POFROC Goes Virtual Sailing
Published 14:40 on 6 May 2020
Thirty-two sailors from across POFROC's main fleets entered the inaugural Fowey Virtual Sailing Series and joined the worldwide craze of using Virtual Regatta Inshore to keep our sailors engaged through this difficult time. Whilst virtual sailing may not completely make up for the loss of normal racing nor socialising with friends, it does help the sailors to carry their competitive nature through this lockdown period and hone their skills in other ways. This first series comprised of four Wednesday evenings of competitive racing throughout April in a vast array of dinghies, keelboats & foiling machines, with a total of 12 races for both fleets. The top 3 from each fleet would qualify for the Grand Finale and battle it out to be crowned the first ever Fowey Virtual Sailing Series Champion. The six finalists would experience an evening of close, intense racing in the 3 most popular formats, the; J70, 49er & F50. After 3 races with 3 different race winners, it was Charlie Nunn who took the crown with 6 points. James Dowrick & John Chambers followed closely behind with 7 & 8 points respectively. Sal Erskine-Furniss, one of the competitors offers her reflections on the first series. "Virtual inshore sailing proved to require different preparation than your normal race. No need for a life jacket but instead a laptop charger, reliable broadband connection, the dogs occupied, and family video calls ignored. The first races were a bit of a learning curve - what button does what? Involuntary gybes when thinking I was putting the kite up, false starts when too keen to the line, having to learn to ignore the heckling from the armchair sailor. In some ways it is remarkably similar to actual sailing races. Getting a good start, spotting the shifts, using the rules to your advantage. Plus, the satisfaction you get from a race you sailed well in. With the software you can sail against people from all around the world, in a variety of dinghies and catamarans. However, it was fantastic to be virtually sailing and competing against people I know, complete with online banter. A great opportunity for us to connect while we wait to hopefully get on the water at some point this year. Thanks to POFROC for keeping us sailing in some form, looking forward to the next series".
The POFROC competitors are now looking forward to their May Series but hope to be back on the waters of Fowey Harbour racing their own boats very soon.
Report by James Dowrick
Last updated 13:38 on 6 May 2020