Kaushal Kumar Yadav and M. Girish continued their reign in the National Hobie championships at the Hussain Sagar on Tuesday. The Artillery Water Sports Association (AWSA) duo got the gun twice and secured second place as many times to log 14 points, a clear seven ahead of compatriots and defending champions Kalaga Yakobu and Rajeev Kumar.
Credit is due to Race Officer T.S. Chaturvedi, who conducted six races on the penultimate day, taking the total number to 10. With the winds holding good, he decided to stay ahead of schedule, leaving ample room to complete the last two over a whole day on Wednesday.
In the day’s opening race Yakobu and Rajeev set off on a starboard tack, followed by most of the fleet, except for a trio which headed right. The seasoned helm’s hunch paid off as his craft rounded the first windward mark ahead and stayed so for each of the remaining legs. If there was a change in status, it was only that the pair widened the margin steadily from their nearest rivals till they heard the reassuring whistle signalling the race’s end.
If the beats tested the fleet in low to medium wind conditions, Imolemnok and Shekhar Singh Yadav seemed to thrive with close-hauled sailing. In almost identical fashion to the fourth race they won on Monday, they struck a left of centre path, while the others digressed too much to right or left.
The Indian Naval Watermanship Training Centre mates, arch rivals in match racing, combined well to stay upfront, never conceding the edge from start to finish. That they joined hands for this exercise hardly two days before competition began indicated how effectively they coordinated.
Race 5: 1. K. Yakobu & Rajeev Kumar (AWSA); 2. Kaushal Kumar Yadav & M. Girish (AWSA); 3. Imolemnok & S.S. Yadav (INWTC, Mumbai).
Race 6: 1. Kaushal & Girish; 2. Yakobu & Rajeev; 3. Pawan Kumar & Sukhen Sur (AYN).
Race 7: 1. Samal Pradhan & Rahul Rai (INWTC, Mumbai); 2. Yakobu & Rajeev 3. Imolemnok & S.S. Yadav. Race 8: 1. Kaushal & Girish; 2. Samal & Rahul; 3. Pawan & Sukhen.
Race 9: 1. Imolemnok & Yadav; 2. Samal & Rahul; 3. Brijraj Varma & Pankaj Kumar (INWTC, Mumbai). Race 10: 1. Kamlesh Patel & U.B. Rawankar (AYN) 2. Kaushal & Girish; 3. Samal & Rahul.