On September 26, 2020, the Swiss eSailing champion was crowned in an exciting finale!
After six qualifying rounds, Christian Ettel, aka “Quappi,” from Schwyz SZ, prevailed ahead of Arno Schneider, aka “Actually a non sailor,” from Wettingen AG, and Vincent Egli, aka “che66er,” from Bern. The ten finalists will also represent Switzerland at the upcoming eSailing Nations Cup.
The final was presented by Allianz Insurance and was characterised by great sailing, intense battles for positions and an extremely even field of participants.
“That was by far one of the most exciting finals of a national eSailing championship on eSailing TV,” confirmed broadcaster Thomas Björn Luthi, who commentated on the final.
The first three qualification rounds were sailed on the J70, with the other three on the Nacra 17. In particular, Mélanie Maradan, the only woman among the ten finalists, sailed very consistently with the Nacra 17 and was able to achieve three top-three finishes in the last three qualifying rounds before the Medal Race. This is all the more impressive as the Geneva native only started eSailing in the spring!
Since there was no clear favourite over the course of the six qualifying rounds, everything was up for grabs again before the Medal Race.
In the Medal Race, sailed on the J70, it became clear which of the ten finalists had the strongest nerves, with Ettel getting the better of his nearest rivals, Schneider and Egli.
“My goal was simply not to be fourth,” said newly-crowned Swiss eSailing champion Ettel. The 49-year-old took part in his first virtual regatta in 2012, namely the “Vendée Globe.”
For players like him who also sail in real life – preferably on Lake Uri – eSailing is a great training tool, especially when there is no wind or in winter. “Strategy and tactics come pretty close to real sailing, you can practice correct positioning in the field with eSailing – and still stay dry,” explained Ettel.
After his third place at the eSailing SM 2019, Schneider secured second place this year; “so I know what I have to do next year,” he said. The physicist does not consider the fact that he was the only non-sailor among the ten finalists to be a disadvantage. “I’ve played so often that it doesn’t make a difference,” said the passionate orienteering runner, who has been eSailing for three years and trained around ten hours a week.
Third-placed Egli said: “I was definitely more focused than in other virtual regattas. I’m usually more relaxed when it comes to eSailing.” The 31-year-old Bernese is a member of the Murten sailing club and regularly sails real regattas, but he feels you can learn a lot through eSailing, adding: “it gives you a different perspective on real sailing.”