eSailing: The Kiel Week also on a virtual level
The Kiel Week will become virtual and is again demonstrating its innovative potential at sailing events. From 16. until 24. June, the eSailing Kiel Week winner will be determined virtually on the computer in Kiel-Schilksee. First start to qualify for this new virtual highlight at the Kiel Week will be 2. May.
To make this possible, the Kiel Yacht Club did work together with the French game developer Virtualregatta.com to place the Kiel Week logo in the game Virtual Regatta Inshore for the event. The final races during the Kiel Week will be sailed on ten computers, a big screen in Kiel-Schilksee and on J/70 keel boats with gennaker.
You need perseverance, good coordination of hands and eyes and a perfect reaction rate. At the virtual Kiel Week, wet weather gear and sea legs are not important, it is more about the safe handling of a computer, smartphone or tablet. There has been a big fan community of virtual regatta sailing for a long time, demonstrating their navigational skills on up and down regattas or even in races around the world using the matching app on the smartphone or a keyboard and mouse of their computer. During the Vendée Globe Race nonstop around the world, more than 50,000 players were online in the race for an average of 80 days 24 hours to take each weather change into account of their strategy during this race. The community of active online sailors is estimated to be more than 1 million worldwide.
During the short races of the virtual inshore regattas at the Kiel Week, tactical skills in a big fleet are important. Just like the sailors of the Kiel Week, fighting on the race courses to win the Kiel Week, the virtual skippers need the right sense for wind and wind shifts, the right timing at the start, to choose the tactically better side on the upwind, fast manoeuvres at the marks and the optimal speed under gennaker on the downwind to the finish line.
"We already took over the topic four years ago in Kiel. Now it is time for e-sailing. This year, you will be able to participate at the Kiel Week via Virtual Skipper and sail regattas in Kiel", said Dirk Ramhorst, who as long-term digitisation manager can evaluate the e-sailing topic and is personally involved. "During the week, we will be sailing an event and on the last weekend there will be something like a moderated virtual medal race", said the Kiel Week Head of Organization explaining the virtual Kiel Week regatta.
While in Asia eGaming events can already fill large halls, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is discussing, with which disciplines and concepts, eSport can be made olympic. They are still questioning the sportive component, but the economical part is clearly visible.
The German Olympic Association (Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund) is having problems to see individual, sport determinant physical activities in this. The working group "AG E-Sport" has been created for this to check, whether the video and computer games can find a place in the umbrella organisation DOSB. The big importance of the computer games and the filled halls and stadiums at e-sport events will probably play a major role in the decision making.
It might be possible, that eAthletes can win medals at the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 already. The World Sailing Association is also working on a concept to bring the more and more popular eSport into the sailing sport and is already planning several international big eSailing events. The big final of the World Sailing eSailing Tour will be in Sarasota (Florida/USA).
In May, the eSailling fans can already get prepared for their first virtual Kiel Week victory, which will not be that virtual any more. The winner will be on the podium together with the other Kiel Week sailors of the Olympic boat classes, in real.
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Annette Wiese-Krukowska, Pressesprecherin