Danish player SKOVSER leads the fleet of more than 56,000 virtual skippers today having sailed WEST of Australia.
The real Volvo Ocean Race teams had to round the Solomon Islands to the north east of Australia before turning towards Hong Kong but the virtual fleet had no such restrictions. In fact the magic of the Volvo Ocean Race game is that it allows players to 'explore' parts of the world that real life sailors wouldn't go to.
In real life it wouldn't be possible to have a fleet of 56,000 sailors split by thousands of miles - it would be a logistical nightmare let alone a security risk. But in the Volvo Ocean Race game players are free to 'sail' wherever they like, however wacky it may seem.
During this leg, players have taken gambles on all sorts of unorthodox routings, none more so than SKOVSER’s detour up the western coast of Australia. As unusual as that tactic might be it has paid dividends, with SKOVSER jumping to the top of the rankings as they pick their way between Borneo and Sulawesi.
France’s KLM2235 lies in second, eight miles behind SKOVSER, with the gnou in third less than a mile further behind. Both players also took the same route west of Australia as SKOVSER.
The benefit of that course is that it is much shorter than the more conventional option to the east.
While the seven Volvo Ocean Race teams still have 3,000 miles of race track left, the leading game players are inside 1,400 miles of the finish. Once north of Borneo they can look forward to fast reaching conditions that will fire them towards Hong Kong.
With such a favourable forecast, the winner of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race game could be decided by the middle of next week.