Photo by Varun Raj

Mumbai: Ramachandran Mahesh has once again stood as the king of Match racing in India winning Gold in the Match Racing National Championship 2011 at INWTC Mumbai. With this victory Mahesh has a record 11 National Match racing titles under his belt. He sealed the title with an amazing 2 – 0 win over Nitin Mongia in the finals.

In both the matches in the finals, Mahesh and Nitin started almost evenly but Mahesh got the better of Nitin on the first beat and defended his lead thereafter.

In the petit finals Ayaz Shaikh beat Trunal Helegaonkar 2-1 to finish third overall. After losing the first match, Ayaz came back very strong to win the remaining two matches.

Both the semi finals in the event were very closely fought and went down till the third match. Mahesh and Nitin beat Ayaz Shaikh and Trunal respectively to set up a finals clash.

For the first time ever, four all – women teams took part in the event. The team of Ayesha Lobo finished first in the women’s category. Aarti Pawar and Ekta Yadav finished second and third respectively. In the round robin, Ayesha Lobo sailed extremely well to beat many stronger men teams to qualify for the round of six.

The Match Racing nationals proved to be a perfect platform for youth sailors to compete with India’s top ranked match racers in the world. A total of 13 teams took part in the event from all over the country. The championship was fantastically well organised and all the participants truly enjoyed the event.

A championship like the Match Racing Nationals would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of the officials who ensured its smooth running. Cdr. Abhimanyu Patankar along with his team did a great job looking after race management and Umpiring. The event was umpired by chief umpire Cdr. Abhimanyu Patankar, Ram Kumar Singh and G L Yadav. The prizes were given away by Cdr. Dilip Dhonde, the first Indian to sail solo around the world.

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