The Brestois Alexandre Kowalski, virtual regatta world champion, is now aiming for the Olympics


It’s a nice title, which illustrates a practice he has been practicing since a very young age. Alexandre Kowalski, 21 spring on the clock, sailing champion in real life, won the title of world champion in E-Sailing via the fun platform Virtual Regatta.

Exclusive partner of the International Sailing Federation (World Sailing), Virtual Regatta is also the official and exclusive game of all the most prestigious sailing races in the world. Free and available on computer, mobile and tablet, it brings together a community of more than one million active players, making it the largest nautical community in the world!

“I come from a family that is deeply rooted in sailing, explains this young student at ENSTA Bretagne, an engineering school also in Brest, well known in the region. I started the optimist at 5 years old, then the competitions at 11 years old and I switched to the Laser (or ILCA7 – new name), which is my favorite boat, at 15 years old”. This 4 m long dinghy, which has only one sail, is practiced alone, becoming an Olympic sport in 1996. It is a “simple and robust” ship and yet relatively little known to the general public.

Complex, tactical and close to reality

“During confinement, I obviously could not continue training,” he continues. And it’s still with this boat, but virtual this time, that I ended up joining the Virtual Regatta community to participate in virtual regattas – in this case, 5-10 minute races (knowing that a normal regatta, in real practice it is one hour), with very different boats. However, this game is quite complex, tactical, and reproduces reality quite well”.


Virtual Regatta has indeed taken off since the Covid. The world championships, which had existed since 2018, allowed face-to-face finals, during real races, generally in Europe. “In 2020 and 2021, there was nothing, because of the pandemic, but on January 8 and 9, we were ten finalists invited to Alicante (Spain), on the occasion of the Ocean Race. It was a great moment”. Especially since he was then crowned world champion on January 15, 2023 after a dozen rounds!

Returning first, he made a name for himself internationally even before claiming the Olympics in his practice. At 21, Alexandre Kowalksi is now entering the big leagues with the Pôle France de voile, which allows him today to claim a selection for the French team for Paris 2024. “We will see, he humbly slips , I am quite young in the circuit and I am only the third Frenchman…”.

Despite everything, he says he is “all the way” for the next qualifications which will take place before the summer, but “I don’t want to have too many illusions. I think it will certainly be more open for those of Los Angeles 2028… We’ll see! “.

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