(From L to R) Umesh Rawankar, Kamlesh Patel, Cdr. N V Kesari (team manager), Brijraj Verma, Pankaj Kumar

Weihai, China: In a class which rarely gives Indian sailing any highs to talk about in any given year, 28 year old Brijraj Verma with crew Pankaj Kumar produced a performance to remember by finishing 5th in the Asian Sailing Championship at China, holding out a promise for better future.

The talented skipper from the Indian Navy competed against top Hobie 16 sailors from all over Asia which included the top two 2010 Asian Games medalists from Thailand and Korea. Thailand and Korea dominated the event by taking the top three spots while Hong Kong finished fourth.

A total of 33 teams from 7 countries took part in the event. The second Indian pair of Kamlesh Patel and Umesh Rawankar finished 8th overall.

“Most of the Asian teams at the event were surprised to see us (Indians) participating in the event. Some of them didn’t even know that Hobie 16’s were sailed in India”, said Verma.

With his superb performance in China, Verma not only gave India its best ever international performance in Hobie 16 class but also sent a message to the Asian competitors of what Indians are capable of.

“The boats provided to us were very different as compared to the ones with which we practiced in India. They were extremely light and reacted very quickly. It cost us the first two days of racing to get a feel of the boat and understand the local conditions. We could have performed even better if we had a coach to guide us”, said Verma.

“I am thankful to the Yachting Association of India (YAI) for giving us an opportunity to compete in the Asian Championship and we are looking forward to bring glory to India at international events in the future with their continued support,’ he signs off.

Click here to see photo gallery of the event on Facebook

3 Responses

  1. Guess some thanks are also due to the NHCA who are doing a thankless job of selecting the teams and conducting events in the face of a total lack of support at the policy level. Other countries not knowing Indians sail Hobies is quite a revelation considering Indians have been participating at the Asian/Australasian events for quite some time now. The “legendary” Ram Kumar and Naresh Yadav have left their mark on the scene….on and off the water……….iin more ways than one. The boats may be new so the difference…..other wise Hobie 16 is a strictly controlled design with not much scope for tweaking. Just brings to the fore the fact that we need some policy decision to reduce the import costs to make the class more affordable. NOTWITHSTANDING ALL, CONGRATS TO THE BOYS ON THE GOOD SHOW. KEEP IT UP AND CARRY ON THE GOOD WORK.

  2. If you are looking for team and event coach support contact the Windsport Performance catamaran coaching team. The Windsport coaching team has provided long term coaching and event coach support to deliver a host of Hobie 16 results inculding 4 x ISAF youth medals, European and World championship results.
    info @windsport.co.uk.
    Brian Phipps
    Windsport Performance Catamaran Coaching Team.

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