The Weekend Wrap-Up 23 March 2020 – Sail+Leisure
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The Weekend Wrap-Up

by Ingrid Hale
23 March

23 March 2020 – It’s been a quiet week in the world of sailing. So this week we take things virtual with the eSailGP Regatta and the start of the Virtual Offshore Regatta. 

2020 eSailpGP Championship
Since the upcoming SailGP events have been cancelled, it seems apt that fans can still get their fix by taking on the world-class SailGP Athletes online. Fans can test their skills piloting the world’s fastest racing sail boats in a virtual environment, launched in partnership with Virtual Regatta and World Sailing.
The seven qualification events are scheduled throughout the season, with each respective winner clinching a spot in the eSailGP Grand Final on August 14. With an additional wild card berth for a youth player, the finalists will face off in eF50s with the overall winner receiving an all-inclusive package to ROCKWOOL Copenhagen SailGP in September, as well as a place in the eSailing World Championship Final later in the year. Also, the top eight from each eSailGP Qualifier will qualify for the eSailing World Championship Final Playoffs.
This weekend saw the Pop-up Qualifier 1 take place from 20-22 March.
Watch the full Live Stream below:

For more information on the eSailGP schedule and regatta visit the SailGP Website

The Virtual Offshore Regatta Start

Professional and recreational sailors will face off against each other on March 23 in Virtual Regatta’s The Great Escape, a virtual race from La Rochelle, France to Curaçao in the Caribbean.

Professional offshore sailors such as Sam Davies, Armel Le Cléac’h, Boris Hermann, and Jérémie Beyou will participate in the race and millions more will have the opportunity to race against them.

eSailors will be able to choose from one of four well known offshore boats – the Ultim, IMOCA, Class 40, and the Figaro 3. The weather conditions within the game will replicate the real-life conditions across the route and the estimated time of arrival for the first boat is March 31.

Following the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) millions are encouraged to stay at home and there is no better way for sailors and fans to get their sailing fix than with a 4,000-mile virtual race.

Virtual Regatta, the leading digital sailing platform, has offered all players the VIP status. This will grant the eSailors with extended weather trajectory forecasts over 120 hours, the ability to display 100 friendly boats instead of 50 and customisation of the base map.

Head to Virtual Regatta Offshore to register ahead of the 12:02 UTC start time on Monday 23 March –

2020 Tokyo Olympics under pressure

The Summer Olympic Games have only ever been cancelled due to war, but the current world health crisis is proving to be just as disrupting.

The stoppage of qualifying events, the inability for athletes to train properly, and the mounting uncertainty of the length of the pandemic and its effects, have put the International Olympic Committee (IOC) under fire. With nearly every professional sporting event cancelled or postponed, how can Tokyo 2020 proceed as planned on July 24?

What began as media inquiries have now increased in scope. With numerous organisations and teams expressing their concerns for the athletes’ well-being during this trying time, the pressure has been put to the IOC to make a decision.

The IOC released two statements on March 22, clarifying that postponement was an option and how they sought to have firm plans within four weeks:

Public Statement:
To safeguard the health of all involved and to contribute to the containment of COVID-19, the Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced that the IOC will step up its scenario-planning for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Full report.

In this unprecedented crisis, we are all united. Like you, we are very much concerned about what the COVID-19 pandemic is doing to people’s lives. Human lives take precedence over everything, including the staging of the Games. The IOC wants to be part of the solution. Therefore we have made it our leading principle to safeguard the health of everyone involved, and to contribute to containing the virus. I would like to assure you that we will adhere to this in all our decisions concerning the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Capetonian sets world record by diving into icy waters

Cape Town’s very own, Amber Fillary has made world news breaking a record for the furthest free diving distance in freezing waters in Norway. While Fillary struggles with depression herself, she decided to take to the freezing waters not just to break a World Record but also to raise awareness for those suffering from mental illness.

This was Amber’s second record attempt, having taken to the water back in 2019 in Finland. The record was originally held by Johanna Nordblat who managed to dive 50 meters in 2 °C water while wearing nothing but a swimsuit. Even though Fillary’s first attempt failed due to getting tangled in cables on the day of the attempt, she refused to give up and decided to give it another try.

So in 2020, she decided to reach for her goal once more, wearing a proudly South African flag bikini and swimming cap she took to the icy waters. On February 29, Fillary hopped into the water again and this time she beat the odds managing to free dive a total of 70 meters under the ice with just one breath.

Take a look at her setting the record below:

This is the third world record under Fillary’s belt with her first two being the South African woman’s freediving pool records for static breath-hold at 6 minutes as well as distance breath hold with no fins at 134 meters.

Even though the journey to achieve her dream was filled with highs, lows and disappointments, Fillary rose above it all and just kept swimming so that those who struggle to know that it is possible to achieve your dreams even if your mental state is fighting against you.

“Don’t let depression and addiction get in the way of your dreams,” says Amber Fillary.

[The Weekend Wrap-up 23 March 2020]

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