Panaji: In a historic day for Indian sailing, Nitin Mongia, in a single- handed sailboat, won the OK Dinghy world championship Thursday.
Ben Morrison of New Zealand moved to second spot winning race number six to record his first win of the championship held at Dona Paula.
The weather in the morning wasn’t inspiring with hardly a wind around. But to everyone’s relief, it slowly picked up.
Mongia was once again in the first boat to launch, a habit he has stuck with throughout the regatta to good effect. All the other competitors then launched and sailed out for what would prove to be a pivotal day’s racing.
The fleet seemed evenly spread out on a square start line but when the start gun went off, the boats to the right side of the line seemed to have the better start, while Mongia and other boats on the left had a hard time getting the speed up. Nick Craig (GBR) and Morrison surged into early lead and stayed on the right.
Mongia, who has shown great understanding of the wind throughout the event, stayed on the left-hand side of the course and took advantage of a lot of pressure on that side to surge back into the lead and round the windward mark first followed by Rob Coutts and Craig.
Craig sailed out from under Coutts on the first reach to round the gybe mark followed by Coutts and Ram Kumar Singh.
On the second reach down to the lee mark, Craig tried to sail to windward of Mongia.
On the next beat upwind to the windward mark, Morrison made his move to the right side of the course. Finally, Indians Gautam Dutta and Ramkumar finished fourth and fifth respectively. (PTI)