Kaushal Kumar Yadav and Girish M. stole the thunder on the opening day of the fifth inland National hobie 16 championships at the Hussain Sagar here on Monday. The Artillery Water Sports Association (AWSA) duo clinched races two and three convincingly, while compatriots Kalaga Yakobu and Rajeev Kumar proved the most consistent, finishing third in the day’s four races.
Squalls showered the squalid lake intermittently but the winds played truant if not wayward, shifts of 40 degrees delaying the morning start by nearly two hours.
Sailors of the big boat needed to flex their mental muscles more as they were deprived of backup from the winds that blew between as little as three to five knots in the morning, picked up to seven after lunch with the odd gust touching 10.
Sandeep Jain and D. Chandra Shekar spurted first to the finish line in the event’s lung opener, the lone race of the morning session, from a cluster of boats converging on the pin end.
“We stuck to the centre, knowing the wind wouldn’t swing much,” said Jain, skipper of the Army Yachting Node (AYN) craft, who earned his spurs on these very waters when with the AWSA.
The Mumbai-based pair had read the signs right, as the winds shifted both ways by about 15 degrees.
Kaushal and Girish led from start to finish in the second race, carried over to the post-lunch session.
It was an encore in the next for the aforementioned gents, a steady drizzle notwithstanding. When the winds perked up for the day’s concluding race, the course was lengthened by half a kilometre.
Talk of bad luck blighting a campaign and it was the AWSA twosome of Nagen Behra and B.K. Sharma who were at the receiving end of fortune’s fickleness.
In one race, their halyard snapped while in another their mast broke!
It was also a grim reminder that a major overhaul of the equipment had become a necessity with the boats ageing considerably.
The results: (helm’s name first): Race 1: 1. Sandeep Jain / D. Chandra Shekar D (AYN).
2. Kaushal Kumar Yadav / Girish M. (AWSA) 3. K. Yakobu / Rajeev Kumar (AWSA).
Race 2: 1. Kaushal / Girish.
2. Samal Pradhan / Rahul Rai (INWTC, Mumbai) 3. Yakobu / Rajeev.
Race 3: 1. Kaushal / Girish 2. Brijraj Verma / Pankaj Kumar (INWTC, Mumbai) 3. Yakobu / Rajeev.
Race 4: 1. Imolemnok / Shekhar Singh Yadav (INWTC, Mumbai) 2. Brijraj / Pankaj 3. Yakobu / Rajeev.