D.P. Selvam lighted up when reminded that the Government of Tamil Nadu would be the chief sponsor of the laser coastal National sailing championship beginning here on Friday.

The defending champion in the Laser Standard class — an Olympic category — said, “this is wonderful, the Government backing us in such a manner. It would motivate us hugely.”

The Army Yachting Node (AYN) sailor aspires to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

To be divided in three categories — Laser Standard, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 — the championship will feature leading sailors in the country. The difference in the area of sail separates the classes.

The field includes the holder in the Laser Radial section, Rajesh Chowdhary, who would, however, be competing in the Laser Standard class this time with his prominent AYM teammates, Gajender Singh and V. Harihara.

The biggest threat to AYN’s dominance could come from Amit Aravind of the Indian Navy Waterman Training Centre, Mumbai.

At a press conference to announce the competition here on Thursday, Ashok Thakkar, Commodore, Tamil Nadu Sailing Association (TNSA), said the Government was approached through the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu.

The competition will feature several promising sailors. The 12-year-old Swetha Sadanand will be the youngest in the Laser 4.7 category. A sponsor’s race will precede the four-day main event, comprising 12 races, starting on Saturday. May 30 will be the reserve day. Source: TheHindu