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Northern Ireland Sailors Compete for RYA eSailing Title

4th May 2020
Northern Ireland Sailors Compete for RYA eSailing Title

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

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

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Esailing & Virtual Sailing information

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.

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