Accenture supports metaverse pilot for The Ocean Race fans

04 April 2023 2 min. read
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Accenture has teamed up with Virtual Regatta and The Ocean Race to design and pilot a metaverse-based version of the iconic event, with sailing fans able to learn and interact in a digital race village.

Described as the toughest team event in the world, the 14th edition of The Ocean Race will this year skip Australia as the competitors wend their way around the globe.

But local sailing fans wanting to get up close and personal to the action will have another option rather than expensive and environmentally-costly international flights, with professional services firm Accenture teaming up with the event to pilot a metaverse experience.

Accenture supports metaverse pilot for The Ocean Race fans

Together with Virtual Regatta, The Ocean Race’s official e-sailing game, the Accenture collaboration will allow yachting enthusiasts to take part in exclusive online events and interact with other fans via a ‘digital race village’, which includes team pavilions and e-retail outlets. In addition, users will be able to access detailed race statistics, as well as learn about ocean health and the race organisers’ sustainability program and efforts to help protect it.

“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, Accenture’s Metaverse Continuum business group co-leader. “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.”

First held in 1973 and previously known as the Whitbread, the last event in 2017/18 featured a Melbourne leg, via Cape Town and to Hong Kong, although this year the country has again been overlooked. The sailors have instead departed from Spain and will conclude the race in Italy via Africa, South and North America and northern Europe, with a one-month 12,750 nautical mile marathon from South Africa to Brazil on the schedule.

It will be during the last week of this mammoth Cape Town leg to Itajaí in southeast Brazil where Accenture and Virtual Regatta’s metaverse pilot will first be available to users on a limited basis, with more than 20,000 players expected to take part in the game’s inshore and offshore versions of the race, which mimic the real thing. Via a dedicated science corner, visitors can also see the vital data these teams are gathering for oceanic protection along the way.

“We are entering the metaverse because we are explorers and pioneers,” said race chairman Richard Brisius. “Since 1973 we have sought new ways for people to engage with what is happening in the ocean. 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. We recognise that it is the young generation where we need to focus our efforts to build ocean literacy.”