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Who will be crowned GBR eSailing National Champion?

by Susie Nation-Grainger, RYA 17 Sep 2021 16:43 BST 18 September 2021
GBR eSailing National Championships © RYA

Tune in at 5pm this Saturday (18 September) to find out who will be crowned GBR eSailing National Champion 2021.

Launched alongside the eSailing World Championships in January, the eSailing GBR National Championship, in partnership with World Sailing and Virtual Regatta, provides sailors with an online opportunity to race against friends, fellow sailors and real-world Olympic Champions.

Over the past six months eSailors up and down the country have been racing online to battle it out on the virtual waters in a bid to earn their place at the national final that will be live streamed this Saturday on both the RYA YouTube and Facebook channels.

The Finalists

Of the 3,585 competitors who have taken part this year, the finalists include current world ranked number 1 Arthur Farley, 2019 national champion Donnie Gillies and the 2020 Nations Cup Captain and World Championship Bronze medallist Mike O'Donovan. With the current national champion missing out on a spot in this year's final the question is who will be crowned the new national champion?

Our finalists are:

Arthur Farley
Race name: VIT Farley
Ranking: 1
Sailing Club: Brading Haven Yacht Club - South Region
Experience: 3 x ILCA6 national champion (2018,2019,2020), 2nd ILCA7 RYA Youth Nationals 2021, eSailing 2021 Ranked No1, Part of esports team VIT

Mike O'Donovan
Race name: Déjà vu
Ranking: 2
Sailing Club: Stokes Bay Sailing Club / ASYC - South Region
Experience: eSailGP World Champion 2020, Current GBR Nation's Cup Captain, eSailing World Championship Bronze 2020.

Donnie Gillies
Race name: Donnie Gillies (formerly Maradonnie)
Ranking: 3
Sailing Club: Castle Semple Sailing Club - Scotland
Experience: 2019 British eSailing champion, 2020 4th at eSailing world championships, Member of victorious GBR team in eSailing Nations Cup 2020.

Cavan Fyans
Race name: Cavan Fyans (formerly ACF)
Ranking: 4
Sailing Club: Ballyholme Yacht Club - Northern Ireland
Experience: 2020 eSailing Nations Cup winner with team GBR, 2021 eSailing Nations League winner with team GBR, 2nd 2021 RYA eSailing winter champs, eSailing Speed record holder in the AC75.

Will Hensley
Race name: WH-GBR
Ranking: 5
Sailing Club: South Region
Experience: Grew up sailing Lasers. National Youth squad and national/international regattas. Now 37, young family, and sail leisurely.

Mark Campbell-James
Race name: Sideshow
Ranking: 6
Sailing Club: Frensham Pond Sailing Club - London & South East
Experience: 5 time UK National Match Racing Champion. Was skipper of Farr52 Bear of Britain for a number of years. Won Commodores Cup, Cowes Week, IRC nationals, America's Cup Jubilee regatta. Winner of the virtual Volvo Ocean Race 2012, 3rd place in virtual Volvo Ocean Race 2018. This is my 1st year doing VR inshore.

Richard Codling
Race name: VonPigeon
Ranking: 7
Sailing Club: The Woolverstone Project and Orwell Yacht Club - East Region
Experience: Winning the RYA East Region Winter Final 2021

Adam McGovern
Race name: Adam McGovern (formerly AdamGP14)
Ranking: 8
Sailing Club: Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club & Red Wharf Bay Sailing & Watersports Club - North West Region
Experience: GP14 Northern Champion 2021, GP14 eSailing Winter Champion 2021, eSailing Nations Cup winner with team GBR 2020.

Darren Stansbury
Race name: Darren1973
Ranking: 9
Sailing Club: South West Region
Experience: Started sailing in the early 80's, pushed into the River Tamar in a Topper and just got on with it. Enterprises were the dinghy of choice, then into keelboats, J24, 1/4 ton, 1/2 ton, Impala 28, Prima 38, again with at National and European Level.

Thom D'Arcy
Race name: Ti-Punch
Ranking: 10
Sailing Club: Yarmouth Sailing Club / Royal Solent Yacht Club - South
Experience: Started sailing at the age of 8 in a wooden Optimist built by my Mother. Selected for RYA Americas Cup youth squad in 2001 for the America's Cup Jubilee and represented Royal British Yacht Clubs at the 50 mile cup in Russia in 2008.

eSailing competitor and RYA Regional Development Officer Adam McGovern said: "The level has gone up a notch this season that's for sure and I am chuffed to have made it through to the final again. Knowing the standard of the fleet I think it's going to be exciting to watch and a great way to showcase the standard of eSailing in the UK."

Celia Edgington, RYA Shows and Promotions Manager added: "With such a phenomenal level of sailing experience both on the water and in the virtual arena it's looking like this is going to be an exciting final. I can't wait to see who will become our national eSailing champion".

Your commentators for the live event will be British Sailing Team coach Jonny McGovern 49er and British Sailing Team ILCA 7 sailor Sam Whaley.

Where to watch

So set your alarm and tune in at 5pm this Saturday for all the live action and cheer on your favourite.

Find out more about eSailing including tips on how to get started here.

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