Yachting NZ looking to build on eSailing challenge

Yachting NZ looking to build on eSailing challenge

The success of this year’s inaugural eSailing series has encouraged Yachting New Zealand to look into making it an annual event.

Five weeks of competition came to an end on Sunday night with the Zhik Trans-Tasman eSailing Championships, which came on the back of the Zhik New Zealand eSailing Challenge.

Australian eSailors dominated the trans-Tasman battle with racers from across the ditch taking the top four spots in the 12-boat competition.

Jack Ferguson won the final race of the series to finish ahead of Liam Miller and Ben Hinks, with Seb Menzies the best of the Kiwis in fifth. Australia also won the country challenge, in which the combined net scores of the top five from each country were tallied up, winning comfortably 61-116.

Matt Blakey, who has done all of his regular sailing under the New Zealand flag, competed for Australia and was fourth overall.

Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie said the success of both competitions, which were both live streamed on the Yachting New Zealand Facebook page complete with commentary, made it likely further competitions will be run in 2021.

“We saw how popular eSailing was during lockdown in New Zealand but, now we’re back on the water, we think there’s enough interest in the game to hold another New Zealand eSailing Challenge in 2021,” Abercrombie said. “We’ll take a look at how we ran it this year and see how we can make it ever better. What I love about it is the fact it’s something anyone of any age and real sailing ability can participate in.

“We’ve held preliminary talks with Australian Sailing about staging the Trans-Tasman eSailing Championships again and they’re very interested. A lot of eSailors really wanted to earn selection for the New Zealand team and that was seen in the intensity of competition at regional and national level.”

The Zhik New Zealand eSailing Challenge started with affiliated yacht clubs finding their club champion who then went on to compete in the regional challenge. The top three from each of the four regions then raced in the New Zealand challenge, which was won by James Bichener, and the top six also qualified to take on the Aussies.

Results and standings from the Zhik Trans-Tasman eSailing Championships:

1st: Jack Ferguson (AUS) 3 1 (6) 2 (7) 1 – 7 pts
2nd: Liam Miller (AUS) (6) (6) 2 3 1 2 – 8 pts
3rd: Ben Hinks (AUS) (11) 2 3 6 2 (9) – 13 pts
4th: Matt Blakey (AUS) 5 3 (9) 1 6 (11) – 15 pts
5th: Seb Menzies (NZL) 1 4 4 (12) 8 (12) – 17 pts
6th: Tom Pilkington (NZL) 2 (12) 5 5 5 (10) – 17 pts
7th: Quentin Palmer (AUS) (9) (11) 1 4 9 4 – 18 pts
8th: Josh Griffith (AUS) 4 9 (11) (10) 3 3 – 19 pts
9th: James Bichener (NZL) (10) 5 (10) 8 4 5 – 22 pts
10th: Emil Rooseboom (NZL) (12) 8 8 7 (12) 6 – 29 pts
11th: Ryan Tait (NZL) 8 (11) 7 9 (10) 7 – 31 pts
12th: Chris Salmon (NZL) 7 7 (12) (11) 11 8 – 33 pts

Sailing by yachtingnz.org.nz


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