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  • World Sailing Breaks into Esports Market -- Federations Focus


    (ATR) The global governing body of sailing sport is embracing the hype associated with the growing market of esports.

    World Sailing is teaming up with Virtual Regatta for esport championships starting in 2018. (World Sailing)
    In 2018, World Sailing will be one of the first International Federations to host virtual world championships that will be held annually. The eSailing World Championship will be a joint venture between World Sailing and digital sailing platform Virtual Regatta.

    The Virtual Regatta platform founded in 2002 has hosted more than 150 digital competitions and claims to have a community of one million active players. The platform has established inshore regattas that will serve as qualifying events for the final championship. Competitors will earn points to establish the eSailing World Rankings which will qualify players for the playoffs and championship final which will be held in Sarasota, Florida in November 2018.

    “The unique qualities of sailing - combining sport, nature and technology - lend themselves to a virtual gaming environment,” World Sailing said in a statement. “The multiplicity of variables, with the combination of equipment and the forces of nature, make virtual sailing every bit as challenging and strategic as the real thing.”

    World Sailing president Kim Andersen believes the sport is perfectly suited for esport competitions.

    "Sailing is well suited to digital presentation," said Andersen. "The sport requires constant inputs and an acquired skillset to manage the relationship between the boat and the forces of nature. The variety in boats, from dinghies, windsurfers to 100 foot boats make it especially rich as a gaming platform."

    “Our international federation is showing the world how sailing is at the edge of innovation,” said Virtual Regatta founder Philippe Guigné. “The eSailing World Championship is probably one of the most ambitious and innovative projects in the world between a federation and a gaming company.”

    The inclusion of esports by an established IF could lend credence to the idea that esports belong in future Olympic Games. Organizers of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics and the International Olympic Committee have contemplated adding esports to the Olympic program.

    However, IOC President Thomas Bach is cautious about their inclusion and says no violent video games would be considered for the Games. This paves the way for more digital competitions of existing Olympic disciplines, such as sailing, to join the Olympics in the future.

    FIS to Discuss Russian Skiers Banned by IOC 

    FIS Council will meet at FIS headquarters in Oberhofen, Switzerland (FIS)
    The International Ski Federation (FIS) Council holds its annual Autumn Meeting on Saturday.

    The agenda includes the cases of six Russian Cross-Country skiers banned for life earlier this month by the IOC for doping violations during the Sochi Olympics.

    The evidence against the Russians came from the report by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren on Russia's state-sponsored doping scandal and not from individual positive doping tests.

    The FIS Doping Panel is reviewing the cases and is attempting to complete hearings and make a decision before the FIS Cross-Country World Cup season begins at the end of the month.

    The FIS Council’s agenda also includes preparations ahead of the PyeongChang Winter Games and proposals from the FIS Technical Committees concerning FIS World Cup calendar updates and rules.

    Handball Federation Rubber Stamps Moustafa Re-election

    IHF president Hassan Moustafa wins his fifth presidential election. (IHF)
    The International Handball Federation chooses to keep the status quo in an unopposed presidential election for Hassan Moustafa.

    The 36th IHF Congress in Antalya, Turkey rubber stamped Moustafa’s re-election bid, giving the incumbent president 104 votes in favor of his continued leadership. Nine members voted against Moustafa while four abstained.

    Moustafa will run the federation until 2021 after winning his fourth reelection. Now 73-years-old, Moustafa has led the federation since 2000.

    International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach congratulated Moustafa on his re-election in a letter.

    “Your re-election is an affirmation of the excellent contribution you have made to the world of handball throughout the last seventeen years in your role as IHF President,” Bach wrote in a letter.

    “Thanks to your enthusiasm, dedication and valuable work, your federation has been continuously evolving, as underlined by the introduction of the beach handball on the program of the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.”

    Written by Kevin Nutley

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