As of April 30th, Patrick Persson is the best "virtual skipper" in the EXCESS Challenge! With spring coming, many said that Joanna Chmarzewska would be undefeatable because she had benefited from the right winter weather, achieving the best time of the challenge. Patrick has shown that nothing is decided until the race is over. A few minutes apart, Patrick’s boat Uniquehorn has eclipsed Sail Away's record. The race committee congratulates him, Joana and Antoine who each keep a place on the podium. We’d like to invite you to discover Patrick's tips for getting to the top of the podium!
Record: 2d 12h 22m and 36s
What did you think of the route?
It was a real test to find the optimal weather to achieve the record. Thank you for organizing this great competition, I had a great time!
I started by making a test attempt that ended in failure. It took me time to understand the particularities of a virtual boat. During my first attempt I even managed to go aground, which was very embarrassing...
Your best strategy?
I've been sailing since I was a child, so I applied the same strategy as if I was sailing on a real boat.
Fortunately, storms and risky weather don't really count in a virtual world, which is a real advantage for the competition. I studied the weather every day and calculated which window was the best to reach the top of the podium.
I took a risk with this attempt, because the weather window was quite short and left no margin for error. I was very lucky not to encounter any light airs on the course. I made sure to avoid light winds and maintain a certain speed throughout the race.
The price to pay for this strategy was getting hardly any sleep during the whole duration of my attempt! I checked the wind and adjusted my route and sails once an hour. I put an alarm on to get up at night every hour. I did the same during the day between my work tasks.
Any difficulties encountered?
Difficulties came mainly from the real world: going back and forth to work, to the supermarket, etc., were a little stressful because I couldn't control the boat. I had to intersperse my sailing hours with my activities in the real world.
Concerning the challenge itself, the weather in Eastern Corsica was the most complex to manage. This required precise timing to avoid lulls.
What did you like best?
What I enjoyed was competing against talented sailors from all around the world to win an exceptional prize. I've never participated in a real-world regatta before, but I think I will one day and the EXCESS Challenge has given me clues as to what this can mean.
If you too want to be one of the best "virtual skippers" in the EXCESS Challenge and try to win a catamaran worth € 300000, join now for only 9€!