by Emma Slater
RYA Volvo Dinghy Show SailX Championship is organised by the RYA and SailX in collaboration with the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show and the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club. Registration and practice sessions are now open for anyone wishing to take part in the regatta.
This exciting virtual regatta, powered by the inshore sailboat racing and training game SailX.com, is open to everyone. Heats take place in the seven weeks leading up to the Show, culminating with the live finals at the Show on the Volvo Main Stage over the weekend of 3-4 March, Alexandra Palace, London.
This unique online game enables you to race virtual sailboats against racers from all over the world in real-time around short courses and in strict accordance with the Racing Rules of Sailing, with each race lasting approximately five minutes.
'SailX is designed to ‘game’ the mental aspect of inshore racing, with the gamer able to issue simple instructions to a virtual sailor on board their race boat. These instructions are very simple (tack now, gybe now, etc.) yet the rationale behind them is based on the same complex strategic and tactical considerations that exist in real-world racing. Because of this (like chess or checkers) the game is simple and addictive for the ‘newbie’ and, at the same time, extremely challenging for the advanced user and real-world sailor.
'We even have current Olympians training and being coached on SailX in the build-up to the London 2012 Games', explained Amando Estela, creator of SailX.
The registration and practice period runs until the 29 January so there’s still time for you to give it a try and warm up for the quarter finals that start on the 30 January and run until the 12 February. Semi-finals will take place between 13 - 26 February before we crown the class and individual champions at the Show.
'It’s a very simply process to get involved', Amando continued. 'To play SailX and join the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show Championship all you need to do is visit the SailX website and register for the championship. Registration and racing is completely free and once you’ve registered you’ll be racing as part of a truly global community of racing sailors with some 25,000 racers from 98 countries worldwide taking part.'
Of course a computer game could never test all skills involved in sailboat racing, but as a high-performance rules and strategy-based racing game, SailX does offer an interesting insight into who really has the best understanding of these fascinating and vital areas of our sport. On top of this, given the importance of these mental aspects, SailX also provides sailors with a great platform to shout about what makes the sport so special and to engage new people in sailing's fascinating gameplay.
'We’re really thrilled about SailX coming to the show this year and I’m sure the finals will be very exciting. There will also be the chance to win a wildcard entry in to the finals at the SailX stand during the show, so if you miss out on the pre-show qualifying you could still take part if you come along to the show', explains RYA Shows Manager Helen Waterhouse.
In an exciting development, the famous Endeavour Trophy will also be associated with this event, with the winning class being awarded the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show SailX Championship Trophy 2012, and the winning individual being awarded with the Virtual Endeavour Trophy 2012.
The Endeavour Trophy, a fine silver replica of the J Class yacht, Endeavour, donated by Beecher Moore in 1934 and awarded to the Champion of Champions of the British dinghy world on an annual basis, will also be on display throughout the show.
For more information on the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show SailX Championship 2012 and to register to take part visit the SailX website.
To find out more about the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show 2012 and to buy your ticket click here.