RORC launches virtual race

Gone are the days of 608 miles of sitting on the rail of an offshore racer, living in oilskins and sharing a confined space with a full crew. Thirty years on from the infamous 1979 Fastnet Race, armchair sailors around the world now have the chance to test their skills against the 2,500 sailors racing on 300 yachts in the 2009 race, which starts on Sunday 9th August.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club has launched a Virtual Fastnet Race which will mirror the 608-mile race which starts on Sunday from Cowes. The course runs around the Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland and back to Plymouth. It is a difficult race and tests inshore and offshore skills, preparation and speed potential. The virtual race will be no different!

For some, taking part is a once-in-a-lifetime personal challenge, but if you can’t be on the race yourself, sit back and become a virtual racer, competing in real time and real weather conditions on the same rack track against the fleet.

Developed by Virtual, The Virtual Fastnet Race is free to play and is designed to be as close as possible to the real thing.

Eddie Warden-Owen, Chief Executive of the RORC said: “We are now giving fans the opportunity to take part in their own race with our virtual game. The competitors can create their own Rolex Fastnet Race campaign without even having to get wet or leave the sofa!

To play, visit The Virtual Fastnet Race website

The virtual race begins at 1200 BST on Sunday 9th August.