Perfect time to start eSailing on Virtual Regatta - free to play
With many sailing clubs and regattas around the country closed, sailors have been getting their fix by competing against friends and foes on Virtual Regatta, World Sailing's eSailing platform. It's a fantastic way to stay in touch while practicing your racing tactics from your own home.
You don’t need to pay to use Virtual Regatta. It’s as simple as visiting their website from a laptop or PC or downloading the app on a smartphone or iPad and clicking ‘play now’ on either the inshore or offshore game. You can then enter the game and learn how to use it and compete against others all around the world. If you want to compete and keep your score, you’ll need to create a login and a user profile.
Organising private custom races
if you wish to organise races for your members, clients, squads, friends or other groups, you will need to subscribe to a VIP pass so you can set up private 'custom' races. This will cost approximately $19 for a month and allows you to run unlimited races for up to 20 people at a time. Once you have your VIP pass, take a look at World Sailing's easy guide to hosting private races.
How to purchase the VIP pass
You’ll need to visit the Virtual Regatta website or download the app and create a user profile. You will then need to take the following steps:
- Go to the game store by clicking on the basket in the top right of the home screen
- Select the 1 Month VIP membership subscription
- Confirm your choice by tapping the green button, then proceed to payment.
Note: The subscription automatically renews unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24-hours before the end of the current period.
Now you’ve got to the point when you want to organise a race for a group of friends or members. Firstly, login as before. Next, when you’re through into the Main Menu screen, you’ll see a ‘Custom Race’ button over on the left. Click that button.
You then get the option to ‘Create’ or ‘Join’ (at the top of the screen). Click ‘Create’. Choose a boat for your members or friends to race and a location to race in. Also, select how many people will be racing and what course you would like them to race. You’ll notice that you can have a maximum of 20 people racing at one time.
You’ll then need to decide whether to enter an access code at the bottom of the screen. Your players will be asked to input this code once they try and access the race and stops others who aren’t invited accessing the race.
So, it’s up to you whether you select this option however if you would like your race to be private then we strongly recommend you do this. If you select this option, ensure your players know this code before your race begins.
The next menu screen enables you to select how much help you would like when racing, each player is responsible for selecting their own race ‘helps’ while racing. It’s up to you how much help you want, but please be mindful that as a VIP account holder you will have more credits than the other players so the fewer helps you select the more of a challenge you will face from others.
Each of the ‘race helps’ with a ‘green 1’ at the bottom of them will cost players one credit. Free accounts will be given some credits once they complete the sailing school training, to get more credits you must complete races and open the ‘barrel’ you win at the end of each race. These will appear at the bottom of the home screen. Alternatively, you can add more by selecting the shopping trolley in the top right of the screen if required.
VIP accounts will have been given some credits as part of your package. Once you’ve done that, you’re in and playing the game. Your friends or members can now also join the race and you will see how many of them have joined on the left-hand side of the screen. Once enough (or all) of them have joined, you can click ‘Start’ at the top of the screen to start the start sequence.
Thanks to the RYA, we have got a few key guides on getting started with eSailing:
Gameplay & Top Tips
Zhik New Zealand eSailing Challenge
Throughout May, members of Yachting New Zealand affiliated clubs will be competing in a series of virtual regattas to be crowned the inaugural New Zealand eSailng Challenge champion. See here for more.
Guide for Clubs Running eSailing Championships
- It is recommended that your club championship is to be made up of 5 races with 2 discards.
- There is no feature for running a series on the game, so this will need to be done manually and externally (using an external results spreadsheet or scoring software) and by photographing or taking a screen shot of the results.
- When setting up a custom race, you will become one of the competitors and included in the maximum of 20 sailors.
- For club with more than 20 competing sailors, you will be required to run qualifying rounds.
- Only one sailor from a club can be put forward to the regional final.
- If you get more than 20 competitors (including the RO) you will need to run a qualifying round. A simple and easy way to do this is to use your entry spreadsheet to allocate all competitors a number and then use a simple online number generator to allocate them into a group. The number of groups should be the number of entries divided by 20 (the total number of competitors per race), rounded up.
- You will need to factor in that one person per fleet will need a VIP account to run the race. They shall be known as the race organiser (RO). You can either allocate one person from each fleet with VIP access to become the race organiser (RO), or decide to use fleets of 19 and for the club organiser to compete in the races but try to stay out of the way of the racing they are not competing in and come last.
- We would recommend clubs appointing a race organiser within each fleet.
- If the club organiser VIP is participating in all groups, you would need to apply the following:
|Up to 19 competitors||No qualifying needed|
|21 to 39 Competitors||2 groups with the top 20 from across both groups qualifying for the final|
|40 to 57 Competitors||3 groups with the top 20 from across all groups qualifying for the final|
|58 to 76 Competitors||4 groups with the top 20 from across all groups qualifying for the final|
- The custom race feature on VR does not store the results, therefore, the appointed RO will need to take a screenshot of the full results after each race and then record them manually on a results spreadsheet or in a scoring software in a similar way to how many of you run normal club racing.
- Recommended – appoint an assistant within each race who will also take a screenshot of the results as a backup for if you are kicked out of the game or unable to see the results for any reason (e.g. if you are DSQ in a race).
- In order to communicate with all competitors, we would recommend setting up a messenger group for the competitors to communicate key information like race codes. Popular systems seem to be WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger; however, many other systems exist.
- Some clubs are also using conference calling as a way to improve interaction during the game, again many systems exist however applications such as Zoom, Go-to-meeting or Skype appear to be popular with clubs.
- Ensure you have a good WiFi connection, so you may want to ban other family members from using too much of your home WiFi during races.
- If you are playing on a phone ensure the phone is in airplane mode and do not disturb to avoid any phone calls coming through during the game and kicking you out.