Reigning champions Richard Estaugh and Peter Rowley of Great Britain dominated proceedings on the first day of the Sandpiper Enterprise World Sailing Championship.
The British pair took first place in the first race and third place in the second race. India, however, managed to split honours when Aashim Mongia and R Mahesh grabbed first place in the second race.
Estaugh and Rowley dominated proceedings right from the start of the first race, which had 40 starters and was sailed in shifting winds of about eight knots. Rounding the windward mark first, they never relinquished their lead. The Irish pair of Shane McCarthy and Simon Cook however, stayed steadily on their tail, though the distance between these two boats and the rest of the fleet widened considerably as the race progressed. Estaugh was, strangely, not satisfied with his performance and said he hoped 'to do better tomorrow' . His partner Peter Rowley however said he would be very happy if tomorrow went off more or less like today.
The best India could manage in this race was a fifth place by Dharmendar Singh and Joji Joseph, who took fifth place after gaining several places on the reach to the jibe mark, a position they never relinquished. National champions Naresh Yadav and G L Yadav took sixth place. The young Myanmar pair of Aung Myin Thu and Sain Pyae Sone Heing surprised several more experienced pairs to come a creditable seventh, while A Mongia and Mahesh came eighth. While Great Britain took four places in the Top Ten, India took three, Ireland two and Myanmar one.
Unstable wind conditions delayed the start of the second race by around 10 minutes. Principal Race Officer Cmde, Surinder Mongia, said that the conditions were very tricky for setting an accurate course, which made the sailing that much more tactical and interesting.
There were thirty-eight starters in the second race that saw gusty conditions with wind speeds reaching 11 knots. A Mongia and Mahesh were the third round the windward mark, but moved up two places on the reach to take the lead, which they then held till the end. Estaugh and Rowley were eighth round the windward mark, then moved up to second place, which they held till nearly the end on the last beat, when a strong effort by Roger Gilbert and Alistair Fry pushed the world champions to third place.
India had a strong showing in this race, with Farokh Tarapore and Pushpendra Garg coming fifth, Nitin Mongia and Sandeep Jain sixth, Gautam Dutta and Utpal More seventh and the Yadav pair coming eighth. While India took five positions in the Top Ten, Great Britain took four and Ireland two.
The coach of the Indian squad Homi Motivala said that while he was not ecstatic, he thought it was a "satisfactory" day for India. Chairman and Managing Director of Goa Shipyard Ltd. Rear Adm K.Sampath Pillai gave away prizes to the winners of the first three positions in the two races.
1. Richard Estaugh & Peter Rowley (GBR) - 4 points
2. Shane McCarthy & Simon Cook (IRL) - 6 points
3. Aaashim Mongia & R Mahesh (IND) - 9 points
4. Roger Gilbert & Alistair Fry (GBR) - 11 points
5. N K Yadav & G L Yadav (IND) - 14 points
6. Nick Craig & Ms Claire Upton Brown (GBR) - 16 points
7. Farokh Tarapore and P K Garg (IND) - 16 points
8. Stephen O'Driscoll & Kate Havill (IRL) - 20 points
8. Gautam Dutta and Utpal More (IND) - 20 points
8. Craig Burton & Trudie Danburn (GBR) - 20 points