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It's a win for Scotland in the RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship

by Emma Slater 1 Jun 2020 14:07 BST 30 May 2020
eSailing Spring Club Championship Final © Tom Chamberlain

It was a win for Scotland as Alasdair Ireland, representing the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club, sailed his way to the top of the leader board and the title of RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship champion.

Competing against the nine other eSailing regional and home countries champions, Alasdair, sailing under the sail name of Speedy_1 and who is currently ranked 3rd in the GBR national rankings, battled it out against his fellow racers on the virtual waters, in a series of five races with two discards.

Commenting on his win Alasdair said: "It is an amazing feeling to win the Club Championship final. The racing has been close throughout the competition and I'm thrilled to have come away with the win for the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club and RYA Scotland. I am looking forward to getting back out on the water and doing some real racing again soon!"

With live commentary from YachtsandYachting.com's Mark Jardine and RYA Pathway coach, Johnny McGovern, who himself competed in the eSailing Lockdown Cup and was part of the winning 'splASHES' team, racing was extremely tight throughout the championship final.

"I've never seen that many gybes in a final leg before" commented Johnny at the end of race 1 when Mike O'Donovan (South) and Luke Mcllwaine (Northern Ireland) match raced their way to the finish line, with Mike taking the first race by just 1.2 seconds!

The fleet remained super tight in race 2, when Alasdair took his first win and commented: "The two discards mean it's really going to come down to the last race", which indeed it did.

Race three got under way with an extraordinary port tack start from Mike O'Donovan. When asked how he got away with it Mike replied: "Dumb luck! I got lucky and got through without a penalty". At the end of race three yet another trio of racers took the top three spots, so there was still everything to race for.

Race four and 20 year old Robbie Langford, lead the fleet off the start line to the first mark, "I've had a few bad starts, so seeing I can do something on the first beat to the windward mark", commented Robbie. Sadly he was unable to maintain his lead, and it was the East region's James Curtis who took the win, closely followed by Alasdair Ireland in second.

Going in to race five and it was Mike O'Donovan representing Stokes Bay Sailing Club in the South region who was top of the leader board ahead of Scotland's Alasdair Ireland, so it was all going to come down to the final race. After yet another gripping race, Alasdair clinched the win and the overall championship title.

  • "Great racing and great fun. Congrats to Ally and thanks to everyone for competing and making it such a great event"- second place Mike O'Donovan, Stokes Bay Sailing Club, South region.

  • "The racing was super close and although I'm happy with my result I'm even happier that I don't have a long car journey home to stew on my mistakes and what ifs!" third place James Curtis, Grafham Water Sailing Club, East region.

  • "By far the best competition I've had on eSailing. It was an absolute pleasure to have the privilege to be on the starting line with these high calibre competitors", William Macdonald, Wembley Sailing Club, London and South East.

  • "It was some great racing throughout with an outstanding level of competition. There was never a moment to rest", Nick Welbourn, Hykeham Sailing Club, Midlands.

  • "Had a great time! These were some of the closest races I've ever been a part of. Big congratulations to Alasdair!" Robbie Langford, Keilder Water Sailing Club, representing the North East.
Don't worry if you missed the action, you can still watch it on here:

As well as the claiming the Championship crown, Alasdair wins a Musto LPX Gore-Tex jacket, courtesy of Musto, official suppliers of the British Sailing Team and a visit or online Q&A session with a member of the British Sailing Team for him and his fellow Royal Nothern & Clyde Yacht Club members.

Overall Results:

PosRegionVR UsernameClubHelmR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1stScotlandspeedy1Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht ClubAlasdair Ireland‑31‑4214
2ndSouthDeja VuStokes Bay Sailing ClubMike O'Donovan1‑614‑56
3rdEastJamesCurtisGrafham Water Sailing ClubJames Curtis‑85‑9128
4thWalesKieranlewisShotwick Lake Sailing ClubKieran Lewis422‑5‑68
5thNorthern IrelandLukem1245Newcastle Yacht ClubLuke McIlwaine2(DNF)‑83712
6thNorth WestHopkinsDelph sailing ClubJack Hopkins54‑6‑7413
7thNorth EastCaptain RobKeilder Water Sailing ClubRobbie Langford735‑10‑915
8thLondon & South EastswiftapWembley Sailing ClubWilliam Macdonald‑9736‑816
9thSouth WestCaptain MainwaringExe Sailing ClubFred Mainwaring‑10‑978318
10thMidlandsHSC OODHykeham sailing ClubNick Welbourn68(DNF)9‑1023

A total of 2,932 sailors, from 178 different clubs from across the RYA regions and the home countries took part in the RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship, competing in club and regional championships, before whittling it down to just 10 finalists.

"The racing has been phenomenal throughout the whole championship, and the skill and quality of racing in the final is testament to that" commented Alistair Dickson, RYA Director of Sport Development. "eSailing has really taken over the past few months, while we've been unable to get out on the water and we are delighted that so many racers and clubs got involved in the championship, helping not only sailors to continue practicing and honing their race skills, but also as a means of keeping the racing community engaged and in touch with each other."

Next on the RYA eSailing calendar is the RYA eSailing Spring Class Championship. If you want to find out more about the Class Championship, how you can get eSailing or want to pick up some eSailing top tips then visit www.rya.org.uk/go/esailing for more information.

Love Boating? Then why not join the association that promotes and protects, safe, successful and rewarding British boating. Join today and support the RYA in protecting your boating rights and freedoms. Take advantage of free advice and support on all aspects of your boating, as well as enjoying a range of fantastic personal member offers. Find out more by calling 02380 604 159, email or visit www.rya.org.uk

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