The Antigua & Barbuda eSailing National Championship goes live April 24th, 2021. All players who assign their jurisdiction as Antigua & Barbuda (as verified by the Antigua & Barbuda Sailing Association) will be eligible to compete in the championships.
The nationals will be held later in the year, and the top 10 ranked sailors will also qualify for a spot in the playoffs for the eSailing World Championships which will take place in September 2021.
Antigua & Barbuda Sailing Association will also enter a team in the eSailing Nations Cup 2021.
The timing of the championship launch is in conjunction with Antigua Sailing Week. Antigua Sailing Week (ASW) will be an event held as part of the eSailing World Championship in Virtual Regatta Inshore and will run from April 26th to May 2nd, 2021.
The boat used will be clearly branded with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and ASW logos.
Antigua Sailing Week has worked with the Ministry of Tourism, the Tourism Authority and the Antigua and Barbuda Sailing Association to deliver the event in time for what would have been the Antigua Sailing Week slot on the Caribbean racing calendar.
Of the eSailing launch Minister of Tourism Charles Fernandez says, “I must applaud the organizers of this very innovative initiative for their creative endeavors during a time when actual participation in major sporting events worldwide has been hampered. Virtual events such as these go a long way in keeping enthusiasm rife for the return of our renowned Sailing Events. We continue to work hard behind the scenes to ensure that our standards meet and surpass the precedent already set when the “all clear” is given.”
The eSailing National Championships is hosted on the Virtual Regattas platform in agreement with World Sailing. The platform is free to all players which consists of a million players worldwide. Other regattas to host virtual events include international events such as the Vendee Globe, Route du Rhum, the Americas Cup and Sail GP. Race Manager of Antigua Sailing Week Jaime Torres says, “To see Antigua Sailing Week available as an international challenge on the same platform is phenomenal and fantastic exposure for our event to a whole new audience.”
Of the new initiative, President of the Antigua & Barbuda Sailing Association Karl James, who will have responsibility with his board of delivering the eSailing National Championships says, “We have been using eSailing for a year as a way to engage our youth sailors and keep them interested in and learning about sailing while they were unable to sail due to Covid restrictions. Many of the youths are now regular players and we would love to see more nationals engaged on the virtual platform whether they are sailors or not. Who knows after playing the game, they may just want to come and try the real thing.”
Registration is free at www.virtualregatta.com. The game is played 24 hours a day from April 26th to May 2nd, 2021. Multiple 10-15 minute races will be available to play daily.