Largest sailing team for Chennai Regatta from TS

Hyderabad: With 26 sailors, Telangana is a force to reckon with as it constitutes about 50% of the Indian fleet and a third of the International Fleet that will participate in the India International Regatta in Chennai from December 15 to 20. Some 12 countries are participating. It is also the Youth Nationals under the Federation so each sailor will get a chance to win two championships rolled into one regatta.

The young sailors braved the pre-cyclone Vardha waves and water and sailed in the open seas for the first time and came out smiling but shooed away by the Port authorities as the winds strength and swell reached alarming proportions.

National champion Rishab Nayar of Telangana, who migrated to the US, will lead the assault in the Lasers flown back from Chicago for the event. Despite being 14 years old, he touched 65 kg and is likely to move into the senior fleet to sail the bigger Radial Rig, relinquishing the hat trick. Rishab’s siblings Juhi and Tanishq Desai, both Telangana State Champions, will also hit Chennai waters.

The contingent comprises sailors from various government schools travelling out of the State for the first time. They are studying at the Govt. School, Shaikpet, and under the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institution Society (TSWERIES). It is headed by Praveen Kumar, IPS, who has a clear-cut focus on sports and working with the deeply disenfranchised kids of the State. A contingent of eight girls will also attend the regatta. Mostly from local government schools, they are helped by the Yacht Club of Hyderabad in collaboration with the Naandi Foundation.

“We are proud to send out the largest contingent ever to the nationals from Telangana and we hope to double the strength in the near future.  The idea is to scout for talent across the length and breadth of Telangana and make the State a sailing powerhouse,” said Lt. Gen KS Rao, an Arjuna Awardee and President of the Telangana Sailing Association that was recently recognised by the Olympic Association of Telangana. -NSS

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