Gosport sailor Mike O’Donovan is crowned British champion – on the virtual waters!

A member of a Gosport sailing club has continued his winning streak away from the waters.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 2:18 pm

Mike O’Donovan, from Stokes Bay Sailing Club, has won the RYA eSailing Winter Club Championship national final.

Competing against ten other Royal Yachting Association regional and home county champions, O’Donovan battled it out against fellow racers on the virtual waters in a live showdown broadcast from the virtual RYA Dinghy Show.

The competitors e-sailed against each other in a series of six live races with just one discard in a different class of boat in each race.

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Stokes Bay Sailing Club member Mike O'Donovan on his way to RYA eSailing Winter Championship victory.

O’Donovan, 20, an aerospace engineering student at the University of Southampton, raced to three firsts, one third, an eighth and a discarded Did Not Finish.

O’Donovan is no stranger to winning trophies - he is the reigning eSailGP World Champion, won bronze in the 2020 eSailing World Championship, and led Team GBR to victory in the 2020 eSailing Nations Cup.

A total of 780 sailors, from 71 different clubs from across the RYA regions and the home countries took part in the Winter Club Championship, competing in club and regional championships.

RYA Shows and Promotions Manager Celia Edgington said: ‘eSailing has really taken off over the last year while we’ve been unable to get out on the water.

‘We’re delighted that so many racers and clubs got involved in the championship, helping not only sailors to continue practicing and honing their race skills, but also as a means of keeping the racing community engaged and in touch with each other.’

Further details from www.rya.org.uk/go/esailing