Sri Lanka Sailing Nationals.
The Royal College Sailing team concluded their Nationals campaign on a high note last sunday: taking home top possitions in the Optimists, Radial and 4.7 fleets. The 2017 Sailing nationals which commenced on the 23rd of September (Saturday) was a two-day regatta that consisted of an overall fleet of close to a hundred boats. The Optimist fleet consists of Junior sailors under the age of 15, the Laser 4.7 fleet consists of sailors under the age of 18 and the Laser Radial fleet consists of sailors above 15.
Each fleet underwent a strenuous six race regatta series. Four races were sailed on the first day and the final two races were held on the second day.
The Optimist fleet saw Sahanya Wevita competing for the top position on the first day and ultimately finishing 3rd overall at the end of six races. Kanila Gunesekara who will be representing College and Sri Lanka at the International Optimists Dinghy Association Championships at Hong Kong later this year emerged 5th in the fleet. Udan Manapperuma placed 17th overall (The highest position taken by a fresher).
The laser Radial fleet comprising of experienced and seasoned sailors from the Sri Lanka Navy and sailing bred club sailors was a challenge for the Royalists and Thomians taking part in the fleet. The first day saw Royal Sailor Kaif Sally in contention for the 3rd place, which was two positions and approximately 8 points away. Unfortunately, the last two races of the series decided on a final 6th place overall. It is worth mentioning however, the ranking was the highest taken by a Radial sailor still at school.
The laser 4.7 fleet although not as large as other fleets was as equally competitive. Royal College sported two sailors whilst S. Thomas College sported 4 sailors. The first day of racing saw Royal Skipper Mayukha Siriwardana, Roy – Tho best Laser sailor Nisal Walpola and former Thomian Skipper Kethaka Weerasuriya on equal points tying for first place. By the 6th race the ties were broken and by each a margin of 1-2 points Kethaka Weerauriya succeeded in emerging 1st with Nisal Walpola and Mayuka Siriwardane taking 2nd and 3rd respectively.