Yachting: National Championship-Julie on the crest of a wave


Laser Standard champion Julie  SOPHOLA … third straight Optimist win

Aubrey Sophola seems to be following in Julie’s footsteps after registering a hat-trick of wins in the Optimist class.
Having already won the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) and 10th All-Africa Games Laser standard gold medals in August and earlier this month, Julie showed his great potential and form with four wins in five races.

The four-time Olympian and five-time former Sportsman of the Year finished with six points – the lowest total in the seven-sailor standings.

The last time he had won the National Laser championship title was in 2008 after missing the previous five as he was in Europe on training camps.

Govinden twin brothers – Roy and Rodney – took turns at winning the title in 2009 and 2010.

On Saturday, Rodney – IOIG Laser Standard silver medallist and All-Africa Games bronze medallist – finished second with 11 points and he was the only sailor able to steal a win from Julie in the fourth race.

National Laser champion in 2009, Roy moved from the Laser Radial class, which he dominated at the IOIG to win the gold medal, to compete in the Standard division on Saturday and he had to settle for third place with 13 points.

Hansel Esther (Radial, 24 points), Dean Tirant (Standard, 25 points), Kenneth Dine (Standard, 26 points) and Ryan De Sylva (Radial, 35 points) occupied fourth to seventh positions on the table.

Sailing in boat number four like last year, Aubrey Sophola had a terrible start to the defence of his Optimist title as he could only finish sixth in the first race and watch female opponent Allison Hoareau take a comfortable win.

As he improved his sailing techniques to win the second, fourth, fifth and sixth races, Sophola celebrated winning the Optimist title for a third straight year with six points.

Hoareau, whose second victory was in the third race, finished with eight points to claim the runner-up spot – a big improvement from a fourth-place finish last year.

Jean-Luc Lebon also made a push up the standings from ninth place last year to the bronze position this time with 18 points.

Eighth other sailors took part in the Optimist championship and they are Mohamed Malbrook (fourth with 19 points), Guilly Esther (fifth with 20 points), Charles Ally (sixth with 31 points), Noah Jean-Louis (seventh with 35 points), Daniella De Sylva (eighth with 37 points), Martin Servina (ninth with 37 points), Isaac Jean-Louis (10th with 44 points) and Ryan Alcindor (11th with 49 points).

G. G.

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