Sailing the blue seas | Daily News


Sailing the blue seas

A record number of 55 sailboats participated in the tenth RCYC Trinco Blu Annual Sailing Regatta held in Trincomalee on 29 June. It was the largest participation ever in what came to be the island’s flagship sailing event, organized by Royal Colombo Yacht Club (RCYC).

The blue seas off Trincomalee offered perfect conditions on the day, with clear skies and the mid-year “kachchan” winds for which Trincomalee is famous reduced to an on-shore breeze of 5-6 knots gusting occasionally to 10-12 knots. The event also saw the largest participation of youth sailors, in the Optimist and Laser classes, indicative of the sport’s growing engagement with young girls and boys.

Four races were sailed, with participants allowed to discard their worst performance and the other three averaged for the final tally. The day saw Dhanika Nanayakkara of St Thomas College emerged as the winner in the Optimist class, with Tarini De Silva of Ladies College coming in as runner up and Sahanya Wevita of Royal College taking the third place.

In the Laser class of boat, P.D.D.S Rajapaksha Sri Lanka Navy came in first place, with Akshan Jirasinha taking second place and J.S. Seneviratne of Sri Lanka Navy coming in third, while in the Enterprise class the podium comprised of N.G. M. U. Gnawardhana and A.S.K. Soyza of Sri Lanka Navy in first place, W.M.C. Marambe and G.P.P. Karunaratne of Sri Lanka Navy in second place. Finally, in the Bolgoda One Design (GP-14) class Devin Goonewardena and Anil Gunawardane took the lead, coming first. All the races were conducted by Lalin Jirasinha.

RCYC Commodore, Gigit Wimaladharma expressed her delight with the event and the confidence shown by the participants in the venue. We sailed this race in Trinco first in 2009, soon after the Civil war ended, she said, “partly to remind ourselves that this fantastic Sailing venue existed and also to send a message to the world that Sri Lanka was safe for such activities once again, and this year it is the same”. The unprecedented turn out of sailors and observers shows that Sri Lanka is safe and that Trincomalee is safe destination to travel. She further expressed her gratitude to the Sri Lanka Navy for stepping forward to provide rescue and Medical facilities during the Regatta. “The turnout and level of Sailing we saw was simply fantastic, shows that sailing is growing more rapidly in Sri Lanka than even we had hoped”.

The Yachting Association of Sri Lanka has hosted two International Regattas at Trinco Blu by Cinnamon in 2012 and 2016, and they hope to do so in the coming years.

Trinco Blu General Manager Priyantha Jayasuriya was appreciative of the presence of all participants during this period. The Overall Challenge Trophy was awarded to P.D.D.S Rajapaksha and was presented by Trinco Blu General Manager Priyantha Jayasuriya on behalf of the sponsors, Cinnamon Hotels.

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