Bob Christensen wins Virtual Sailing World Championship 2015
Published on June 3rd, 2015
The first-ever Virtual Sailing World Championship was won by Canadian Bob Christensen, following an elimination format that included five weeks of competition for the 2,093 sailors representing 66 countries.
Hosted by SailX, the event was held in a five different boats (Laser, C420, Viper 640, AC45, and IACC). After three rounds, the top 30 ranked virtual sailors assembled online for the Grand Final on May 31.
In the five race Grand Final, pre-race favourite, ‘flow’ (professional sailor and coach, Steve Hunt from USA / San Diego) struggled to find his form in the first three races before hitting his stride, closing with two bullets. However, by this time it was too late as the last race saw ‘Bobchr’ (Christensen) and ‘Yahooz’ (Daniel Papert from USA / Long Island Sound) fighting it out for the overall win.
The final race provided a great spectacle with a bout of pre-start match-racing which nearly saw ‘Yahooz’ pull off the impossible. But finally the cool head of ‘Bobchr’ prevailed – doing just enough to hold his nerve and win on count-back.
In the post-regatta interview, neither ‘flow’ nor ‘Yahooz’ (both long-time SailX racers) expressed surprise at Christensen’s victory, despite him only joining SailX 8 months ago, and both heaped praise on his rapid rise through the ranks.
“This was the single most exciting event I have experienced on SailX,” said Christensen. “Even though the stakes were high among so many of the best SailX racers, sportsmanship and camaraderie thrived throughout.”
Christensen is now eager to apply his virtual skills to the real world. “SailX has tremendously improved my ability to think in terms of strategy around the course and tactics in the presence of other boats. Possibly the more important thing to me, it has improved my ability to anticipate situations as each real life race progresses. With the sailing season now upon us here in Canada, I am looking forward to bringing the tremendous amount that I have learned over these past months to bear on my real life racing.”
1. bobchr, CAN
2. Yahooz, USA
3. flow, USA
4. Grits430, USA
5. NOR-9, NOR
Final results and statistics: www.sailx.com/en/worldclas
Grand Final – Highlights
Grand Final – Full coverage