Sailing: Rajnikanth tops group B with two wins and a second place finish

Vishnu Sujeesh and Dheer Singhi, both from Chennai, came up with a good show on the first day of the Topper Class Nationals in the Deloitte Monsoon Regatta at the Hussainsagar lake here on Tuesday.

The Topper fleet races started with strong winds which gusted to 23 knots at times.

For the qualifying stage, the fleet was divided into two halves based on the seeding and experience of the sailors.

Vishnu won his group with three straight victories while Hyderabad’s Rajnikanth topped group B with two wins and a second place finish.

The 18 sailors who qualified were then divided into the Gold and Silver fleets based on their performance in the qualifying rounds.

Two races in the Gold fleet saw Vishnu and Dheer tying for first place with three penalty points each while Rajnikanth dropped to third with two third place finishes and six penalty points on the whole. In the opening race of the Gold fleet, Dheer got off to a brilliant start, taking a lead of nearly one minute.

He went on to win comfortably and was followed by Sujeesh and Rajnikanth in that order. The second race witnessed lighter winds with shifts of more than 15 degrees in both directions and a very close finish. Rajnikanth started first and gained during the first half of the upwind leg but dropped behind Vishnu in a tactical contest.

Dheer came from behind to overtake Rajnikanth before giving Vishnu a tough fight.

However, Vishnu finished first by a slender margin.

The results: Topper Class Nationals: First Race: 1. Dheer Singhi, 2. Vishnu Sujeesh, 3. Ragi Rajnikanth. Second Race: 1. Vishnu Sujeesh, 2. Dheer Singhi, 3. Ragi Rajnikanth.


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