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Irish Sailing launches Irish eSailing National Championship

by Irish Sailing Team 10 Apr 11:09 BST
Irish Sailing launches Ireland's eSailing National Championship © Irish Sailing

Irish Sailing have teamed up with World Sailing and Virtual Regatta, the leading digital sailing platform, to launch the Irish eSailing National Championship.

"Virtual Regatta Inshore" is a free-to-play game available online or as an app, and at 10am this morning we launch the Irish eSailing National Championship on it. Irish Sailing have invested in a licence for Ireland so that you can now register as an Irish sailor and aim for the top of a new Irish Leader Board. You can play against friends, fellow sailors and members of the Irish Sailing Team including Olympians Annalise Murphy, Ryan Seaton and Finn Lynch. All Irish registered players will be automatically put into the Ireland rankings, and entered into the Irish eSailing National Championship. The top 10 ranked Irish sailors on 1 September 2020 will automatically represent Ireland at the eSailing World Championship Finals Playoff.

During this current lockdown, Irish Sailing are looking ahead to the future, and want to encourage as many people as possible to get sailing - first in the virtual world, and then in the real world when things go back to normal. By investing in eSailing, we're hoping to engage with a brand new audience and introduce them to the joys of sailing.

Already we know amongst our sailors that eSailing is a popular bad-weather alternative and a great way of keeping sailors entertained between races at events. eSailing can also help sailors to practice skills, demonstrate racing tactics or learn weather patterns in some of the most famous sailing venues in the world. We want to now broaden eSailing's appeal to an even wider audience.

CEO of Irish Sailing Harry Hermon commented "We're delighted to be working with World Sailing and Virtual Regatta to officially launch the Irish eSailing National Championship. Up until now Irish sailors have only been able to compete in overseas events without an Ireland-only leaderboard, so now it's time to get recognition for our home-grown eSailors and host our own national event. We know that eSailing is becoming important for our clubs and centres to help keep the social and community ties strong when we can't get out sailing, so we're pleased to offer the new eSailing Championship during this lockdown as a bit of a lift for us all".

Irish Sailing's Head Coach Rory Fitzpatrick said "eSailing is the next best thing to real sailing while we're in lockdown. Anyone can do it - you don't even have to get wet ! Just like in real sailing, you have to understand tactics and the way wind works, and even better is that you get to compete against Olympians and the best sailors in the world. I'm using it at the moment with the Irish Sailing Team, and it's proving to be another really useful tool in our training".

10 x VIP passes were given away to the first 10 clubs and classes that registered their interest this morning. 30 plus registered within 10 minutes of the launch. A VIP pass allows a club or class to run their own event for a year (each annual pass is worth €120). Details of the VIP pass and other options for running your own regatta are all on sailing.ie/eSailing.

The 2020 Irish eSailing National Championship is live from 10.00am on Wednesday 8 April 2020. To get started simply visit the Irish Sailing website, or the Virtual Regatta website or download the Virtual Regatta Inshore App from the App Store or Google Play.

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