Volvo Ocean Race – The Race for the Chops

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Don’t let the title fool you… I’m not talking about the real VOR. Personally, I think those guys are crazy, going around the world on a 70′ rickety rocketship, eating freeze dried food with threats of fishing boats, nets, long lines, pirates and the Indonesian Navy.

Rather, I’m talking about the Volvo Ocean Race Game ( that a few of us here in the office are playing. Officially, the stakes are for bragging rights, although there is talk that the last person to finish in Singapore will have to grow out the ol’ mutton chops for a solid month.

There are seven of us currently making our way from India, around Sri Lanka, through the scoring gate due north of Palau We and down to Singapore… and we’re doing it from the comfort of our own couches at home (because, honest boss, we’d never waste company time on this…).

Right now, I hold a debatable lead over the rest of the group — I say debatable because I’ve made a fairly risky/bold/heinously stupid move to hug Sri Lanka while the rest of the group is taking a more true to life approach by staying further offshore. I’d love to tell you that I have some master plan associated with this move, but I basically didn’t plan on a wind shift and I was forced to head further north than I expected. Now, everyone else is moving at about twice my speed… so yeah, I’m basically banking on being able to break to the north before everyone else to save myself the humiliation of growing the most spotty and grotesque facial hair ever seen.

Taking a look at the current Rankings:
1st Place: Scoop editor, Chris (DTF = 1,478nm)
2nd Place: Scoop editor, James (DTF = 1,499nm)
3rd Place: Aaron from Customer Service (DTF = 1,524nm)
4th Place: Mike from Fulfillment (DTF = 1,531nm)
5th Place: Warren from Customer Service (DTF = 1,563nm)
6th Place: Jarret from Rigging (DTF = 1,576nm)
7th Place: Ian from the Storefront (DTF = 1,709nm)

Lucky for me, Ian was asleep at the helm this weekend, steering a due south course for the better part of 72 hours. Even though he has finally adjusted course and there’s a ton of race left, all of the analysts agree that he’s going to have to do some fancy (fake) sailing to avoid “winning” the Race for the Chops.

Unsexy Update: Due to the rules at the beginning of the race apparently being unclear about being able to cut between Sri Lanka and India, the folks running the VOR game are throwing up the ol’ virtual 1st Substitute penant and are recalling the entire fleet. This was apparently due to the complaints of a bunch of people that must have more on the line than having to grow unweildy facial hair.

The Race for the Chops will be restarting tomorrow at 0500 Eastern, when Ian will get a second life and my somewhat safe feeling about not having absurd facial hair will evaporate.

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