Special Correspondent

KADAPA: Kalaga Yakobu emerged champion sailor of the Kadapa invitational multi-class regatta at the Pathakadapa Cheruvu here on Tuesday. It was a one-two for the Artillery Water Sports Association (AWSA) for Yaduraj Lad was adjudged second.

The mild-mannered Naik attached to the Artillery Centre, Golconda showed his mettle in the fourth, fifth and sixth races conducted by Race Offer R. Girish Rao. Partnering K. Kiran Kumar on a 420 in the fourth race, the duo was off to the best start from close to the committee vessel.

Wind speeds when the race began were about five to six knots but the appearance of white horses subsequently signalled velocity of about 10 knots. On the opening beat itself, Yakobu as helm and Kiran as crew, led the fleet.

On the run, the second leg, they let out the spinnaker that helped them harness the wind better. Presently, their boat was buoyed by a gusting breeze, perhaps accounting for their overshooting the leeward mark.

Lad came in next in the Laser Radial but had a capsize a little after completing the loop. In the process, the gudgeon of his rudder snapped leaving him stranded and a DNF (did not finish) tag at the finish. Yakobu and Kiran got the gun more than a leg and a half ahead of Visakhapatnam's K. Rajesh.

With Rajesh and Lad unable to steer the Laser craft, the lot fell on Yakobu to man the boat for the fifth and sixth races. The latter's skills were amply displayed in that with a single sail craft, he staved off the competition from the double-sail 420 and more easily manoeuvrable Zoom 8.

Very low-key in triumph, Yakobu attributed his win to reading the wind shifts right. He had earlier claimed the 420 crown in a Laser National championship in Hyderabad in the past.

To mark the conclusion of the regatta, there were a sail-past and row-past for G. Asok Kumar, Chairman, District Sports Authority, Collector and District Magistrate, Kadapa.

Overall championship: 1. K. Yakobu (AWSA) 2. Yaduraj Lad (AWSA) 3. K. Rajesh (Visakhapatnam).

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