Hot favourite Ayaz Shaikh of the Army Yachting Node (AYN) and his crew of Sandip Jain and Nitin Bhaskar lived upto their reputation as they chalked up a good victory in the Omega class race on the first day of the Monsoon Regatta sailing championship at the Hussainsagar Lake here on Tuesday.

At the end of the first day’s races, Ayaz was in first place followed by Atool Sinha of Indian Naval Watermanship Training Centre (INWTC), Mumbai, while Trunal Helegaonkar of West Coast Marine Sailing School, Mumbai was in third place.

With wind speeds of up to 18 knots, the going was not easy, especially for the inexperienced sailors. But the AYN team did well to make the most of the strong winds to emerge winner in a hard fought contest against Atool and his crew comprising of Samal Pradhan and Imolemnok. The first flight saw Trunal going ahead of the all girl crew, captained by Ayesha Lobo, and crossing the finish line only to realise that he had rounded a mark from port rather than starboard leading to a disqualification. Thereby Ayesha won the opening round of the double round robin series.

As expected, the hardest fought contest was the one between Ayaz and Atool. The former managed to retain a narrow lead from start to finish. Though Atool made amends and won all his other races, the first clash may be an indication of things to come.

After his mistake, Trunal won his other races giving credence to his claim that he will definitely reach the semifinals and go on to win if he has a little luck.

The monsoon winds were shifting often with small storms careening across the lake which made things difficult for some crews. Meanwhile the local young Optimist sailors put in some hard practice in preparation for their championship that is set to start on Friday.

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