Following the success of the first two eSailing World Championship seasons, World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport, and Virtual Regatta, the leading digital sailing platform, have extended and expanded their relationship through to 2028.
The announcement was made today at World Sailing’s 2019 Annual Conference in Bermuda, following the 2019 eSailing World Championship Final that saw Velista71 claim the title on Tuesday 29 October. Click here for more on the final.
The agreement will see an expansion of the scope of works between World Sailing and Virtual Regatta with a focus on both the Inshore and Offshore platforms, an evolution on the previous agreement that only covered the Inshore platform.
Throughout 2019, the number of eSailors globally across both platforms has grown to 1.4 million unique players and continues to grow.
World Sailing and Virtual Regatta will continue to work to deliver the eSailing World Championship on an annual basis and promote the Virtual Racing Rules of Sailing, an evolution of the real-life Racing Rules of Sailing that governs all eSailing Games and events. In addition, an official ranking system for eSailing will be created, and World Sailing and Virtual Regatta will work collaboratively to widen the audience for both real and virtual sailing to young participants in new nations and regions.
In 2019, National eSailing World Championships were held in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, The Netherlands and Switzerland, and the eSailGP was launched at the final event of the inaugural SailGP season in Marseille, France. Alongside expanding the total number of National Championships and engagement with World Sailing Special Events, areas of further collaboration, such as an offshore eSailing World Championship, will be explored.
Scott Over, Commercial Director at World Sailing, commented, “The partnership between World Sailing and Virtual Regatta for the eSailing World Championship has enabled both parties to grow the game worldwide and bring thousands of new sailors and non-sailors into the virtual space.
“The 2019 eSailing World Championship grew on the inaugural season with a high number of players enjoying the thrill and complexities of the sport, and we’re delighted to expand the partnership and scope to feature the Offshore platform.”
Philippe Guigne, Founder and CEO of Virtual Regatta, said, “eSailing is growing fast. The increase in involvement of players, clubs and major sailing events from all around the world for both fun and tactical practice has exceeded our expectations.
“Extending our exclusive agreement up to 2028 with World Sailing will give us the tools the achieve our shared vision and mission – to develop our sport, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.”
An announcement on the format of the 2020 eSailing World Championship will be made in the coming months.
By Daniel Smith – World Sailing