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Claires Court School student sailors challenge rivals in virtual races

Student sailors from Claires Court School have been taking part in virtual races this term to harness their competitive instincts while sailing lakes across the country are closed because of COVID-19.

The students, from years seven to 13, would normally be on the water at this time of the year, putting their knowledge and experience to the test against crews from other schools. However, using an online format they have managed to continue this without having to physically meet.

Each week the school has had a scheduled match against other school using the portal KSail. Four boats compete in each race, two from each school and crews have to judge the changing wind speed and direction to attack or defend their position around the virtual course. Students have been able to play on their computer, phone or tablet and the tactics and knowledge deployed is very similar to those they’d use on the water.

Paul Robson, head of sailing and outdoor education at Claires Court, said: “We are really keen to continue to provide as much of a rounded education as possible while all schools are physically closed.

“Normally our pupils would be sailing and training year round, leading to competitions in the summer and autumn terms. We have been delighted to team up with a school network across the country through the British Schools Dinghy Racing Association (BSDRA) to compete so pupils can continue their competitions without the need to physically meet.”

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