It was a win for the south as Mike O’Donovan, representing the Stokes Bay Sailing Club, sailed his way to the top of the leader board claiming the title of RYA eSailing Winter Club Championship champion.

Competing against the ten other eSailing regional and home countries champions, Mike, sailing under the sail name of VIT-Ronstan Déjà Vu, battled it out against his fellow racers on the virtual waters, in a series of six races with just one discard in a live showdown broadcast from the virtual RYA Dinghy Show.

On his win Mike said: “It was some really great racing and really close all the way through the event, in the southern regionals and the finals. There was stiff competition in both and in the end it came down to just a point between myself and 2nd placed, Cavan Fyans, in the finals. It's really great to see so much competition in eSailing in the UK and hopefully we can carry that competition forward into more events throughout the year”.

Mark Jardine, from yachtsandyachting.com was joined by Olympic medallist and Team GB sailor Stuart Bithell to provide live commentary for the final. 

Stuart Bithell commented “We saw some awesome sailing from Mike! Despite his disconnect he kept plugging away. We see this a lot in real life and it’s fantastic when it all comes good!”

Mark Jardine added: “It was great to get back onto the virtual racecourse for the RYA eSailing Winter Championship final. The standard was superb and it’s always great to chat with Stu and gain his insights of the racing. He’s a seasoned eSailor, as well as his known exploits on the water, and regularly picked the best places to be on the course. Huge congratulations to Mike O’Donovan, it must have been so hard to come back after his broadband disaster in race 2, knowing his discard was gone, but he clinched it with those two race wins at the end of the event.”

Don’t worry if you missed the action, you can still watch it on the RYA YouTube channel - https://youtu.be/TqNURk9ehPc

All our finalists will receive a Helly Hansen goodie bag, plus an RYA prize bundle for Mike.

The Results

Rank

Region

Club

Helm

1st

South

Stokes Bay Sailing Club

Mike O’Donovan

2nd

Northern Ireland

Ballyholme Yacht Club

Cavan Fyans

3rd

Scotland

St Andrews Sailing Club

Paul McCobie

4th

North West

Budworth Sailing Club

Chris Smallwood

5th

Wales

Llandegfedd Sailing Club

James Adams

6th

North East

Tynemouth SC

Justin Smith

7th

East

Woolverstone Project

Rik Codling

8th

South West

Exe Sailing Club

Mike Way

9th

London and South East

Maidenhead Sailing Club

Gary Bullock

10th

Midlands

Ogston Sailing Club

Wil Hitchman

11th

National

Royal Air Force Sailing Association

Thomas Goodman

A total of 780 sailors, from 71 different clubs from across the RYA regions and the home countries took part in the RYA eSailing Winter Club Championship, competing in club and regional championships, before whittling it down to just 11 finalists.

“Once again the racing has been phenomenal, and the skill and quality of racing in the final is testament to that” commented RYA Shows and Promotions Manager Celia Edgington. 

“eSailing has really taken over the last year, while we’ve been unable to get out on the water and we’re 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.”

If you want to find out more about eSailing or want to pick up some eSailing top tips then visit www.rya.org.uk/go/esailing for more information.

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