Mumbai: India`s Asian Games silver medalist
Commander R Mahesh and crew made a rousing start to their
campaign in the Mumbai International Match Race 2009 by
winning all the five races they competed here today.
Commander Mahesh, ranked 40th in the world, said the
winds were not favourable for sailing today.
"The winds were not too good today, the jury constantly
had to re-schedule races and adjust the starts and course
according to the shifts and moods of the winds," he said.
Mahesh and his crew was followed in second place by
another Indian team led by Nitin Mongia whose boat was rammed
by Korean competitor Byeong Ki Park and crew creating a hole
big enough for a man to slip through.
Noting the incident, the jury gave the Korean a penalty
allowing Mongia team a head start.
The Koreans managed to sail past Arjuna Awardee Mongia
and his team before the Indian squad took charge of the race
and won it.
"I think it was a well deserved win by us because we
knew when to catch the tiny patch of breeze that ultimately
saved us," said Mongia after his victory.
Five Indian teams and seven foreign outfits are taking
part in the four-day event off the Chowpatty waters.
The French team, led by Francois Morvan, felt the day`s
competition was particularly difficult as compared to the
matches they have played till today due to the scorching sun
and low winds.
"We lost two races in the beginning half but then we went
on to win the next three. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better
day, that we win all six," Morvan said.
Setting the stage for tomorrow`s races, Nils Bjerkas from
Sweeden sailed with an Indian crew to win his first race of
The Swede, who trained with his Indian crew yesterday for
the first time, opened his campaign on a winning note against
India`s all-girls` team led by Ayesha Lobo.
Tomorrow, 30 races are scheduled and the competitors were
hoping for favourable winds to sail.