The Tamil Nadu Sailing Association, together with the Chennai Super Kings, will conduct the 29er National sailing championship in the waters outside the Chennai harbour from May 27 to 30. Around 15 teams are expected to take part.

The event will be supported by the Australian High Commission. Interestingly, the 29er boat was designed by Australian Julian Bethwaite in 1998.

Speaking at the press conference in connection with the championship here on Saturday, Ajit Dias, Chairman of the Regatta, said “It (the 29er) is a very fast moving boat. It will be exciting to watch. I am sure the championship is going to be thrilling.”

Tamil Nadu will field a maximum of seven teams while sides from Mumbai, Kochi and Bhopal will also take part. Each team will consist of two contestants. There will be three races a day and a total of 12 races in all. A minimum of six races will be needed to complete the competition. “The sport will grow in Tamil Nadu. The coastline is big and the State government has been supportive,” said Mr. Dias. Captain R. Ravikumar, Principal Race Officer, said: sailors from Tamil Nadu were performing extremely well in the competitive European circuit. “Varun Thakkar and K.C. Ganapathy won the silver in the event in Netherlands which shows the rapid strides made by our sailors.”

The all-girls team from Tamil Nadu of Varsha Gautham and Aishwarya Nedunchezhiyan has also been exceeding expectations. Captain Ravikumar said efforts were being made to secure access to more journalists and the public (free of charge) in the high-security port trust area and take them into the sea to watch the action live. “We want sailing to reach more people,” he said.

The teams will be allowed to take part in the practice races on Sunday to adapt to the conditions, Captain Ravikumar added. More than moderately gusty winds and challenging swells have been forecast in the days of the races.

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