Dark horse Trunal Helegaonkar of Mumbai pulled off an upset by getting the better of higher rated Atool Sinha (INWTC) on the second day of the Monsoon Regatta sailing championship at the Hussainsagar Lake here on Wednesday.

The day opened with winds recording 23 knots while averaging 18 knots, and this saw many capsizes and some crews suffered gear failure.

In what could be termed as the hardest fight of the day Helegaonkar and his crew, namely Ninad Mayekar and Azhar Shaikh, trounced Commander Atool Sinha and crew comprising Samal Pradhan and Imo Lemnok in a key contest. The latter committed several fouls including a starting penalty and a mark touch.

Although Sinha started with a penalty, he was marginally ahead of Trunal and gained further lead during the first leg. In the second leg he increased his lead but erred in not covering Trunal.

Trunal took advantage of the shifting wind conditions and managed to take the lead before the finish line. Sinha later said that he had made too many mistakes in this race.

Ayaz in lead

At the end of the first round robin, Ayaz Shaikh of AYN was in the lead with a clean sweep of five wins followed closely by Atool Sinha with four wins and Trunal with three wins.

The second round robin started with an upset as Chandrashekar of the AYN blazed past the favourite Ayaz Shaikh who had a technical problem with his sail. Given the strong winds and fast sailing, there was no question of catching up after that.

Trunal continued his string of wins against both Chandrashekar and Ayesha Lobo. Chandrashekar who was showing great form after beating Ayaz, had to retire with a leaking boat later.

After Wednesday’s races, Ayaz Shaikh, Atool Sinha and Trunal Helegaonkar are certain of entering the semifinals, while the fourth spot will be up for grabs. The main contenders are Chandrashekhar of AYN and Manoj Kumar of CESC, Pune.

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