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Champions crowned during huge weekend of eSailing Nations Cup finals

by World Sailing 11 Nov 2021 13:33 PST
eSailing Nations Cup finals © World Sailing

A huge weekend in eSailing saw two major tournaments come to a close. The eSailing Nations Cup final saw France take on Great Britain in the live virtual final, while the eSailing World Championship featured the ten qualifiers in a winner take all.

In the Nations Cup Final, a tense battle saw France emerge victorious 5-4 over defending champions Team GBR in the best of nine series.

The French team was captained by Alexandre Gouin (MCES Sinjid) and featured Barbara Cavyn (Barbie22), Stéphane Galzin (MCES ValentineLisa), François Méheut (COOL FanchVR), Tangi le Goff (MCES_tangi), Luc Pruvot (Ginsu 2000), David Krief (Juyfra), Xavier Noblin (COOL xav-nice), Cyril Boivin (Cricqueville), Baptiste Gully (LaMerNoire), Tristan Péron (UOL_asere), Tim Carpentier (MCES pepito) and Elouan le Coq (L1).

Fifteen nations began the season, which is exclusively open to nations who have registered for an eSailing National Championship this year and will see national teams of ten participate in mass fleet races with knockout rounds, before advancing to quarter and semi-finals.

France and Great Britain were the two left standing after Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Oman, Turkey, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland had all been eliminated.

Italy beat Spain 5-4 in the bronze medal race. All finalists receive a cap and rum from Mount Gay.

Meanwhile, Spanish eSailor Carlos Parejo (UOL Carlos Parejo) shocked the fleet as he came from way back in the eSailing World Championship final medal race to earn double points and take the win away from favourite and race leader Tristan Péron (UOL_asere) of France. The 19-year-old from Sevilla was surrounded by his family and crossed the finishing line to raucous cheers, claiming the $10,000 USD grand prize courtesy of Virtual Regatta along with a red cap and rum from Mount Gay.

The final was staged over eight races, using Star, Nacra 1, Laser, J70, 49er and F50 boats. The final medal race took place on the J70.

Final rankings:

1. Carlos Parejo (UOL Carlos Parejo) - ESP
2. Francisco Pinheiro de Melo (VIT - Chico) - POR
3. Tim Carpentier (MCES pepito) - FRA

The grand final was the culmination of a season lasting ten months with week-long regattas throughout the year to determine qualifiers. Rocco Guerra (MCES rock) from Italy secured his spot in the final in March by winning the America's Cup. Tristan Peron (UOL_asere) of France qualified in June after winning the inaugural Olympic Virtual Series.

The eSailing World Championship rankings closed in September with Great Britain's Arthur Farley (VIT Arthur Farley) top of the leader board and an automatic qualifier for the final. Mike O'Donovan (Deja Vu) from Great Britain secured his place at the eSailGP Final in October.

Playoffs held in October left 747 players racing for the final six spots in the final. A total of 1982 over the decisive weekend narrows the fleet down to the top ten eSailing players of the year.

The Nations Cup and eSailing World Championships Final was watched by 52,000 unique viewers, a record for the finals.

Scott Over, World Sailing Commercial Director, said, "Since launching in 2020, the Nations Cup has added an exciting new dimension to eSailing. To go into the final weekend with 15 registered national teams shows excellent progress and with more national championships taking place every month, the future of eSailing looks bright. The action and emotion showed during the Nations Cup races and World Championship final today was truly inspiring. We fully expect more countries to sign up to take part in 2022 and raise the level of competition to new heights."

Managing Director of Mount Gay, Raphaël Grisoni commented, "The eSailing competitions have made the sport more accessible, more popular and brought the community together in new ways. During a period where racing on the water had been on an enforced break, the opportunity to support eSailing was more important than ever. We are proud to be able to give back to the sport of sailing and show appreciation for those who have always supported Mount Gay."

Philippe Guigne, founder and CEO of Virtual Regatta, added, "This season's eSailing Nations Cup and World Championships have been a huge success. The event has been a hit since the very first year and on the back of the Olympic Virtual Series we have seen more players than ever before, along with more viewers than before. The level of competition has improved every year and we now look ahead to the next season."

This weekend also saw the start of another eSailing offshore race as the Transat Jacques Vabre Virtual Regatta kicked off in Le Havre with more than 200,000 eSailors competing. The course mirrors the actual Transat route, setting sail from Sainte-Adresse, to the north-west of Le Havre and ending in Martinique.

For more information and to register, please visit www.virtualregatta.com

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