By winning the Thailand Match Race Challenge in Pattaya last month and breaking into the top 100 of the World Match Racing Rankings last Thursday, Ayaz Shaikh has extinguished any remaining doubts about just how talented a sailor he is.
Winning the Thailand match race wasn’t an easy task for the 27 year old as he battled against top sailors from the most elite leagues, the Americas Cup and the World Match Racing Tour featured in the event. His victory gave India its first ever Gold at the Thailand Match Race Challenge.
In the finals he defeated 2006 Asian Games Gold medallist, the defending champion Maximilan Soh of Singapore in straight matches to win the title and with this terrific victory, he is now ranked third in Asia behind Ramachandran Mahesh (India) and Waturu Sakamoto (Japan).
In the Semi finals he defeated the reigning Malaysian National Match Racing Champion, Jeremy Koo 2 -1. Jeremy’s was the trimmer on Team China in the last edition of Americas Cup.
Ayaz has been in terrific form this year and has finished all events in the top three with 2 Gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.
Even the strongest critics of Ayaz will have to agree that his success is more due to his own leadership skills and less to chance. He is not only a good sailor but also a great team leader. He displays a perfect blend of aggression and calmness on water and never forgets to praise his team mates after every match irrespective of a win or loss.
Ayaz’s Major achievements:
10 times National Sailing Champion
12 times National Silver Medalist
7 times National Bronze medalist
Cadet Class World Championship (India) – 1996 – 17th
Cadet Class World Championship (Hungary) – 1999 – 10th
Cadet Class World Championship (Poland) – 2000 – 25th
420 Asian sailing Championship (S Korea) – 2001 – 7th
470 sail Melbourne International (Melbourne) – 2003 – 21th
470 Commonwealth Champship (Melbourne) – 2003 – 10th
US National Championship (Santhacruz,USA) – 2005 – 12th
North American Championship(San Francisco) – 2005 – 20th
470 World Championship (San Francisco) – 2005 – 60th
470 Asian sailing Championship (Doha) – 2006 – 9th
Kiel week Regatta 470 (Germany) – 2007 – 34th
Rolex Miami OCR (USA) – 2009 – 17th
Mumbai International Match Race – 2010 – 9th
Qatar Match Racing Cup (Doha,Qatar) – 2011 – 8th
ISAF Nations Cup Qualifier Asia (Doha, Qatar) 2011 – 3rd
Match Race Thailand Challenge 2011 (Pattaya, Thailand) – 1st