An online ocean racing game has become an internet phenomenon

As the Southern Ocean swallows up the real solo circumnavigators taking part in the Vendee Globe race – just 17 remain from the initial 29 starters – the online version continues to grow in size and popularity with nearly 300,000 boats participating.

And with 10,000 Euro at stake for the winner of the Virtual Regatta race, there’s plenty to play for.

Click here to join in the Virtual Regatta Vendee Globe via the main Vendee Globe website

Rules of the game
New participants may choose the colour of their boat’s sails and hull, as well as the boat’s name. Joining is free, although there is an option to pay for some autopilot features, which do make sailing easier but don’t actually increase the boat’s performance.

Joining now will put you in the last third of the fleet so it should still be possible to get way up towards the leaders by the end of the race. However, racing against those in your vicinity or other ‘friends’ already on the course is just as much fun.

The weather forecast within the game gives you the exact wind speed and direction up to 36 hours into the future and the weather on the course updates once every twelve hours – at noon and at midnight.

The wind is based on actual forecasts, so further advantage can be gained by using real online weather forecasts that predict as much as seven days into the future.

There are no currents, sea states or other shipping to collide with, however, shallow water near land will stop you dead as will damaged sails caused by strong winds. has been organising virtual yacht races for a number of years and is also supporting virtual fleets for the Volvo Ocean race, which has just completed the third leg to Singapore.

The organisers have been astounded by the public response to the virtual races this year, which have even been mentioned in the national press.. click here for the Daily Telegraph virtual Vendee Globe story 

But be warned – the virtual Vendee and virtual Volvo are both extremely addictive, and like all good games, the rules are simple but the tactics are fiendishly complicated… Good luck! Out.