Dubbed “Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) Terengganu e-Sailing League 2020”, the virtual sailing race has six series – overall, Closed IPT (institutes of higher learning) students, Under 12-years-old, 13 to 15-years-old, 16 to 21-years-old, and 22-years-old.
The competition was launched by UMT in collaboration with the Terengganu State Sports Council and the Terengganu Windsurfing Sailing Association.
It will see 170 participants including those from Indonesia and Brunei, joining in the fun.
UMT Sailing Training Centre director Mohd Hafizi Said said most of the participants were national athletes who will participate at the Tokyo Olympics next year, including Khairulnizam Mohd Affendy, Malaysian Games (Sukma) participants as well as students pursuing maritime courses in higher learning institutions.
“Since 2017, we (UMT) have organised the Terengganu Monsoon Challenge regatta (sailing race) but this year following the Covid-19 pandemic and the new normal, we are trying to do it on an online platform.
“Athletes miss participating in competitions so this virtual tournament will motivate them to regain their competitive edge as they will compete against the same competitors.”
“It was a great opportunity for athletes to keep training because the virtual platform enables them to feel as if they are sailing in real life thanks to the simulated speed and wind direction in the game.
“In the final stages of the tournament in December, we plan to bring participants together to one location to ensure they have the same Internet speed when competing,” said Mohd Hafizi.
The virtual competition will continue even if the threat of Covid-19 dies down as “it is part of our early preparations to find a national e-sport champion to compete in the annual international e-sailing World Championship.”
The first series was held from June 12 to 14.
The Virtual Regatta serves as a learning platform for both veteran and new sailors.
It has also benefited UMT maritime students who cannot go to sea for their practical lessons.
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