ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday October 7, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 19

Sailing nationals on again

By Harry Jayachandra

The fourth Janashanthi Sailing Nationals 2007 will get under way at the Bolgoda Lake on October 20 and 21. Over 40 boats in four categories are expected to take part.

The organizer of the event is the Yachting Association of Sri Lanka. Administrative Manager of the Yachting Association Sarath Kuragama speaking to The Sunday Times said: “We are expecting a good turn out for the event. The four categories are the Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and Laser Standard. Boats in the Laser events are handled by only one person. Then in the Enterprise Class we have the GP 14 and Fleet Race. Those two events will have a crew consisting of two people. It is a very eco friendly sport as all the boats sail using the wind.”

Kuragama added: “Many people do not take to it because it is a bit expensive. By that I mean that boats must be brought down from Singapore or China. Sponsors are also hard to find because spectators cannot see the whole race from the shore. The need of the hour though is a foreign coach preferably from the United Kingdom as that country has some the best in the business.”

When asked about the impact Sri Lanka can make if there is a foreign coach, Kuragama said: “At the last South Asian Yachting Regatta we won a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal each. That is a clear indication that we have the talent.”

He added: “It is a good sport for Sri Lanka because we are an island. In addition we have a lot of inland water resources as well. To elaborate on the talent one has to keep in mind the skill needed to compete. In the individual races for example, one person has to constantly make decisions by assessing the wind conditions and how best to negotiate the boat according to the conditions. That is why we need a foreign coach. If we had one he could train our coaches and also those who take part in these events. Then I believe Sri Lanka could go to the next level. But to get a foreign coach we need sponsors as well as financial support from the Ministry of Sports.”

Proceedings commence at 11.30 am on each day, and with the number of boats taking part there is sure to be a lot of drama, colour and excitement. Thus if you a water sports enthusiast do not miss this opportunity to witness Sri Lanka’s best competitors go boat to boat.

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