World Sailing, the International Federation for the sport, and Virtus: World Intellectual Impairment Sport, have joined forces to organise an eSailing challenge on Virtual Regatta, the world-leading digital sailing platform, for sportspeople with intellectual impairments.
Held on Saturday 6 March 2021, this challenge will allow budding eSailors to play in an inclusive environment, and help to promote Para sailing within the Virtus community.
The eSailing challenge on Virtual Regatta Inshore will be open to all athletes holding a Virtus national eligibility, with racing taking place across the day to cater for different timezones.
Those joining the challenge are encouraged to complete the in-game Sailing School for an introduction to the basic rules of sailing and tips and tricks on how to be a successful eSailor.
The intention is to create more eSailing challenges in the near future and grow participation for Virtus athletes.
Registration for the event will be managed by Virtus and supported by World Sailing. Virtus’ eligibility is inclusive of athletes with an intellectual impairment, Down’s syndrome and autism.
Massimo Dighe, Para World Sailing Manager at World Sailing, said, “I’m very happy to start the first eSailing challenge in collaboration with Virtus.
“Since 2019, we have worked with Virtus to create opportunities for participation in sport and increase the awareness of sailing within the intellectual impairment group.
“At a time where it is very hard to organise in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s great that we can use Virtual Regatta as a platform to include Virtus athletes.
“This is the first step in a long-term plan, which will culminate in a future Para World Championship for people with intellectual impairments.”
Marc Truffaut, Virtus President, said, “This eSailing challenge will be a fantastic way to engage our sailing community during this pandemic, whilst building on our relationship with World Sailing to promote and increase participation in sailing among athletes with an intellectual impairment.”
World Sailing signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Virtus in May 2019, with the overall aim of working jointly in the promotion and growth of sailing for people with an intellectual impairment across the world.
This partnership is particularly important when taking into consideration that the first Para Sailing World Championship for athletes with an intellectual impairment is expected to take place in 2022 in Australia.
Virtus athletes can visit virtus.sport/events for more information on how to get involved.