The Ocean Race launched a metaverse experience pilot last week with Virtual Regatta and Accenture to engage fans and businesses in a new way with the world-renowned, global yacht race.
The Ocean Race Launches New Metaverse Experience Pilot with Virtual Regatta and Accenture.
The Ocean Race, in collaboration with Virtual Regatta and Accenture, has introduced a new metaverse environment to provide fans and businesses with a unique and interactive experience of the prestigious yacht race. The metaverse will allow players of Virtual Regatta, the official e-sailing game of the race, to participate in exclusive online events, connect with other enthusiasts, and access team statistics. Additionally, the metaverse will provide e-commerce opportunities for brands to showcase their digital goods and services. The pilot experience will also incorporate The Ocean Race’s mission to protect the seas, allowing visitors to explore the organization’s sustainability program and take action to preserve the ocean. The metaverse pilot will begin in the last week of Leg 3 of the race from Cape Town to Itajaí, Brazil.
The companies developed a metaverse environment that allows gamers and enthusiasts of the race’s official e-sailing game, Virtual Regatta, to take part in exclusive online events, interact with other fans and get access to team stats.
“We are entering the metaverse and our collaboration with Virtual Regatta and Accenture because we are explorers and pioneers,” said Richard Brisius, race chairman of The Ocean Race. “Since 1973 we have sought new ways for people to engage with what is happening in the ocean.”
Philippe Guigné, founder and CEO of Virtual Regatta, added: “The metaverse is a new experience provided by Virtual Regatta and The Ocean Race that will allow people to follow the physical and virtual race in an all-digital race village. Gamers and enthusiasts will be able to meet each other, watch the physical and digital event, and much more. This virtual reality setup will further enhance the fan experience.”
Additionally, The Ocean Race’s mission to protect the seas is incorporated in the metaverse strategy and content. The Racing with Purpose tent, named after the organization’s sustainability programme, is an interactive space where visitors can explore how the race supports this goal and how they can get involved. The area features a science station, which highlights how race teams are gathering vital data about the ocean, and a learning corner where visitors can discover and download learning programmes to inspire youth between 6–16 years old to protect the seas. Also showcased is the Blue Voice campaign, which gives an opportunity for visitors to show their support by signing the petition for ocean rights.
“The metaverse will usher in a new era of our digital lives, overcoming the limitations of the physical world and creating new opportunities to immerse in issues and connect as communities,” said David Treat, who is the co-lead of Accenture’s Metaverse Continuum business group. “Our collaboration with The Ocean Race and Virtual Regatta is helping reinvent how people engage with the race and protect our oceans while creating value for all stakeholders.”
Richard Brisius added: “Purpose drives The Ocean Race. Protecting our racetrack and restoring the health of the ocean is vital, and the metaverse can be a fantastic tool for helping give the ocean a voice. It is even more important for us to continue to explore new ways to engage and educate. We recognise that it is the young generation where we need to focus our efforts to build ocean literacy, as the metaverse is likely to attract many young users. In addition, we believe in the merits of Web 3.0 with a metaverse which will represent a fair internet controlled by the users, compared to the current Web 2.0 which is centralized and run by a few entities.”
More than 200,000 players are expected to take part in the Virtual Regatta Offshore and Inshore versions of the race. There are seven International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA) legs and three VO65 Sprint stages on Virtual Regatta Offshore, with new features for an expanded virtual experience, mimicking the real race the crews are undertaking.
Since 1973, The Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team and a human adventure like no other. For nearly 50 years, it has kept an almost mythical hold over some of the greatest sailors and been the proving ground for the legends of our sport.
The 14th edition of The Ocean Race started from Alicante, Spain on 15 January 2023, and will finish in Genova, Italy early in the summer of 2023. The race will visit nine iconic cities around the globe over a six-month period (Alicante, Spain – Cabo Verde – Cape Town, South Africa – Itajaí, Brazil – Newport, RI, USA – Aarhus, Denmark – Kiel Fly-By, Germany – The Hague, the Netherlands – Genova, Italy) and will feature a leg with the longest racing distance in the 50-year history of the event – a 12,750 nautical mile, one-month marathon from Cape Town, South Africa to Itajaí, Brazil. The fleet of mixed crews will pass all three great southern Capes – Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn – non-stop, for the first time.
Along with five confirmed foiling IMOCA teams racing around the world, six one-design VO65 boats will race on three legs with an option to compete for a new trophy within The Ocean Race called The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup.