named the final member of the onboard line-up, Onboard Reporter Stefan Coppers, whose ambition to do the job was first fired up eight years ago. “In 2006 the race came to Rotterdam,” recalled Coppers. “On the dock I met the PR manager of Team ABN AMRO, Yvo Janssen. I told him that he could always call me in case he was looking for an Onboard Reporter. At that time it was just a dream.”
Team SCA - The girls swapped rigging for royalty this week, as they welcomed Swedish Crown Princess Victoria to their base in Stockholm. But it wasn’t all curtsy and chit chat – in the hour-long visit they even got the Princess on the grinding machine. “It was great to give her an insight into our world and have the opportunity to meet with her in person,” said Dee Caffari. “And it’s fantastic to have her as our Godmother during the Race.” Meantime, Team SCA have announced that Accenture will be their digital partner for the nine months of the Race. Accenture will provide analytics and interactive marketing expertise to raise the team’s profile with global audiences through multiple digital channels.
Team España - After ranking second in the Round Britain and Ireland race, the Spaniards were back at their base in Sanxenxo before setting forth for Alicante and Race assembly on September 8. Despite not having their final line-up confirmed, Xabi Fernández reckons that his colleagues have reason to be confident. “We make a strong team,” he said after the team were given a civic send-off by the mayor of Vigo. “The idea is to make the crew a bit more extensive than in the last edition, and to rotate in a way we didn’t do last time. It could be beneficial for us.”
Team Alvimedica: The American-led crew are also on their way to Alicante after leaving the UK shores late at night on Tuesday following the Round Britain and Ireland Race. With the October 4 start date looming, their newest and final crew member Matt Noble revealed his excitement for the first leg journey to Africa. “Looking at the course, the two legs that I’m most looking forward to are Alicante to Cape Town and Auckland to Itajaí – not many people get to do the whole Southern Ocean thing!” he said.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing: Ian Walker and his crew are enjoying one last breather before the serious business begins but their boat Azzam has already safely been delivered to Alicante by Performance Director Neal McDonald, arriving on Friday in mid-afternoon scorching heat. Like Team Brunel’s Bouwe Bekking, he reported all was well with his Volvo Ocean 65 following their monohull record win in the Round Britain and Ireland Race last month. Meantime, preparations for the Christmas/New Year stopover in Abu Dhabi are really hotting up. On Sunday they announced, that five-times Oscar nominated composer George Fenton would be performing with the highly acclaimed Blue Planet in Concert which opens the stopover on December 12.
World premiere: the all-new Volvo XC90 Video Releases
Volvo has released several videos of the new 2015 XC90 and we are presenting them here for your convenience and viewing pleasure.
All-new XC90 World Premiere - Event B-roll
Contains footage of the Artipelag venue outside Stockholm, of the reveal event of the all-new Volvo XC90 and of the show cars that were on display.
First look inside the all-new Volvo XC90
The all-new Volvo XC90: Volvo Cars’ most luxurious interior ever.
The all-new Volvo XC90 - Running footage
Exterior running footage of the all-new Volvo XC90.
The all-new Volvo XC90 - Crash test footage
Footage of crash tests involving the all-new XC90. All tests were conducted at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. The video shows three types of crash tests: a front offset crash test at 64 kmh (40 mph), a side impact crash test at 55 kmh (35 mph) and a roll-over crash test at 48 kmh (30 mph).