Great Britain crowned eSailing Nations Cup champions
Great Britain have been crowned the world’s best eSailing nation following a 6-3 victory over Spain in the inaugural eSailing Nations Cup Final.
After a month-long competition that featured 13 leading eSailing nations, Great Britain, captained by Mike O’Donovan aka @dejavusailing, convincingly beat Spain across the nine-race series. The series of races featured different classes, fleet sizes and racecourses that tested the teams’ depth and performance.
Streamed across the Olympic Channel and across World Sailing’s Channels – click here to watch back – the Final welcomed two teams of ten that included at least one male and one female, one captain, two certified sailors and the top four sailors from the National Championships.
Great Britain came out with intent and advanced to a 2-0 lead. Spain pulled a race back but the next three races went the way of Great Britain who sealed the deal with three races to spare.
Team captain @dejavusailing commented, “It was some really tight racing. There were some high heart beats. We were aiming for the races that were slightly earlier. We weren’t expecting much for the ten v tens but having won the 49er race it was good to have that boost going into the further races.”
Great Britain got off to the perfect start in the first race of the Final. In a ten v ten fleet race in the 49er, the team with the lowest cumulative points score, based on the low point scoring system, would take the race victory.
TP52 (GBR) clinched the fleet race win for his nation and was followed by four Spanish rivals. However, a stream of British sailors followed and, with 103 points compared to Spain’s 107, they were able to claim the victory.
The second race of the series was a Match Race in the Star between the top two female racers. Isswizz (GBR) took on Patri Reino (ESP) in a race that saw both eSailors share the lead. However, the victory was decided on the final downwind as isswizz put enough wind shadow over Patri Reino to claim the race win in a photo finish, putting Great Britain 2-0 up.
Spain pulled a point back in the third race of the series, a 5v5 ILCA Dinghy fleet race. A dominant performance by the Spanish team saw Louis54TOP and Samuel Beneyto take the top two spots that handed them the victory.
In the 3v3 eF50 race, Spain grabbed the early initiative and were on track to take the victory. However, LDLN_Bandido (ESP) disconnected, which handed Great Britain the initiative. @dejavusailing, Bell Rock and Hugh Brayshaw capitalised and grabbed the victory for Great Britain to put them 3-1 up.
Great Britain extended their lead to 4-1 in the 2v2 J/70 fleet race. Joan Cardona (ESP) won the race and was followed by Great Britain’s Speedy_1 and @dejavusailing in second and third. Hector Dominguez (ESP) finished in fourth. As the scores were tied, the rules of the event stated that those not holding first place would take the win which meant the race went the way of Great Britain.
With match point to Great Britain, Spain sent in Cruzolator to face @dejavusailing in the sixth race, a match race in the Star. The race ebbed and flowed as the rivals shared the lead. On the final leg to the finish, Cruzolator inflicted a penalty on @dejavusailing and grabbed the advantage. But @dejavusailing remained in contention and it went to a photo finish that was judged to have gone the way of @dejavusailing as he claimed the eSailing Nations Cup title for Great Britain.
Three further races were held but the victory had already been secured for the British team.
Spain picked up victory in race 7, a 3v3 J/70 race, and in race 8, a 2v2 eF50 race. Great Britain picked up a convincing victory in the final race of the series, a 10v10 Nacra 17 race, to seal a 6-3 victory.
Up next for eSailing is the eSailing World Championship Final which will be held on Saturday 7 November from 21:00 UTC. British eSailing Nations Cup Champions @dejavusailing and Donnie Gillies will be on the startline and will be joined by Nations Cup rivals Joan Cardona, Cruzolator and ramon732@541TOP from Spain. Further contenders include StipecoachCROATIA (CRO), Kaan Mazlumca (TUR), MCES valentinelisa (FRA) and MCES pepitõ (FRA).
By Daniel Smith – World Sailing