World sailing

World Sailing announces virtual sailing championship

Virtual Regatta and World Sailing will host the first e-sailing championship in 2018.
Virtual regatta

In partnership with the first digital sailing platform, Virtual Regatta, the eSailing World Championships will take place every year from 2018.

The Virtual Regatta platform provides the ideal vehicle for the eSWC, with its established Inshore Regatta games. A new set of World Sailing regulations will be used to allow sport sailing rules to be adapted to the virtual world.

Coastal regattas will take place throughout the year with players accumulating points which will establish their ranking in the eSailing World Rankings. Players on the leaderboard will have the opportunity to qualify for the Global Qualifiers and ultimately compete in the Live Finals. The final of the first eSailing World Championships will be held in Sarasota, USA in November 2018.

The eSWC is for everyone, from expert sailors to sports gamers. Virtual Regatta found that around half of the players are non-sailors and have a young age profile. World Sailing sees the eSWC as an ideal way for fans without access to sailing equipment or facilities to engage in the excitement of the sport.

The unique qualities of sailing – combining sport, nature and technology – lend themselves to a virtual play environment. The multiplicity of variables, with the combination of equipment and the forces of nature, makes virtual navigation just as challenging and strategic as reality.

Virtual Regatta currently has over one million active players on its platform and has acquired over 100 million views on Dailymotion.

World Sailing is one of the first international sports federations to embark on esports and this move will allow existing and new audiences to engage with the sport on a digital platform.

“Sailing is well suited for digital presentation,” commented World Sailing President Kim Andersen. “The sport requires constant input and an acquired set of skills to manage the relationship between the boat and the forces of nature.

“The variety of boats, from dinghies, windsurfers to 100ft boats, makes it particularly rich as a gaming platform.”

Philippe Guigné, Founder and CEO of Virtual Regatta said: “Virtual Regatta is honored to join the World Sailing family. Our international federation is showing the world just how cutting edge innovation sailing is.

“The eSailing World Championship is probably one of the most ambitious and innovative projects in the world between a federation and a gaming company.

“ESports opens a new audience to our sport and allows sailors to practice their favorite sport anywhere, anytime.”