North Sails, the international sail making company, has been unveiled as a sponsor of the eSailing World Championship, the new eSports competition organised by World Sailing.
North Sails becomes the official technical partner of the completion, which launched in London yesterday.
The concept, in partnership with Virtual Regatta, a digital sailing platform, was initially unveiled by World Sailing in November last year.
The inaugural edition of the championship will comprise challenges and play-offs from 10 May until the start of September.
Inshore regattas will be held through the year with players accumulating points that will establish their standings in the eSailing World Rankings. Players in the rankings will have the opportunity to qualify for global play-offs, and participation in the live final.
The final will take place at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, USA on 30 October.
World Sailing said the final will be streamed “on a range of OTT channels from Twitch [the Amazon-owned video portal] to Facebook Live”.
The game is open to play for free on desktop, Android and iOS.
Virtual Regatta has found that around half of its players are non-sailors, and with a young age profile, and World Sailing believes the eSWC will be the ideal opportunity for fans without access to sailing equipment or facilities to become engaged in the sport.
Kim Andersen, president of World Sailing, said: "Sailing as a sport is constantly pushing the boundaries of human innovation and engineering and today, World Sailing is entering a brave new world that is going to revolutionise our sport.
"As the world governing body, World Sailing has a duty to develop and promote the popularity of the sport. We are moving the sport into an exciting new future that will inspire millions more to fall in love with a sport that so many of us here hold dear to them.
"Aimed at everyone from expert sailors to sports gamers, the eSailing World Championship will enable sailors on shore and fans without access to sailing equipment or facilities to become engaged and inspired by the excitement of sailing."