Before the races started this morning, Goa Yachting Association Vice President Umaji Chowgule asked Naresh Yadav why he hadn’t ‘got a gun’ (stood first in a race) as yet. “Sir, ‘aaj to jaroor gun loonga, ’” Yadav promised.
The rest, as they say, is history; the Yadav and his namesake partner G L Yadav won twice today, producing the best single day's result this championship has seen so far. Soft spoken Naresh Yadav is obviously elated, but very modest about his achievement; the first time he has ever won a race at a world championship. "I got a good start and moved up the right in both races," he said, "and the wind shifts favoured me."
Far less lucky were Aashim Mongia & R Mahesh. Coming in third on the first beat in Race VII, the pair got into an collision with reigning world champions Richard Estaugh & Peter Rowley, and had to do a 720-degree penalty turn, losing around 18 positions in the process to finish 21st. The first race saw an interesting ding-dong battle between the Yadavs, Estaugh & Rowley, Shane McCarthy & Simon Cook (IRL), and Roger Gilbert & Alistair Fry (GBR). These four broke clear of the rest of the fleet, and each of them were leading at some point in the race, but the Yadavs got the better of the lot on the run and the final beat, to finish comfortably ahead.
Race VIII saw the Yadavs lead from the very start, with Mongia & Mahesh close on their heels. And that is the way it stayed till the finish. There was a big surprise with Craig Burlton & Trudie Danburn (GBR) third (previous best position was 10th). McCarthy & Cook (IRL) came fourth, Mehul Ashar & Kulwant Singh fifth, Sanjeev Chauhan & Rajesh Dhulaji sixth (previous best 10th). Another surprise was Zaw One & Aung Min Htut of Myanmar, who stood ninth (previous best 18th). A very happy Burlton said that he the first beat did the trick for him, as the wind swung to the right.
Indian team coach Cdr Homi Motivala said that he was very happy with Yadav' s feat. Asked whether an India pair still stood a chance at the title, he said that though Estaugh & Rowley are ahead by nine points in the overall standings, the championship is still wide open as two more races to be sailed, and each team can discard their worst two results (only one discard has been calculated for the present standings). Estaugh seemed to echo this: "Shane and Yadav can still beat me," he said, indicating that he would have to take tomorrow's races seriously. McCarthy, though, felt he had only an "outside chance" to beat Estaugh: "He'd have to sail badly and there's not much chance of that, seeing how he's sailed all week," he said.
Today's sailing saw six protests, the largest number in the championships on a single day so far; up until now, there has been one protest at most each day. Hearings on the protests were continuing at the time of filing this report.
Overall results after eight races:
1 Estaugh & Rowley (GBR) - 22 points
2 McCarthy & Cook (IRL) - 30 points
3 N Yadav & G Yadav (IND) - 31 points
4 Craig & Upton-Brown (GBR) - 35 points
5 A Mongia & Mahesh (IND) - 36 points
6 Gilbert & Fry (GBR) -40 points
7 Dutta & More (IND) - 47 points
8 Tarapore & Garg (IND) - 52 points
9 N Mongia & Jain (IND) - 68 points
9 Singh & Joseph (IND) - 68 points
All results are provisional.