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World Sailing launches virtual World Championships

World Sailing, the world governing body, has moved into the world of eSports with the launch of the first virtual World Sailing Championships.

In partnership with the leading digital sailing platform, Virtual Regatta, the eSailing World Championships will be held every year starting from 2018.

As Huw Chambers made clear in his presentation to the World Sailing Council, an out-sourced involvement in the on-line sports gaming world was "too good to miss".

Although the revenue return is unknown at this point in the development of virtual sailing games, there appears to be a consensus among the world's major sports that it will eventually pay off.

An important point for the World Sailing point of view, is that the IOC is getting involved in this area, and has joined with Intel to introduce the concept to the Pyeongchang and Paris Games.

Chambers believed that for a major sport to become involved would be warmly welcomed by the IOC.

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The Virtual Regatta platform provides the perfect vehicle for the eSWC, with their established Inshore Regatta games.

Virtual Regatta currently has more than one million active players on its platform and has acquired in excess of 100 million views on Dailymotion.

More than 150 digital competitions have been organised to date with a record 485,000 participants playing in the Vendée Globe.

A new set of World Sailing regulations will be used to allow the sports Racing Rules of Sailing to be adapted to the virtual world.

Inshore regattas will be held through the year with players accumulating points that will establish their standings in the eSailing World Rankings.

Players in the rankings will have the opportunity to qualify for global play offs, and ultimately participation in the live final. The final of the inaugural eSailing World Championships will be held in Sarasota, USA in November 2018.

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