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Great Britain have been crowned the world’s best eSailing nation following a 6-3 victory over Spain in the inaugural eSailing Nations Cup Final.

After a month-long competition that featured 13 leading eSailing nations, Great Britain, captained by Mike O’Donovan aka @dejavusailing, convincingly beat Spain across the nine-race series. The series of races featured different classes, fleet sizes and racecourses that tested the teams' depth and performance.

Streamed across the Olympic Channel and across World Sailing’s Channels – click here to watch back – the Final welcomed two teams of ten that included at least one male and one female, one captain, two certified sailors and the top four sailors from the National Championships.

Great Britain came out with intent and advanced to a 2-0 lead. Spain pulled a race back but the next three races went the way of Great Britain who sealed the deal with three races to spare.

Team captain @dejavusailing commented, “It was some really tight racing. There were some high heart beats. We were aiming for the races that were slightly earlier. We weren’t expecting much for the ten v tens but having won the 49er race it was good to have that boost going into the further races.”

Great Britain got off to the perfect start in the first race of the Final. In a ten v ten fleet race in the 49er, the team with the lowest cumulative points score, based on the low point scoring system, would take the race victory.

TP52 (GBR) clinched the fleet race win for his nation and was followed by four Spanish rivals. However, a stream of British sailors followed and, with 103 points compared to Spain’s 107, they were able to claim the victory.

The second race of the series was a Match Race in the Star between the top two female racers. Isswizz (GBR) took on Patri Reino (ESP) in a race that saw both eSailors share the lead. However, the victory was decided on the final downwind as isswizz put enough wind shadow over Patri Reino to claim the race win in a photo finish, putting Great Britain 2-0 up.

Spain pulled a point back in the third race of the series, a 5v5 ILCA Dinghy fleet race. A dominant performance by the Spanish team saw Louis54TOP and Samuel Beneyto take the top two spots that handed them the victory.

In the 3v3 eF50 race, Spain grabbed the early initiative and were on track to take the victory. However, LDLN_Bandido (ESP) disconnected, which handed Great Britain the initiative. @dejavusailing, Bell Rock and Hugh Brayshaw capitalised and grabbed the victory for Great Britain to put them 3-1 up.

Great Britain extended their lead to 4-1 in the 2v2 J/70 fleet race. Joan Cardona (ESP) won the race and was followed by Great Britain’s Speedy_1 and @dejavusailing in second and third. Hector Dominguez (ESP) finished in fourth. As the scores were tied, the rules of the event stated that those not holding first place would take the win which meant the race went the way of Great Britain.

With match point to Great Britain, Spain sent in Cruzolator to face @dejavusailing in the sixth race, a match race in the Star. The race ebbed and flowed as the rivals shared the lead. On the final leg to the finish, Cruzolator inflicted a penalty on @dejavusailing and grabbed the advantage. But @dejavusailing remained in contention and it went to a photo finish that was judged to have gone the way of @dejavusailing as he claimed the eSailing Nations Cup title for Great Britain.

Three further races were held but the victory had already been secured for the British team.

Spain picked up victory in race 7, a 3v3 J/70 race, and in race 8, a 2v2 eF50 race. Great Britain picked up a convincing victory in the final race of the series, a 10v10 Nacra 17 race, to seal a 6-3 victory.

Up next for eSailing is the eSailing World Championship Final which will be held on Saturday 7 November from 21:00 UTC. British eSailing Nations Cup Champions @dejavusailing and Donnie Gillies will be on the startline and will be joined by Nations Cup rivals Joan Cardona, Cruzolator and [email protected] from Spain. Further contenders include StipecoachCROATIA (CRO), Kaan Mazlumca (TUR), MCES valentinelisa (FRA) and MCES pepitõ (FRA).

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On Friday 6 November, Great Britain and Spain will go head-to-head in the inaugural eSailing Nations Cup Final starting at 21:00 UTC.

Great Britain captain, Mike O'Donovan, and Spain captain, Carlos Paz, will lead their teams of ten in a best-of-nine race series. Different classes, fleet sizes and racecourses will be used to test the teams’ depth and performance, with the best all-round team claiming the title of best eSailing nation.

The third eSailing World Championship Final will commence at 21:00 UTC on Saturday 7 November. The top eight qualifiers plus the eSailGP champion will compete in a seven-race format, which concludes with a deciding Medal Race.

Both Finals will be streamed live on the Olympic Channel and across World Sailing’s channels.

Scott Over, World Sailing’s Commercial Director, commented, "We are delighted to receive the support of the Olympic Channel to broadcast two huge eSailing events this coming weekend. Participation and engagement within the eSailing community continues to grow.

"We believe we are the first eSport to be broadcast live on the Olympic Channel and their support marks another positive step forward for the global awareness of eSailing."

Philippe Guige, Founder and CEO of Virtual Regatta, World Sailing’s eSailing Partner, commented, "Through our partnership with World Sailing, the global presence of eSailing continues to expand and grow each month. We are excited to be working with World Sailing to bring the eSailing World Championship and Nations Cup Final to the Olympic Channel and showcasing the discipline to their global community of sports fans."

Published in Esailing
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A group of Irish sailors and ex-pats that have been esailing during lockdown are sailing online again in the second round of COVID-restrictions.

Hicks VR sailing club is a group of like-minded people from all over the world that enjoy evenings racing on the Virtual Regatta platform, says one of the organisers, note dinghy sailor and coach Graeme Grant.

The sailors use Zoom to enhance the social aspect of the evenings racing often accompanied by 'cold refreshments', says Grant.

The Club is free to join and a wide range of sailors have participated in past series, 'young, old, fast and frustrated'.

Sailors currently racing also include Mick Farrell, Ronan Downing from Royal Cork, Graeme Grant, race judge Cxema Pico, Ron Finegan and GP 14 sailor Colman Grimes.

To join the fun for the upcoming frostbite series, the best thing to do is message the club on Facebook for the WhatsApp group.

Racing is from 9 pm - 10.30 (ish) Irish time. There are five races per evening scheduled. Zoom opens early for a warm-up race at 8.40 pm

A warm-up evening from 9 pm in a variety of classes was held last night for the proposed Frostbite series is:

  • 29th October J70s
  • 5th November 49er
  • 12th November Laser
  • 19th November Star
  • 26th November J70

One discard per evening, or one evening discard. Results via Whatsapp. Rules by VR platform.

Prizes and support are from the series sponsor Colman Grimes Estate Agents.

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The latest Irish Sailing eSailing National Championship leaderboard reveals the top 10 qualifiers for the Nations Cup playoffs — and the challengers nipping at their heels for the coveted national title.

Irish Sailing’s first eChampionships were launched in early April, and since then 960 Irish players have signed up.

The top 10 ranked Irish sailors on 1 September 2020 will automatically represent Ireland at the eSailing World Championship Finals Playoff which will take place later this month.

Colin Kavanagh of Howth Yacht Club topped the board with Cillian Dickson in second (Howth and Lough Ree).

In third is Olympic sailor Finn Lynch (National YC), who just pipped Roisín McCormack (Foynes YC), president of the Mermaid Sailing Association, for the place.

Making up the rest of the top 10 are Mick Farrell, Paul McLaughlin, Graeme Grant, Andrew Baker, Tom Fox and Ronan Downing.

But it’s the top 20 who will now fight for the position of Irish eSailing National Champion.

The rest of the table in hunt for the national title comprises Ryan Seaton, Colin O’Sullivan, Chris Raymond, Shane Hughes, Max Tipp-McKnight, Cian Mollen, Atlee Kohl, James O’Connor, Michael Lynch and Daniel Raymond.

Playoffs for the domestic championship will be held on Tuesdays 3 and 10 November, with three races each, organised by Emmett Dalton of Howth Yacht Club. The first night will be raced in virtual J70s, followed by 49ers.

Irish Sailing says it wants to encourage as many people as possible to get sailing — with eSailing just one more aspect of this.

“We hope that by engaging with a brand new audience of eSailors, we’ll be able to convert them to real life sailors in the future,” the governing body added.

Irish Sailing teamed up with World Sailing and Virtual Regatta to launch the Irish eSailing National Championship in the middle of the coronavirus restrictions.

The game is free to play online or via app — and with the launch of the Irish version, local players can register as Irish and aim for the top of a new national leaderboard.

Published in ISA
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Carlingford Lough YC hasn’t been idle during the lockdown as members have enjoyed a Virtual Regatta, starting in early April, thanks to the RYA who arranged for sailing clubs to have a free subscription. To date, the club has had 165 races, 11 series of 15 races each.

CLYC is situated at Killowen on the northern shore of the dramatic sea lough straddling the border on the east coast, with Slieve Martin as a backdrop and the Cooley Mountains opposite, giving a broad expanse of water for water sports. For excitement within the lough mini-tornadoes or ‘kettles’ form during strong south-westerlies when squalls funnel down from the 600m high Slieve Foye in Co Louth.

Replacing all this activity on the water has been the racing in the Virtual Regatta which takes place every Wednesday and Sunday and all competitors join on a simultaneous Zoom session. This helps as everybody knows what is going on, rather than hanging around the start line wondering where everybody else is. It also allows hailing such as “starboard”, “you tack” and other polite exclamations! This is still going strong and although the dinghies are now sailing and dinghy courses continuing, normal racing has not yet resumed, although efforts are being made to have the cruisers racing on Saturdays.

Fourteen competitors and others from various parts of the globe including Ireland, North and South, England and Spain have taken part and there has been racing in Denmark, New Zealand, Italy, France, Germany, US, Spain, UK, and Australia. The class of boat is normally the J/70, but this has varied from time to time.
After 11 series overall leader is Typhoon 26 with 125 points, with Sulky Sue second on 126 points, followed by Far Niente (225 pts) and Legless (284 pts).
Kieran Cranley from CLYC says “

If you wish to join in email [email protected] and we can give you instructions about how the Zoom sessions and Virtual Regatta are organised. The craic is good, and the excitement is truly amazing!”

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Newcastle Yacht Club’s Luke McIlwaine has claimed fifth spot in the RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship after battling it out against nine other competitors.

The other sailors came from right across the regional and home countries. Instead of taking to the water, this time they logged on to compete against their fellow racers virtually, in a series of five races with two discards.

With live commentary from Yachts & Yachting’s Mark Jardine and RYA Pathway coach Johnny McGovern, who himself competed in the eSailing Lockdown Cup and was part of the winning ‘Splashes’ team, racing was extremely tight throughout the championship final.

A total of 2,932 sailors, from 178 different clubs from across the RYA regions and the home countries, took part in the RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship, competing in club and regional championships before whittling down to just 10 finalists.

McIlwaine earned his spot in the final with his win in the Northern Ireland regional event last month.

RYA Northern Ireland’s chief operating officer Richard Honeyford said: “eSailing has been a fantastic way for our sailors to keep in touch and continue developing their race skills over the last few months while we were unable to get out on the water.

“Luke put in an impressive performance and we are delighted with his success.”

If you missed the action, you can still catch it on the RYA YouTube channel.

Next on the RYA’s eSailing calendar is the Spring Class Championship. For more visit www.rya.org.uk/go/esailing

Since the RYA announced the launch of the RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship at the start of April this year, thousands of club sailors have been taking their tactics and strategies onto the virtual waters in an attempt to represent their club in the national final.

Getting through to the final not only means beating your fellow club members in a club championship, but it also means beating other local club champions within your RYA Region, which is no easy feat.

Around 80 sailors competed in their own club championships and 8 club champions then competed in the NI final on Saturday 16th May.

Newcastle Yacht Club sailor Luke McIlwaine showed his eSailing skills with 3 bullets and was crowned NI eSailing champion.

Luke comments: “There is definitely no lack of Virtual Regatta races to take part in; particularly involvement in the regular races that can be played every day has been excellent.

He continues: “These races have such a high skill level from all sailors and they are the perfect practice ground. After a really close regional final, with some tight racing, I am expecting the final to be very competitive. I am very pleased to represent NI in the final and I am looking forward to carb-loading on Friday night!”

RS400 and Laser sailor Luke now goes on to compete in the RYA eSailing Spring Championships. 10 competitors from around the UK will compete on Saturday 30th May to find out who will be the overall eSailing Spring Champion.

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Luke McIlwaine from Newcastle Yacht Club in County Down was the winner of the Northern Ireland region eSailing Championships held yesterday.

McIlwaine will now go on to represent the area at the finals on 30th May. Luke is a software engineer and as well as sailing has a passion for mountaineering.

Luke commented, “small adjustments make a big advantage”.

His prize for this effort is a Musto Dry Tube Bag.

RYANI congratulated the competitors. “We hope you enjoyed it and we are looking forward to seeing more clubs using the eSailing as an opportunity to engage with members and have a bit of fun”. And international yachtsman Mikey Ferguson from Bangor commented “Well done Luke. No catching you after you shot out of the blocks in the first two races”.

In these lockdown days Club eSailing Champions from across Northern Ireland will have the opportunity to be named Northern Ireland eSailing Spring Champion and go on to compete in UK National final this month.

Since lockdown measures were put into place, RYA Affiliated clubs have been able to set up and access eSailing with VIP accounts in order to help engage local racing members. 21 clubs across Northern Ireland signed up initially; they have been running multiple racing series with guidance from RYA during April in order to decide their Club Champion.

The NI Championships shall be held on 16th May at 1000, where nominated club champions will compete to be named NI’s eSailing Spring Champion. This person will go on to compete against named champions from each of the other regions and Home Countries across the UK later in the month.

The Championships will be streamed across RYANI’s YouTube Channel for supporters and spectators to follow the action.

RYA Northern Ireland’s Chief Operating Officer Richard Honeyford comments: “The eSailing platform has proved a great success amongst clubs and local sailors who have been unable to get afloat during the current lockdown measures. We are glad to be able to undertake this event and hope that clubs and local sailors will join in on the action. Although it is for a bit of fun, I am sure there will be some serious competition taking place.”

The e Sailing Championships are just one of a number of opportunities being delivered by the RYA to help engage with club members and recreational boaters during this period of lockdown

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The National Yacht Club has joined other yacht clubs across reland in launching its own members 'eSailing' League.

Series One of the NYC League will comprise five races every Thursday evening for the next four weeks using the ‘Virtual Regatta Inshore’ platform. 

The Virtual Regatta platform allows you to race people from across the world and even get yourself an Irish Sailing ranking!

As regular Afloat readers will know, Aat the neighbouring Dun Laoghaire Harbour Royal Irish Yacht Club, Enda O'Coineen got the RIYC Virtual league underway on Saturday.

A racing tips video (get practising!) is here:

Published in Esailing
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