Philanthropy | For Goodness’ Sake

How virtual sailors can take part in a real global yacht race

A charitable fund will be among the winners in an epic yacht race

How virtual sailors can take part in a real global yacht race

June 18 2011
Lindsay Macpherson

The charitable trust launched by The Global Ocean Race – this September’s nine-month, round-the-world competition for 40ft yachts – plans to bring yachting to a wider audience in more ways than one. To fund permanent sailing programmes for underprivileged children in the race’s stopover ports in South Africa, New Zealand, Uruguay and the US, The Global Vision Sailing Trust is launching a free-to-download online yacht-racing game (also available for BlackBerry, iPad and iPhone), which will replicate the exact route, conditions and performance parameters of the actual race.

Players will be able to race competing yachts in real time, and can purchase add-ons (from €19) and applications to be in with a chance of winning prizes pledged for the victorious (virtual) yachtsmen. The game’s developers, United Games, estimate that it could attract more than 250,000 users worldwide, meaning that proceeds from the paid-for extras could become an important revenue stream for the Trust.

Picture shows Global Ocean Race round-the-world skippers sailing with underprivileged young people from Cape Town.