eSailGP Season 2’s virtual high-speed action culminated on Friday with eight super-pumped qualifying players vying for the coveted title of 2021 eSailGP Champion. At just 17 years old, and recently back from the Senior European Championships & Open in Bulgaria, avid sailor and e-sailor Arthur Farley (username VIT Farley) beat out seven other top tier opponents to be crowned this season’s Champion.
Inspired by his sailing idols Ben Ainslie and Tom Slingsby, Farley solidified his position in the Final by winning the Saint-Tropez Qualifier in September. His competition – Déjà Vu (GBR), Kaan Mazlumca (TUR), MCES Pepito (FRA), GRE-9 LDLN (GRE) and UOL cparejo (ESP) – all joined Farley in the Grand Final having won Qualifier Finals for Bermuda, Taranto, Plymouth, Aarhus and Cadiz respectively. MCES_tangi2232 (FRA) and REVO_MProdigo (ITA) were selected as two Under-21 wildcards for the event.
The 5-6 minute virtual battles saw all eight challengers compete in three fleet races, aiming for the final podium race in which VIT Farley, MCES Pepito and Déjà Vu qualified. The winner-takes-all dog fight ended with Farley storming his way to the top, claiming the ultimate victory.
eSailGP Season 2 Champion Farley said: “It was good, super tough. I had a small strategy and I wanted to win the bottom of the line. The bottom mark was the key for me, the first gate. I just managed to get an overlap going into the mark when Déjà Vu tacked, and got a penalty because he did a tack in my water – from there it was close, I had to focus. I knew as soon as that penalty was made that I’d won the race, I just had to make all the right choices from there.”
Hosted by Ed Leigh and guest commentator Leo Takahashi (Japan SailGP Team flight controller), Season 2s eSailGP partnership with Virtual Regatta (over 1.6 million players), and World Sailing saw six qualifying events leading up to the recent Grand Final on October 15, including wildcard spots for two U21 players who were selected by a panel of judges.
The Championship winner receives an all-inclusive package to a SailGP event in 2022 and a place in the 2021 eSailing World Championship Final.
Farley added: “I’m really looking forward to it. To win the 2021 eSailing World Championship is my goal.”