Written by Varun Raj –
Bhopal: The First 420 Inland National Championship was held at Bhopal Lake from 18 – 22 Aug 2010. The event was conducted by the 420 Class Association of India under the aegis of National Sailing School, Bhopal and supported by the Sports Authority of Madhya Pradesh. The event attracted a total of 21 teams from all over the country.
The event witnessed a gradual increase in wind conditions as it progressed. Winds varying from 4 to 10 knots prevailed during the event. Racing was conducted both in morning and noon sessions as the wind was not that promising as it seemed prior to the event. First race of the event was won by Prasad Shelar / Suraj Singh of IWSA. Three more races were conducted during the noon sessions in which two guns were bagged by Sandip Jain / Manoj Kumar of AYN. The last race of the day was won by Ayaz Shaikh / Ashok Kumar of AYN.
As the final day of the event arrived, with one race to go, rise of bile was felt between both the top two teams of Sandip / Manoj and Ayaz / Ashok as they raced with all their passion, commitment and zeal towards the victory podium. Wind strength of around 8 to 9 knots was registered and both the teams came out with their best laid plans and strategy for winning the race which was the deciding one as to who will clinch the title of the first ever held 420 Inland Nationals. Sandip Jain / Manoj Kumar, who took a good start, managed to keep Ayaz Shaikh / Ashok Kumar under them since the start and tactfully managed to maintain their lead till the finishing point and clinching the final gun of the series. This made the series a tie between the top two teams of Sandip and Ayaz. Based on the last win of the series, the title was awarded to Sandip Jain & Manoj Kumar of AYN followed by Ayaz Shaikh / Ashok Kumar. Prasad Shelar / Suraj Singh of IWSA, Pune stood the second runner up of the event.
For the first time in double hander sailing, an interchange race was conducted. With the concept of interchanging their roles as helm and crew, the teams were asked to interchange amongst themselves and race. With this concept, the need of understanding your partner’s roles and duties towards success while racing was derived. Sailors learnt a lot about the duties of their partners and came out with bright ideas to enhance and improve performance. This race was won by Manoj Kumar / Sandip Jain of AYN followed by Suraj Singh / Prasad Shelar of IWSA.