With approximately six weeks to go until the start of the real ‘Sail First ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships’ (Limassol, Cyprus 13th – 20th July), the Virtual event that precedes it has concluded the first of 3 x two-week-long stages. And Ireland's Mark Hassett and his team from Schull are lying 4th Nation overall - just behind the UK, USA and Spain.
For most entrants (young and old) this event is a way of taking part “virtually” of one of ISAF’s premier events, from wherever they are in the world. For competitors in the real event, this event provides some valuable last-minute training opportunities. Whatever the reason, competitors in this year’s virtual event have stepped up a gear and we are seeing over twice the level of participation and a commensurate increase in the level of competition, even in these early stages.
So far the Virtual Championships has seen a whopping 43,000 boat-starts between official racing and practice racing. Translate this into time and it’s 7,300 hours or 304 days solid of user time – time spent thinking intensely about the rules, strategies and tactics of inshore (one-design) sailboat racing. And all of this in just the last 2 weeks...with four more weeks of racing to go!
And there is still plenty of time for new entrants to join in. From last Monday (3rd June), weighting increases from 1.0 to 3.0 (for Stage 2) before going to 9.0 for the final stage starting on 17th June, so at this point in the regatta only 10% of the points have been allocated.
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Racing is FREE and open to ALL AGES.
Results will be categorised by age and the winning individual in the ‘Youth’ classification will be awarded with the “ISAF Youth Virtual Sailing World Championships Trophy”.
While it’s early days yet, it’s worth noting that the top slot in the Overall leaderboard is currently being occupied by a ‘youth’ who is giving the oldies (who represent 80% of all entrants so far) a run for their money. It’s also worth noting that two of the top three Olympic Nations, UK and Spain, currently occupy two of the top three nation slots alongside the USA.