Kalaga Yakobu / Rajeev Kumar of the Artillery Water Sports Association (AWSA) and Brijraj Verma / N. Behara of the Indian Naval Watermanship Training Centre (INWTC) were tied with nine points after four races of the National Hobie 16 championships at the end of day one.

Sailing under a densely overcast sky at the historic Hussain Sagar, the two pairs had identical finishes of a first, two seconds and a fourth each.

A former champion in the 2008 Nationals, Yakobu as helm, read the vagaries of nature well, ably assisted by his crew, Rajeev Kumar. They climbed from seventh position on the opening beat of the fourth race to fourth on the next downwind leg.

On the second upwind stretch, the Hyderabad yachtsmen overtook two more boats and then circled the windward mark first. On the second run, they lost ground, falling to second position.

Verma and Behara were ahead after two loops and took a gamble with a ‘header,' while Yakobu / Rajeev opted for a ‘lift,' the latter's move paying off as they rounded the third windward marker first.

Yakobu and Rajeev then separated themselves from the rest of the fleet, completing the race scores of boat lengths ahead of their Mumbai rivals.

In the third, it was a start-to-finish affair for Kamlesh Patel and U.B. Rawankar. Spurred by the best start in the set, there was no looking back for the Army Yachting Node (AYN) pair.

Setting off on a port tack, while most of the fleet veered to starboard, the Mumbai frontrunners ensured they ‘covered' the rest of the pack well, giving no quarter to any of their opponents, till they got the gun.

The results: Race I: 1. Yaduraj Lal / B.K. Maiti, 2. K. Yakobu / Rajeev Kumar, 3. Kaushal Kumar / M. Girish (all AWSA). Race II: Brijraj Verma / N. Behara (INWTC, Mumbai), 2. Yakobu / Maiti, 3. Ashish Patel / Rajendran (AYN). Race III: 1. Kamlesh Patel / U.B. Rawankar (AYN), 2. Verma / Behara, 3. Lad / Maiti. Race IV: 1. Yakobu / Rajeev, 2. Verma / Behara, 3. Kamlesh / Rawankar.

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