France’s MCES pepito claims penultimate spot in eSailGP Grand Final following Pop-Up Qualifier
LONDON – August 3, 2020 – Following a closely fought virtual battle, the penultimate place in the eSailGP Grand Final has been claimed. MCES pepito beat Javinho of Spain in a nail-biting match race to secure France’s first spot in the inaugural championship final, the Frenchman will join finalists from Spain, Great Britain and Turkey on August 14.
A total of 3,800 players was whittled down to a final eight to decide who would win the qualifier and go forward to represent their country at the eSailGP Grand Final later this month. Many of the players, including MCES pepito and runner up Javinho had been in a similar position before and having lost in the final eight in the past, were eager to make amends.
French players dominated the qualifier, with four players participating, but after three intense races – many won by just 3 seconds – it was 18-year old MCES pepito from Montpellier that went on to represent the nation in the qualifier final.
The more aggressive player from the start, MCES pepito enforced a penalty onto Javinho in the pre-start of the match race, to take an early lead. Having been in the New York eSailGP match race final, Javinho continued to push and an error by the young Frenchman meant that the gap was closed to just meters, leaving the race wide open. Needing something special to ensure he qualified, MCES pepito leveraged the eSailing rulebook and managed to place a further penalty on Javinho, and the Spaniard just couldn’t recover.
MCES pepito said: “I needed to ensure that I secured the race win and my place in the final, so I took advantage of the rules and it paid off for me. I am really pleased to qualify although there are a lot of really good players so I think it will be a really tough competition and my chance of winning is quite small but I am going to give it everything.”
There is now just one final opportunity to qualify for the eSailGP Grand Final on August 14. Cowes eSailGP takes place from August 6-13 and the final qualifier will have just one day to practice ahead of the live Grand Final at 10 p.m. CET.
For the eSailGP Grand Final, the competitors will go head-to-head in three fleet races, before the top two highest ranked players face off in a winner-takes-all match race. The stakes are high, not only will they win the inaugural championship, but also a rare opportunity to sail an F50 in real life when SailGP restarts in 2021. The winner of the eSailGP Grand Final also gains automatic qualification to the eSailing World Championship Final later in the year.
2020 eSailGP Championship Schedule (remaining events)
Qualifier: August 6-13
Final: August 13
eSailGP Grand Final