Abhijit Sen Gupta
Navin survives a Mrinalini Santhanam scare The day's most noteworthy display came from B.K. Rout
Hyderabad: Navin Shirodkar with eight wins in a row assured himself the title in the Laser 4.7 class competitions of the Laser sailing National championship at the Hussainsagar lake on Thursday. Even if he loses the last two races that are to be held on Friday, it will not make any difference to his position since according to the rules, every sailor may discard the two worst performances when it comes to adding up the points tally.
The youngsters sailing in the 4.7 class had a good time on Thursday since the wind was generally light in the evening. In the seventh race of the category Navin led from start to finish to win. But in the eighth race it looked like Mrinalini Santhanam of TNSA would cause the first upset. She led for the major portion of the race but just when it looked like she would coast home to victory Navin overtook her a few metres from the finish line.
In the Radial Rig the experienced international Rajesh Choudhary has had little competition. On Thursday he won both races with comfortable leads over the rest despite the fact that winds were low. Rajesh is known to perform better in heavy winds.
But the day's most noteworthy performance came from B.K. Rout who started way behind in both races but closed the gap considerably to end up among the top three each time.
For the title in the Laser Standard class, a keen fight is on between N.S. Johal, Harihara and D.P. Selvam. Johal could have settled the issue if he had won but he had a bad day and now it all depends on the races to be held on Friday.
The results: Mistral (Fifth race): 1. A.Tripathi (AYN) 34m 54s; 2. Ghanshyam (AYN) 35m 13s; 3. P.J. Thomas (AYN) 36m 30s. Sixth race: 1. P.J. Thomas (AYN) 44m 01s; 2. Ghanshyam 44m 35s; 3. A. Prakash (AYN) 46m 52s.
Laser Radial: Fifth race: 1. Rajesh Choudhary (AYN) 45m 14s; 2. B.K. Rout (AYN) 45m 58s; 3. Dharmendra Singh (AYN) 46m 14s. Sixth race: 1. Rajesh Choudhary (AYN) 50m 04s; 2. P.Madhu (AYN) 51m 28s; 3.B.K. Rout (AYN) 52m 22s.
Laser Standard: Seventh race: 1. Jasveer Singh (AYN) 53m 26s; 2. D.P. Selvam (AYN) 53m 45s; 3. N.S. Johal (AYN) 53m 50s. Eighth race: 1. D.P. Selvam (AYN) 49m 19s; 2. Jasveer Singh (AYN) 50m 12s; 3. V. Harihara (AYN) 50m 41s.
Laser 4.7: Seventh race: 1. Navin Shirodkar (NDA) 48m 39s; 2. Mrinalini Santhanam (TNSA) 51m 33s; 3. Alekhya Sudam (SSC) 51m 44s. Eighth race: 1. Navin Shirodkar (NDA) 42m 28s; 2. Mrinalini Santhanam (TNSA) 42m 48s; 3. Akshaya Mano (TNSA) 45m 0s.