Jasvir Singh’s palms were bruised and blistered but he didn’t make a show of it. Typical of the man, he kept a low profile and let his deeds do the talking. The wiry six-footer allowed himself the indulgence of more than the odd smile though and he had reason enough to be happy.
For the third time, the Army Yachting Node (AYN) ace clinched the crown in the Standard section of the Laser Nationals that concluded at the Hussain Sagar on Sunday.
With it came the bonus of the Kelly Rao trophy, awarded to the sailor who’s the best even taking into account the two discards that are allowed.
There was no fist pumping or any rush of adrenaline; just the same, simple sober soul, dismantling the boat’s rigging when he got ashore.
“I’ll inform my folks back home in Punjab in the evening,” he said, treating the triumph with characteristic Kiplingesque calm.
Only when quizzed about physical limitations that could have affected his performance did he mention the left knee that troubled him when the leg was folded for the downwind legs and the searing pain when releasing or tightening the main sheet, so essential in the control of his craft.
The blood and the sweat proved well worth the while in the end.
For Sharif Khan it was his first crown in the Radial category and he was happy it was on ‘home-ground’. “My feet got entangled in the main sheet during the ninth and it was frustrating to lose out to S.S. Yadav at the finish,” said the 29-year-old, who withdrew earlier from a race he was leading with a wide margin due to a torn sail.
The said rope troubled the former cross country runner, afflicted also by an ankle problem, but couldn’t prevent the father of two sons from signing off in style in the regatta’s last race.
Vir Menon with 14 points proved way superior in the 4.7 section.
Gamesmanship sadly took precedence over sporting spirit for the AYN squad in the full rig. Time and again its sailors took turns to box in EMESA’s B.K. Rout, relentlessly if not ruthlessly ‘covering’ its former team-mate from a free and fair run.
Such a win-at-all-costs approach seemed quite unbecoming of the sport’s super power, whose sole occupation is year-round sailing in Mumbai, in contrast to its Secunderabad rival that gets to practise at this historic lake, only when the winds permit for about two months in a year.
The overall positions and results:
Laser Standard: 1. Jasvir Singh 17 points (AYN); 2. Gajender Singh 25 (AYN); 3. Dharmender Singh 29 (AYN); 4. B.K. Rout 29 (EMESA). Race 10: 1. Jasvir Singh; 2. Dharmender Singh (both AYN) 3. B.K. Rout (EMESA). Race 11: 1. Dharmender Singh; 2. M. Naveen Kumar; 3. Gajender Singh (all AYN).
Radial: 1. Sharif Khan 23 (AYN); 2. Ramesh Kumar 30 (AYN); 3. Amandeep Singh 35 (AYN); 4. Bikram Mohapatra 37 (AYN). Race 9: 1. S.S. Yadav (INWTC, Mumbai); 2. Sharif Khan (AYN); 3. Ramesh Kumar (AYN). Race 10: 1. Gaurav Randhawa (INWTC, Mumbai); 2. Amandeep Singh; 3. Bikram Mohapatra (both AYN). Race 11: 1. Sharif Khan; 2. Amandeep Singh (both AYN); 3. S.S. Yadav (INWTC, Mumbai).
4.7: 1. Vir Menon 14 (RMYC); 2. Prince Noble 28 (KYA); 3. Dheer Singhi 30 (RMYC); 4. Tarun P. Bhatia 31 (SSC). Race 10: 1. Vir Menon (RMYC); 2. Tarun P. Bhatia (SSC); 3. Pavan Varma (NSS, Bhopal). Race 11: 1. Vir Menon; 2. Dheer Singhi (RMYC); 3. Prince Noble (KYA).