Kowalski claims eSailing World Championship

Published on January 7th, 2023

(January 7, 2023) – Alexandre Kowalski (AlexK – RS) of France swept to victory in the 2022 eSailing World Championship Final in front of a live crowd at the Ocean Live Park in Alicante, Spain. Held at the location of leg one of The Ocean Race 2023, which starts January 15, Kowalski (above) claimed the title and the largest share of the $10,000 USD prize pool courtesy of Virtual Regatta.

The 10 best eSailors from around the world met in person to decide the winner over 12 races using F50, Laser, Far East 28r, 49er, Nacra 17, Offshore Racer, Star, and J/70s with the final race worth double points.

A total of 70,000 new players began the season and each of the top 10 has had to navigate a year-long championship to end the season in the top ten places. Positions were also awarded to the winners of major regattas and Special Events.

Kowalski took the lead after race 7, in the J/70 class, when just five points separated the top three. He narrowly missed out on victory in a very close race 8 but maintained a four-point lead over Hidde Schraffordt, who took the line honors, as the gap widened to nine points to Arthur Farley in third.

From then on, Kowalski was able to extend his lead. He won the ninth round, leaving closest challenger – Schraffordt back in seventh. Farley made a late surge in races 10 and 11 when Kowalski struggled, reducing the gap to just six points and then three going into the medal race with Schraffordt 14 points back in third.

The stage was set for a nail-biting medal race worth double points, offering one last chance for someone to emerge from the fleet and take victory – like last year when Carlos Parejo (UOL Carlos Parejo) of Spain shocked everyone by leaping from sixth position into first place in the final race.

History nearly repeated itself as Rolex World Sailor of the Year nominee Bart Lambriex (NED) took the victory and jumped from seventh to third, but crucially Kowalski was able to finish in third, three places ahead of nearest challenger Farley and claim overall victory by nine points.

“It’s amazing, because all ten players tonight were very good,” noted Kowalski. “From the first race to the last, I did not know who would win. It’s a big surprise and I am very happy. Two races before the medal race I saw there was a little gap and maybe we can play for the title, but not before the medal race did I think it was really possible.”

Added runner-up Farley, “I had a really good start in the medal race but then I had to take a penalty. After that it was finished. I am super happy for Alex, he was great. This was my third final, I enjoy playing, especially with my team – called RS – and it’s really good to see us come out on top.”

Final Standings (display name in brackets):
1 Alexandre Kowalski (AlexK – RS) FRA
2 Arthur Farley (Farley – RS) GBR
3 Bart Lambriex (Bart Lambriex) NED
4 Gaétan de Kat (gadeK) FRA
5 Jonathan Koch (UOL Roxyjoni) GER
6 Hidde Schraffordt (Hidde – RS) NED
7 Amos Di Benedetto (AmosDB) ITA
8 Yannis Kokonias (GRE-9 LDLN) GRE
9 Filippo Lanfranchi (Velista 71 LDLN) ITA
10 Alberto Carraro (MCES-Alberto) ITA

Live stream of the 2022 eSailing World Championship Grand Final:

Source: World Sailing

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