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Army's Thomas clinches yatching title in Goa

Written by: Staff
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Panaji, May 13 (UNI) Drubbing the seven-time winner Remy Fernandes of Goa Yachting Association (GYA), P J Thomas of Army Yachting Node (AYN) emerged the champion of the cliffhanger contest with a 2-point lead at the Boardsailing National Championship 2006 held at Dolphin Adventure Sports Centre at Hawaii Beach in Dona Paula here today and Ghanashyam of AYN came third.

The day saw winds dropping steadily as the racing progressed. It was very clear at the start of the day that of the leaders Thomas and Remy, the one who won two races out of three would emerge the overall winner.

Yesterday, Thomas was disqualified for having infringed Remy at Mark No: 2 in Race 6, by the jury after a protest hearing. But the disqualification made no difference to the overall result, as Thomas was able to discard the score.

In Race 8, Maj Ashutosh Tripathi (AYN) got off to a flying start, rapidly building up a huge lead on the first beat, which he held till the leeward mark, where Thomas put in a fine manoeuvre to get inside of him and ahead.

Tripathi held on to second place, till almost the finish, where he was overtaken by an incredible planning reach by Donald Coelho. Remy finished a poor fifth.

Under pressure in Race 9, Remy made sure to get clear air at the start and was first away, rapidly building up a huge lead. Though Thomas chipped away at it with some very sensible sailing, he could not get ahead, and Remy won the race comfortably to draw level.

Ghanashyam was third.

Race 10 was the clincher. The winner of this race would lift the championship. Both leaders were determined to put in everything, but the fitter Thomas got away to a better start.

Remy was hot on his heels and though Thomas managed to create quite some space behind him on the beat, Remy gave chase on the first run and nearly caught up, but not quite.

Once round the leeward mark, Thomas pulled away again, and Remy seemed to have given up hope of catching him. But the second run saw him once more get to within striking distance of Thomas, only to fall back again on the final reach to the finish.

The able Ghanashyam finished third.

Ankeet Desai of Martins Windsurfing Academy (MWA) once more took all three races to make a near-clean sweep in the youth category.

Amir Noronha was second and Chaitanya Chowgule third in all three races.

In the junior class, Divya Sahasrabuddhe won the first two races, while Armaan Arora won the third race. Divya grabbed the overall junior championship, with Aditi second and Armaan third.

Final Results: Open Category: (1) P J Thomas - 11 points (AYN), (2) Remy Fernandes - 13 points (GYA), (3) Ghanashyam - 20 points (AYN), (4) Donald Coelho - 33 points (GYA), (5) Rainer Dias - 42 points (GYA) Youth Category: (1) Ankeet Desai - 8 points (MWA), Chaitanya Chowgule - 16 points (GYA), (3) Amir Noronha - 20 points (GYA).

Junior Category: (1) Divya Sahasrabuddhe - 9 points (GYA), (2) Aditi Sahasrabuddhe - 11 points (GYA), (3) Armaan Arora - 17 points (GYA).

Day's race results: Race 8: (1) P J Thomas (AYN) (2) Donald Coelho (GYA), (3) Maj A Tripathi (AYN), (4) Ghanashyam (AYN) (5) Remy Fernandes (GYA).

Race 9: (1) Remy Fernandes (GYA), (2) P J Thomas (AYN), (3) Ghanashyam (AYN), (4) A Prakash (AYN) (5) Donald Coelho (GYA).

Race 10: (1) P J Thomas (AYN), (2) Remy Fernandes (GYA), (3) Ghanashyam (AYN), (4) Donald Coelho (GYA) (5) A Prakash (AYN).

Photo Captions: Windsurf001: A tense tussle on the first beat; Rainer Dias (GYA) is ahead.

Windsurf002: Donald Coelho of GYA speeding away on the reach to overtake Maj Tripathi of AYN Windsurf003: The winners. P J Thomas (AYN) in the centre, with Goa's Remy Fernandes (at right) and Ghanashyam (at left).

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