Like a fish, Gill has taken to the water

"It is a completely different discipline. To be in the middle of a pack with these guys who do it for a living, are pros and know every inch of the boat, is tough,” says Gill.

Testing the waters: Gaurav Gill (right) and C. S. Santosh... trying their hands in Nexa P1 Powerboat racing.

Gaurav Gill earned the respect of powerboat competitors in Nexa P1, finishing with the seventh fastest time in time trials. The Indian rallyist is adjusting to control, balance and awareness of racing lines in a different setting. He and American navigator George Ivey will be gliding over the waves off Marine Drive over 15 laps on Saturday and 20 laps on Sunday.

Talking about his P1 race debut, Gill said: “I am happy to be driving a boat in Mumbai, in my home country. I can understand the balance of the boat better and better now. I am thankful to have a guy who understands my (rallying) background. He gets a bit anxious when the sea is choppy. I calm him down, tell them that I used to driving on two wheels and can put it back.”

Piloting the second boat for Ultra Sharks, Gill brought out the difficulty in racing against professionals. “It has been very difficult to adapt (to powerboat racing). It is a completely different discipline. To be in the middle of a pack with these guys who do it for a living, are pros and know every inch of the boat, is tough.”

The duo completed two laps of the 52kms course, clocking 02.30.60 on a winding track set up in the sea with buoys. “On the first lap, I turned into a big wave and knew I lost the line. I realised that I had to change the entry coming into the corner; knew the swirl will return. The times will get faster and faster (on race day)."

Fellow Indian C. S. Santosh/Martin Robinson (Baleno RS) were ninth after being timed at 02.31.54.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :