A record number of 115 entries have been received for the 26th Laser National sailing championship 2011 to be held at the Hussainsagar Lake here from Sunday.

Addressing the media Major General Amarjeet Singh, Vice-Commodore of the EME Sailing Association of India, said the event had seen a steady growth in the number of participants in recent years. In 2008 the number of entries was 84 and this year it is well past the hundred mark. It showed the growing popularity of the sport he felt.

However, this year the favourite Rajesh Chaudhry will not be taking part due to a back injury. Chaudhry, who is rated as one of the best sailors to have been produced by India, however, will be present at the venue and his services will be utilised to provide guidance and coaching to the youngsters who are now taking up the sport. Most of the other top sailors of India will be in the fray to fight it out for top honours.

Among them is Rohini Rau who is trying for a berth in the London Olympics to be held in 2012. Maj. Gen. Singh stated the Laser boat was one of the most popular boats in the world and its sales in India too had shot up dramatically in the last few years. This reflected in the rise in the number of entries received this year, he said.