Category Archives: Sailing

World Sailing and Virtual Regatta Extend Partnership

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.

eSailing World Championship website.

By Daniel Smith – World Sailing

Chief Executive of World Sailing, Andy Hunt, To Step Down At The End of December After Four Years in The Role

World Sailing Chief Executive Officer, Andy Hunt has notified the Board of Directors that he will be taking on a new role in International Sport in early 2020.

The Board considers that Andy has made an important contribution to the modernisation and commercial development of World Sailing, and the Board thanks Andy for his service during an intense and challenging period for World Sailing.

Andy Hunt commented, ‘‘It has been a privilege to serve the sport of Sailing as CEO, and to work with such a talented team to move the sport forward over the past four years. I wish the sport every success in the future as it continues to grow the global participation and fan base.”

Kim Andersen, World Sailing President, commented, “I would like to thank Andy for his unwavering commitment to the sport over the past few years and I wish Andy every success in his new role.”

World Sailing has numerous ongoing activities in developing sailing worldwide, and the World Sailing Senior Management Team, the Executive Office staff and the Board are committed to continuing the momentum to build the sport.

The Board will commence a search for a successor shortly.

Sailors Are Coming Together Worldwide To Clean Beaches

All around the globe sailors are taking to the shores where we sail to help clean up plastic and other garbage. As passionate users of the sea, racers, cruisers, sailors young and old unite behinds a love of the oceans.

While the 49er and Nacra 17 classes were hoping to participate and lead 200 such cleans this off season, we will fall short of that goal but perhaps it will be achievable next year following games.

Some beach clean have been small, a start. Others are massive and already having an impact.

Check out the Argentinian beach clean that took place. Lead by Yago Lange (ARG) the video shot pre-clean up is truly horrifying. We can only start to help and try and improve the situation.

In Perth, Griselda Khng (SIN) lead the Mounts Bay YC clean up effort. No doubt it was a great way to start the sailing season and unite with a few friends.

This past weekend, Iago Marra and Diego Botin (ESP) ran a beach clean with Iago’s club and got some golden help from Kahena Kunze (BRA).

Next weekend the Japanese sailors in 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 will be running a beach clean adjacent to the Olympic venue in Enoshima.

Sailors Are Coming Together Worldwide To Clean Beaches

In Vancouver, Canada, the Royal Vancouver YC ran their second annual beach clean and turned it into a party, with kids games, education, and a band! A party nearly 90 years ago could have been the source of some of the trash cleaned up as a 1930’s whisky bottle was one of the treasures removed from the sea floor.

At the 2019 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 Hyundai World Championship venue, we say the gold medalists, Burling and Tuke participating in a large beach clean and dive, to pull all sorts of debris from the Auckland harbor sea floor.

For sailors around the globe, we often spend time either closing or opening our seasons in September and October. It’s not too late to join this global #Sailors4theSea effort to clean our Oceans. Phone your YC mates and spend an hour cleaning up, we’ll all feel better for it!

Rio 2016 Skiff Gold Medalists Secure Victory at Olympic Test Event

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have stamped their authority on the 49er class – again – 12 months out from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Finishing 8th in the double-points medal race today was enough to secure victory for Burling and Tuke. The Kiwis spent the entire medal race matching the Polish team who were the only team that could catch them, disregarding their own finishing position.

Spain’s Diego Botin & Iago Lopez Marra took the race victory with great pace on the last downwind leg, passing Germany’s Justus Schmidt and Max Boehme who lead for the first three legs of the race.

Ready Steady Tokyo Sailing 2019. Olympic Sailing Test Event ©/SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILING
21 August, 2019.

Blair Tuke (L) and Peter Burling (R) celebrate with Coach Hamish Wilcox

Great Britain’s Dylan Fletcher & Stuart Bithell crossed the line in third place which was enough to leapfrog the early regatta leaders Przybytek & Kolodzinski for the silver. The British were much further down the fleet at the first weather mark after being forced to the unfavoured side of the course, and were mathematically out of the medals until the second half of the race. After a clean leeward mark rounding they banked hard on the right-hand side of the course to make multiple critical passes.

The Polish team, who had wrestled for the lead for much of the regatta, had to settle for third overall. Their medal race was compromised from the start when then they had to return after being over early and never recovered. Having to settle for a ninth-place finish in the medal race and a Bronze medal, the Przybytek & Kolodzinski are aware that they had greater opportunities over the course of the regatta.

Ready Steady Tokyo Sailing 2019. Olympic Sailing Test Event ©/SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILING
21 August, 2019.

Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell (GBR) celebrate their silver medal at Ready Steady Tokyo

Getting bounced out of the medals into a close fourth place were Ben Bildstein and David Hussl (AUT). Rounding the first windward mark in the leading group, their decision to perform a gybeset rounding turned out to be the wrong one, shuffling them back in the pack.

With a gold medal in Rio 2016 and a silver in London 2012, four 49er World Championships and an America’s Cup victory thrown in for good measure, the New Zealand duo of Burling and Tuke already have a results sheets to retire on. With an 11 point victory at the Tokyo 2020 test event this week, they are without a shadow of a doubt the form boat heading into the final stretch of this Olympic cycle. If they can win the next Olympic Games and defend the America’s Cup, they will fall into legend category before their thirtieth birthdays.

After a break from the class to win the America’s Cup in 2017 and complete the Volvo Ocean Race in 2018, Burling & Tuke stepped back into the class in early 2019, going on to win the Open European Championship at Weymouth in May. Great Britain’s Fletcher and Bithell are also hitting their stride at the perfect time. Juggling a 49er Olympic campaign and the British SailGP program, they won the European Championship and the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma.

The Ready Steady Tokyo teams will now be joined by the extensive 49er fleet for the Sailing World Cup, which begins on Sunday. This will be the last major hit out on the Olympic waters before the games in August 2020. Next up on the calendar is the 2019 World Championships to be sailed in Auckland, New Zealand. With Olympic qualification spots up for grabs and teams looking to secure their countries nomination for Tokyo 2020, the summer down under will be one to watch.

Ready Steady Tokyo Sailing 2019. Olympic Sailing Test Event ©JESUS RENEDO/SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILING
21 August, 2019.

1st Peter Burling / Blair Tuke (NZL) 53pts
2nd Dylan Fletcher / Stuart Bithell (GBR) 64pts
3rd Przybytek / Kolodzinski (POL) 68pts
4th Ben Bildstein / David Hussl (AUT) 71pts
5th Justus Schmidt / Max Boehme (GER) 77pts

World Sailing launches Special Event Sustainability Charter at Cowes SailGP

World Sailing has today [Friday 9 August] launched its Special Event Sustainability Charter at Cowes SailGP to ensure world-class sailing competitions showcase the best in the sport and support World Sailing’s Sustainability Agenda 2030.

The Special Event Sustainability Charter looks to build on the momentum of sustainability initiatives that have been delivered by some of the special events in recent years.

As part of the Charter, all Special Events will have a comprehensive sustainability strategy, aligned applicable principles set out in Sustainability Agenda 2030, and commit to working with World Sailing to accelerate the objectives and targets.

Click here to view the World Sailing Special Event Sustainability Charter.
SailGP is the first World Sailing Special Event to commit to and activate across the Charter. From its inception, SailGP has been working on developing a comprehensive sustainability strategy that set outs to deliver exemplary sustainability leadership across its operations.

For example, at Cowes SailGP measures are in place to eliminate single use plastics with reusable cups, bottles and refill stations. Event branding is 100% non-PVC and maximises reusability event to event, even down to reusable bungees in place of tie wraps. Even the volunteer t-shirts are 100% organic cotton and fully recyclable. These initiatives were brought to the fore through a beach clean in the build-up to the Cowes event, highlighting the need to turn the tap off plastic waste and the use of non-valued materials.

For a new organisation, the attention to detail at SailGP is impressive even down to the implementation of a food charter with the provision of over 50% plant-based menus and over 80% of locally sourced foods (within 25 miles). Waste cooking oil is powering the generators reducing the carbon impact of temporary power provision by 80%.

Longer term, SailGP has a programme to look to transition its support boat fleet to electric and hybrid vessels aligning with World Sailing’s ambition for coach boats at future Olympic events. SailGP is also using recycled carbon and recycled plastic bottles in the tooling of the existing boats with plans to recycle all boat components into new products, on and off the boat in the coming year.

The newly launched SailGP Inspire programme not only aims to get young people onto the water but also, through Inspire Careers, looks to open the industry to young people who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.

SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts said, “This is an important day as we look be among the leaders in our sport and support the delivery of the Special Event Charter, setting an example of what can be done – from big to small initiatives. The aim is to inspire others to follow our example, and share our experiences and learnings to drive sustainability across global sport.”

Dan Reading, World Sailing Head of Sustainability commented, “Special Events, as their name suggests, capture global interest from sailors and sports fans. They offer an excellent opportunity to showcase the sport, sailors and innovation. They also have an opportunity to use their voice and resources to tackle some of the key sustainability issues that we can collectively work towards.

“I’m grateful to our current and past Special Events for helping shape what we believe is a challenging, industry leading sustainability framework. The charter forms part of the contracts to become a special event and we will look to publish progress and foster partnerships on key targets.”

Hyundai New Zealand jump on-board to sponsor the 2019 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships

Hyundai New Zealand have come on board as a principal sponsor of the 2019 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships. The event continues to go from strength to strength and with Hyundai New Zealand involved it’s set to be enhanced. This year’s 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships is to be held at […]

via Hyundai New Zealand jump on-board to sponsor the 2019 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships — finixsportsblog

Hyundai New Zealand jump on-board to sponsor the 2019 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships

Hyundai New Zealand have come on board as a principal sponsor of the 2019 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships. The event continues to go from strength to strength and with Hyundai New Zealand involved it’s set to be enhanced.

This year’s 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships is to be held at the Hyundai Marine Sports Centre at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club in Auckland, New Zealand, the first time a world class event has been held at this venue.

As many as 400 sailors from around the world are expected to compete at the regatta from November 29-December 8, with a large number expected to start training in Auckland as early as October.

World Championships Event Director, Peter Dawson says, “It is with great excitement that we welcome Hyundai New Zealand to our family of sponsors. Hyundai New Zealand are a natural fit with the Hyundai Marine Sports Centre at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club.”

Dawson adds, “The event is really coming together now and we can’t wait to have some of the world’s best sailors here towards the end of the year. It’s great to have a brand like Hyundai associated with the event, we feel the partnership elevates the quality of the event, which was already at a high standard. With 40 percent of Olympic qualification spots up for grabs, it promises to be a terrific event. ”

Hyundai New Zealand General Manager, Andy Sinclair says, “We’re excited to be involved with the first world class event held at the Hyundai Marine Sports Centre. The 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships is set to be a spectacular event which aligns well with our brand attributes, in particular the pursuit of excellence and sustainability.”

Sinclair adds “The Hyundai brand has grown rapidly into a global automotive powerhouse, and last year was in the top 40 Best Global Brands for the fourth year running. This said, it’s easy to forget Hyundai New Zealand is a local business. We are 100% Kiwi owned and each and every dealership is 100% Kiwi operated. We are committed to supporting the things Kiwis love, such as the outdoors and water sports. As a brand we’ve been involved in sailing for many years, from Spirit of Adventure Trust’s youth sailing programme to mentoring talented young sailors through our Pinnacle Programme.”