Gritty Rout shows his class

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A CLASS ACT: Young sailor Sachin Singha of NSS who won the race in Laser 4.7 category in style.
A CLASS ACT: Young sailor Sachin Singha of NSS who won the race in Laser 4.7 category in style.

A. Joseph Antony

Good show by Sachin Singha

HYDERABAD: Jasvir Singh, B.K. Rout, Gaurav Pikale and Sachin Singha won a race each in the Standard and 4.7 categories respectively of the Laser National championships at the Hussain Sagar on Thursday.

In contrast to Wednesday’s densely cloudy sky and dark waters that accentuated the whiteness of the sails, the historic lake was bathed in resplendent sunshine on and off on Thursday morning. There was little let-up in the windy conditions though, with gusts building up to 27 knots.

Jasvir’s stranglehold on the Standard class eased somewhat as B.K. Rout physically gave it his all to win the eighth race. A timely tip from seasoned hand Rajesh Choudhary between races seven and eight proved pivotal for Rout.

A measured release of the main sheet made the difference, where balancing the boat against strong winds became of paramount importance. A capsize anywhere on the double triangle and loop course would have proved costly, not just in terms of giving up ground but the demoralising effect it would bring along with.

“In today’s conditions, brawns were better than brains,” felt Rout, who, after a 40-day vacation in his native Orissa, may not have been entirely match-worthy.

A win in the eighth brought huge relief to the Chennai Coastal National champion — who found sleep hard to come by right through the Hyderabad Sailing Week.

After the entire course was re-laid before the day’s proceedings began, owing to a sizeable change in wind direction, Gaurav Pikale was front-runner in the 4.7 set as long as he covered Shweta Sadanandan, right through the first triangle.

The 4.7 and full-rig fleets crossed paths shortly after the first leeward circling, following which Shweta broke free from the shackled progress Pikale seemed to have imposed on her.

At the second windward mark, Shweta was a clear 30-boat lengths ahead. However, Pikale pounced on two favourable puffs on the third reach, bridging the gap substantially.

Presently he overtook her and posted his maiden win in the class. Interestingly, he was on the verge of quitting the competition for want of a sail, which the EME Sailing Association provided, thus making his participation possible.

The results:

Standard VII: 1. Jasvir Singh; 2. B.K. Rout; 3. Sukhvir Singh (all Army Yachting Node).

VIII: 1. B.K. Rout; 2. Jasvir Singh; 3. Sukhvir Singh (all AYN).

4.7 VII: 1. Gaurav Pikale (EMESA); 2. Shweta S.; 3. Varun Thakkar (both Tamil Nadu Sailing Association).

VIII: 1. Sachin Singha (National Sailing School); 2. M. Hussain; 3. Varun Thakkar (both TNSA).

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