Abhijit Sengupta

Hyderabad: The hot favourite Rajesh Choudhary showed once again why he is rated as one of the best sailors in the country at present, when he chalked up a double victory in back-to-back races in the Laser Radial class despite a capsize in the second race, in the Laser Sailing Nationals at the Hussainsagar lake on Tuesday.

The first race of the Laser Radial fleet was sailed in wind speeds ranging between 12 and 15 knots. B.K. Raut of AYN took the lead in the initial stages and was first round the windward mark. But thereafter he was overtaken by Rajesh who went on to win.

The wind picked up even more and when the second race started it was between 18 and 20 knots. The heavy wind caused several capsizes and out of the 31 sailors who started the race, no less than 13 failed to finish the course.

Surging ahead

Rajesh surged ahead soon after the start closely followed by Madhu. But after the first triangle, during the course of the second `beat' stretch, Rajesh ran into rough weather and his boat overturned. However, the adept sailor that he is, Rajesh managed to pull his boat upright, clambered in again and continued sailing to overtake the rest of the fleet and finish first.

The results: Laser radial: First race: 1. Rajesh Choudhary (AYN) 42m 0s; 2. B.K. Raut (AYN) 42m 40s; 3. P. Madhu (AYN) 44m 10s. Second race: 1. Rajesh Choudhary (AYN) 45m 02s. 2. Parvinder Singh (AYN) 46m 49s; 3. Dharmendra Singh (AYN) 46m 50s.

Mistral: First race: 1. Ghanshyam (AYN) 30m 30s; 2. A. Tripathi (AYN) 30m 58s; 3. A. Prakash 32m 57s. Second race: 1. Ghamshyam (AYN) 32m 30s; 2. R. Saravanan (AYN) 36m 20s; 3. A. Tripathi (AYN) 37m 07s.

Laser Standard: Third race: 1. N.S. Johal (AYN) 47m 51s; 2. V. Harihara (AYN) 48m 07s; 3. Sukhbir Singh (AYN) 48m 20s. Fourth race: 1. Jasveer Singh (AYN) 51m 48s; 2. D.P. Selvam (AYN) 52m 44s; 3. V. Harihara (AYN) 52m 53s.

Laser 4.7 class: Third race: 1. Navin Shirodkar (NDA) 41m 46s; 2. Mrinalini Santhanam (TNSA) 42m 13s; 3. Alekhya Sudam (SSC) 42m 47s. Fourth race: 1. Navin Shirodkar (NDA) 44m 19s; 2. Sooraj Sadanandan (TNSA) 45m 46s; 3. Mrinalini Santhanam (TNSA) 46m 18s.

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