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Sailors take to the virtual sea

WILL Sargent, from the Derwent Sailing Squadron, took to the virtual seas in the Australian eSailing National Challenge after becoming the Tasmanian eSailing State Champion late May.

eSailing is a simulated form of sailing that anyone around the world can participate in through phone or computer.

“It’s pretty different to normal sailing because you’re not against the elements, but it still has the same tactical stuff as actual racing so it’s cool in that regard,” Mr Sargent said.

“You also don’t get wet, which is a big difference.”

Mr Sargent won the state titles afters beating six other sailors from across the state.

Mr Sargent said eSailing had become a lot more popular during COVID-19, with people not being able to get out on the water.

“I usually do eSailing in between regattas or if there is a bit of postponement just for fun, but this was the first year I competed,” he said.

“I was meant to be in Europe doing some regattas at the moment, so the eSailing has kind of been like a fitness session for the last two months until all the COVID-19 restrictions start to ease and I can get back out to do international events.”

Mr Sargent started sailing six-years-ago after participating in a learn to sail course and is now part of the Tasmanian Institute of Sport.

“I really like the competitive nature of it – you against the elements,” he said.

“Olympics in 2028 is certainly one of my goals, but another goal is to get into sailing professionally in bigger ocean races like the Volvo Ocean Race and Sydney to Hobart.

“I’m really keen to get back on the water.”

Caption: Will Sargent from the Derwent sailing Sqaudron competed in the Australia eSailing National Challenge

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