Special Correspondent

Chennai: Team Sailing is as much about creating opportunities as closing out options for the opposition. The young TNSA sailors showed both the skill and the cunning to clinch the Team title, here, on Tuesday, in the Chennai Port Trust National Optimist Coastal Sailing championship.

Mumbai `A' took the silver, and TNSA `B', the bronze.

The Right-of-Way ploy - a sailor with the rule and the route in his favour forces the adversary to commit mistakes and incur penalty - was judiciously used by the TNSA team.

The winning side's Varun Thakkar said, "We try to help each other out. If you are leading and your team-mate is third, you try to block the path of the second-placed sailor by coming at a 45 degree angle."

For TNSA, skipper Sarav Rajavelu had an outstanding day, manoeuvring his one-handed boat to positions of dominance.

The wind was light during the league phase but the weather turned quite gusty when the knock-out stage began. The wind speed was between eight to 10 knots, and the swells were close to four feet high. The champion side adapted well to both conditions.

Mumbai fought well. That Dilip Nalla incurred a penalty at the start did not help matters for the side.

TNSA and TNSA `B' topped in Group A, while Mumbai `A' was followed by GYA in Group `B' in the league.

In the semifinals, TNSA defeated GYA while Mumbai `A' overcame TNSA `B.'

TNSA and Mumbai `A' were tied on 18 points in the first race of the best-of-three final, however, the host proved tactically superior. When the result is a tie, the team which gets the first spot loses out and this strategic oversight cost the Mumbai sailors. TNSA nailed the championship in the next race.

The final standings: 1. TNSA (Sarav Rajavelu - captain, Nishanth Chandrashekar, Shwetha Sadanand, Hussain Bhavnagarvala, Varun Thakkar). 2. Mumbai `A' (Malvika Lobo - captain, Arisudan Sheth, Dilip Nalla, Gaurav Pikale). 3. TNSA `B' (Gerad Ambrose - captain, Ganapathy, Praveen Dhanasekaran, Rufus Kani Patrick, Nivedita). All results are provisional.

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