America’s Cup is taking a leap into the virtual world with the launch of its official simulation videogame, AC Sailing, along with its first-ever e-sports world championship, America’s Cup E-series.

America’s Cup E-series will be the first e-sports league by the iconic sailing competition, attracting top virtual sailors from around the world to claim their place among America’s Cup legends.

AC Sailing is developed from the same physics engine used in the very simulators that America’s Cup teams train with to enhance racing tactics and recreate race scenarios, as well as develop and test design ideas and iterations for their race yachts. It is set to revolutionize the future of sailing in e-sports, creating an exciting opportunity for fans worldwide to engage with the oldest trophy in international sports in an entirely new way.

Grant Dalton, CEO of America’s Cup Event, said, “Creating a full simulation game from a simulator that our sailors and designers use in the real America’s Cup world is really exciting. Gamers will get to experience America’s Cup sailing as close to reality as possible like never before.”

“The America’s Cup has always been at the forefront of pushing boundaries of what’s possible in sailing. We’re thrilled to bring this innovation legacy into the virtual world, elevating the role of sailing within the e-sports ecosystem as we expand our footprint to become the most inclusive sailing competition of all times.”

AC Sailing lets players take command of high-tech foiling AC40 yachts and race against others in breath-taking online races, as well as honing their skills in time trials and practice modes. The game will feature real-world locations such as Barcelona, the host venue of the 37th America’s Cup, and authentic liveries from the iconic AC40 America’s Cup yachts.

The game is the culmination of over 10 years of research and development by Emirates Team New Zealand, the current Defender of the America’s Cup, which helped the team win and retain the cup over the last two editions.

According to Emirates Team New Zealand’s Chief Technical Officer Dan Bernasconi, “By combining ultra-realistic gameplay with powerful graphics, we’re able to transport players to the centre of the action, allowing them to experience the thrill and complexity of competitive sailing like never before. AC Sailing is built on the powerful ‘Gomboc’ physics engine developed within Emirates Team New Zealand and used by most America’s Cup teams for yacht design and sailor training.”

The mechanics of the game have been designed to mimic those on the water, providing a great opportunity for both sailors and sim game players to put their skills to the test. The game features a comprehensive tutorial and several aids to allow everyone the chance to enjoy improving their skills up to the level of an America’s Cup sailor and ultimately the opportunity to qualify for the America’s Cup E- Series, a new pathway to the oldest yachting competition.

The America’s Cup E-Series will allow players from around the globe to have the chance to race against each other and claim their place among the America’s Cup legends. The E-series will consist of Online Qualifiers and a Grand Final taking place in Barcelona in September, with exact dates yet to be revealed.

Powered by AC Sailing as its official videogame, the first season of the America’s Cup E-series will be open to all gamers. The final events will be live streamed on Twitch for a global audience, marking a historical moment for the America’s Cup and the sailing community at large.

“We think there is potential for the best AC Sailing players to step out of the gaming room and onto the AC40 in real life- just like the Women & Youth sailors have been doing in training for the Puig Women’s America’s Cup and the UniCredit Youth America’s Cup.” said Bernasconi.

AC Sailing will be available for free download on Epic Store and Steam from today April 9th, 19:00 CET.

More news from All At Sea