Xerxes Avari and Megboob Rafiq are two sailors from Pakistan who fell victim to the blustery weather conditions on day two of the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth, the final leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup.
and Mehboob Rafiq
were one of several sailing teams to be towed back to shore with a broken mast in the 470 fleet on day two of the regatta. The day also claimed other victims in the 49ers and Lasers ensuring the repair teams were busy overnight building new rigs.
Whilst they had their heads in the boat frantically re-rigging the halyards, instruments and fittings related to a replacement rig, I asked the guys about how the sailing conditions compare to their home waters in Pakistan.
"We sail on the coast at Karachi, we can experience big winds during the monsoon season but we don't get the same type of waves as here. The chop is much bigger in Weymouth but we are used to sailing in tidal waters." Said Avari
This is the one and only regatta that the Pakistan team are sailing in this year's ISAF Sailing World Cup, so I asked Xerxes about his goals.
"We have a British coach in Nick Rogers who is helping us to develop our sailing. We have sailed in the UK and raced in the recent 470 World Championships in the Netherlands."
"We are using this regatta to improve our chances at the forthcoming Asian Games. There are some of the other teams sailing here including the Singaporeans, The Japanese and the Chinese sailors"
Back in Karachi Avari and Rafiq only have one other 470 to sail against but the opportunities are few and there are limited other classes to train against. However the guys are determined and despite their setbacks here in Weymouth they are happy to be representing their country and enjoying taking part in this global regatta with some of the best 470 sailors in the world.
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