Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom LEADERBOARD

Olympians and UK dinghy champions clash in eSailing Demonstration Event

by Mark Jardine 2 Apr 09:03 PDT 1 April 2020
eSailing Demonstration Event © Mark Jardine

We're all stuck at home, we're all itching to go sailing, yet our boats are out of bounds. There was only one thing for it - virtual sailing!

Virtual Regatta Inshore has seen an explosion in users since the Covid-19 lockdown, but games are not usually visible to non-competitors. So why not get some top dinghy sailors all together in a single event, livestream it with commentary and chat with all the skippers?

A bit of head-scratching, some clever software, one quick test and the event was arranged. The RYA's Alistair Dixon, Director of Sport Development, liaised with Adam McGovern, RYA Regional Development Officer North West, and gathered some of the UK's racing elite to take part, while Mark Jardine, Managing Editor of YachtsandYachting.com and Sail-World.com worked out the technical details such as audio levels, streaming settings and camera angles. From the idea to the first race was less than a week!

It was always going to be a bit chaotic, but the banter was great and the racing fun - exactly what was needed at this difficult time.

Hats off to the team at Virtual Regatta who have had to handle the immense traffic that the game has attracted at this time, but most of all thanks to the sailors who took part. Here's what they had to say:

Adam McGovern (1st overall): "Today's result is for sure the pinnacle of my sporting career, never mind the overall results, I have finally beat my brother at something!"

David Hivey (2nd overall and Moth European Champion): "Felt a bit bad for giving Stu a penalty and taking his victory away and jumping into second... but only a little bit."

Stu Bithell (3rd overall, 49er World Champion and London 2012 470 Olympic Silver medallist): "We only do three races a day in Olympic sailing; I guess I need to work on concentrating during four! Incredible consistency from Adam in such a high calibre fleet, well done!"

Luke Patience (4th overall and London 2012 470 Olympic Silver medallist): "That was the mess it was always going to be. Loved it!"

Ben Saxton (5th overall, Olympian, World & European Champion and multi-time Endeavour Trophy winner): "It was great fun racing friends and good tactical racing. Plus, a lot of carnage!"

Sam Whaley (6th overall and ILCA (ex. Laser) National Champion): "Great racing, but I'm feeling a bit bitter right now. Bring on round two!"

Fynn Sterritt (7th overall and 49er Worlds silver medallist): "That racing was quite literally the highlight of my day! Not sure if that says more about me, or the situation we find ourselves in...?"

Jonny McGovern (8th overall and British Sailing Team 470 coach): "It was awesome to get some of the UK's top racers together to do battle in the virtual world! More will surely follow in the weeks ahead..."

Matt Mee (9th overall and multi-time RS200, GP14 & Merlin Rocket champion): "The McGoverns have obviously spent the hours honing their set up and straight-line speed... this paid off for them today. I've not seen Adam with pace like that since his Mirror days."

Andy 'Taxi' Davies (10th overall and multi-time Merlin Rocket, Solo, GP14 & Scorpion champion): "I wish I had smaller thumbs..."

Sam Watson (11th overall and current GP14 national champion): "I must learn the difference between the hoist button and the tack button."

Emma Wilson (12th overall and RS:X sailor selected for Tokyo 2020): "It was good fun to race virtually. If I stopped crashing I think I may have had a better chance!"

Katie Burridge (13th overall and two-time Selden Sailjuice Winter Series Champion): "Although a couple of times I may have been leading at the windward mark, I was clearly missing my downwind tactician Simon Horsfield so the lead didn't last long! Great fun, good to get people together and have a laugh during these difficult times."

Christian Birrell (15th overall and current Merlin Rocket champion): "It turns out not wasting time doing a day job is just as useful in virtual racing as it is in real racing!"

Will we be doing it again? Of course! Watch this space!

Overall Results:

PosSkipperBoat NameR1R2R3R4Pts
1Adam McGovernAdamNW243312
2Dave HiveyGerbilRacing691218
3Stuart BithellBiffmiester 3241120
4Luke PatienceWeepearl538420
5Ben SaxtonSaxobank455620
6Sam WhaleyWhaleX1122823
7Fynn SterrittKristina1066527
8Jonny McGovernJonnymcboatface11811131
9Matt MeeMattMee71101432
10Andy DaviesTaxi8771032
11Sam Watsonsam gp1491115 35
12Emma Wilsonemma7141014745
13Katie BurridgeKatieBurridge131312947
14Eilidh MacintyreE1mc1214131352
15Christian BirrellC‑Biz161691657

Want to give it a go?

Now is the perfect time to start eSailing, especially with the temporary closure of so many clubs and everyone having to stay at home. It's a fantastic way to stay in touch and continue racing and practice your tactics from your own home.

The RYA has put together a page full of resources on how to get involved at www.rya.org.uk/Pages/virtual-regatta.aspx

Full Replay

Related Articles

AC36 challengers launched, Key West racing returns
Latest musings from Sail-World's David Schmidt in the USA As the first chilly weather of fall starts rolling across sections of North America, there's some interesting sailing news emerging from New Zealand, from points south on our own continent, and from France. Posted on 20 Oct
Mark Towill on 11th Hour Racing's new IMOCA build
David Schmidt checks in with Mark to find out more... I checked in with Mark Towill, CEO of the 11th Hour Racing Team for the 2022/2023 edition of The Ocean Race, via email, to learn more about the team's new IMOCA 60 design and build process. Posted on 20 Oct
What to do?
There wasn't really a question in it; this person is very industrious To be honest, it is not really a question you have to ask of the subject of today's Editorial. She's a ball of energy with a fantastic work ethic, an enduring smile, and a certain tenacity that reminds you of the claws below a wedge-tailed eagle. Posted on 18 Oct
Sam Mcguire on the J/22 and J/24 East Coast Champs
An interview with Sam Mcguire on the 2020 J/22 and J/24 East Coast Championships I checked in with Sam Mcguire, who serves as the Severn Sailing Association's J/24 fleet captain, via email, to learn more about this exciting regional championship regatta. Posted on 13 Oct
When is enough, enough?
I'm stuck with a dilemma... Here in the UK the nights are drawing in, it's definitely getting colder and as I write this the rain is pouring in a distinctly British way. Posted on 12 Oct
Sam Holliday on The Race Around's Futures Program
An interview with Sam Holliday about The Race Around's Futures Program I checked in with Sam Holliday, co-founder of The Race Around, via email, to learn more about the event's forward-leaning Futures Program. Posted on 8 Oct
The Race Around's approach to sustainability
Latest musings from Sail-World's David Schmidt in the USA While the past decade has been rife with advancements, I'm particularly impressed with a recent press release from The Race Around, which will begin in the summer of 2023. Posted on 6 Oct
Parks and Neville on the AYC's Double-Handed Race
David Schmidt discusses the race with the Annapolis Yacht Club team I checked in with Kathy Parks, Event Chair, and Dick Neville, Principal Race Officer, of the Annapolis Yacht Club's 2020 Double-Handed Distance Race, via email, to learn more about this exciting two-person race. Posted on 6 Oct
The Juxtaposition
Here were two boats about as far apart as you can get When the images of the dinghy you see here arrived, I had just been watching the Australian Sailing Team training aboard their Nacra 17 foiling cats. Here were two boats about as far apart as you can get. Posted on 4 Oct
Could I gybe a Waszp inside a day?
Mark Jardine takes on the challenge! On Tuesday 22nd September I set myself a challenge. Could I complete a foiling gybe gybe or tack on a Waszp during my first day sailing the boat? Here's how I got on! Posted on 1 Oct
SOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 BottomUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERZhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom FOOTER