Two sailing clubs from the Isle of Wight will join clubs from across the South this Saturday (23 May) to take part in the South regional final of the RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship. The winner will then compete for national honours by representing the South in the RYA eSailing Spring Club National Final (30 May).
Virtual Regatta eSailing is an online sailing game that has become very popular during the Coronavirus lockdown. Aimed at everyone from expert sailors to newbies, it brings the excitement of small sailboat racing into the home.
After some fine e-sailing in the South regional heat, Robbie Southwell from Island Sailing Club qualified as well as Sandy McPherson from Royal Yacht Squadron. They join a group of just 20 sailors to earn the right to be in the South’s regional final.
Robbie commented: “It’s nice to be in the South regional final. I am a little nervous that I may make a simple mistake and then struggle to get back into the fleet. However, my strategy to be consistent and finish in the top three worked well in the regional final. I hope all my J70 sailing in our evening race series with the Island Sailing Club will also help.”
Going into the regional heat Sandy was a little apprehensive: “I knew that I had to get mid table at least in order to get to the next stage. My strategy was to stay out of trouble, you can loose a lot of places by getting into individual battles with other boats, so I had the tactic to get clean air all the way round if possible. It feels good to get through: the aim now is to see if I can make it into the nationals.”
The live final will take place at 11am this Saturday 23 May. It will be available to watch for free on the Virtual Regatta App by searching for ‘RYA South Final’. It will also be live streamed on the RYA South region page on Facebook.
Susie Moore, RYA south regional development officer said: “eSailing is a fantastic way to stay in touch with your sailing friends and continue racing and practicing your tactics. Clubs across Hampshire and the South have been using eSailing as a valuable way to keep their members engaged during the lockdown, providing a great way to keep in touch and continue racing.”
eSailing has seen a massive explosion, with thousands of sailors taking to the water virtually to get their daily sailing fix. “Before lockdown we had around 350-400 daily users but those figures have gone through the roof since lockdown was introduced with around 40,000 players logging in each day”, commented Thomas Gauthier, Virtual Regatta Product Manager.
Susie added: “With restrictions easing, we are now able to return to the water. However, I am confident that many sailors will continue to play eSailing and it will perhaps remain a part of sailing clubs’ regatta programmes.”
No previous sailing experience is required to play eSailing. Robbie added: “eSailing is lots of fun, it even allows you to play against your friends so you can race each other. It’s a great way to keep your mind focused on sailing if you’re unable to get out on the water.”
There is plenty of help available for new players to learn the game, including RYA videos, and is great for all ages. Sandy added: “Just give it a go and have a bit of fun. My seven year old daughter did her first eSailing regatta last weekend and had a great time.
For those who want to find out more or practise their skills in between club racing, the game is free to play for individuals and easy to access. Simply click here or download the app on a smartphone or iPad, and click ‘play now’ on either the inshore or offshore game. If you want to compete and keep your score, create a login and a user profile.
The RYA also has a wealth of information to help everyone – from beginners to experienced sailors alike. Visit the RYA for more information: