In association with Irish Sailing
The concept of e-sailing, or virtual sailing, is based on a computer game sailing challenge that has been around for more than a decade.
The research and development of software over this time means its popularity has taken off to the extent that it has now become a part of the sailing seascape and now allows people to take an 'active part' in some of the most famous regattas across the world such as the Vendée Globe, Route du Rhum, Sydney Hobart, Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup and some Olympic venues too, all from the comfort of their armchair.
The most popular model is the 'eSailing World Championship'. It is an annual esports competition, first held in 2018 and officially recognised by World Sailing, the sports governing body.
The eSailing World Championship is a yearly competition for virtual sailors competing on the Virtual Regatta Inshore game.
The contract to run the event was given to a private company, Virtual Regatta that had amassed tens of thousands of sailors playing offshore sailing routing game following major offshore races in real-time.
In April 2020, the company says on its website that it has 35,000 active players and 500,000 regattas sailed.
Virtual Regatta started in 2010 as a small team of passionate designers, engineers, and entrepreneurs gathered around the idea that virtual sailing sports games can mix with real races and real skippers.