More and more children are taking to sailing as evident at the Monsoon Regatta

Young sailors from Hyderabad stole the limelight during the Deloitte Monsoon Regatta held at the Hussain Sagar lake recently.

One of the young boys who excelled was Leela Sagar who emerged victorious in the Optimist class competitions. Second placed Rishab Nayar too is from Hyderabad. Rishab also won the top sailor award for overall highest points without a discard.

In the IndOpti class competitions Y. Prasad who came first and Bharat Kumar who came second are both from Hyderabad and are students of the Government school in Rasoolpura.

Another young girl from Hyderabad – Ananya Chauhan – who has done remarkably well in recent times took the Best Girl Sailor award.

Leela Sagar was introduced to the Yacht Club by Hyderabad based Naandi Foundation and began sailing only two years ago.

This school student outclassed his more experienced rivals in most of the races — sometimes with leads of more than 30 boat lengths — and gave a fine display of his sailing skills. Leela Sagar is a trainee of the Yacht Club of Hyderabad (YCH) and was fourth at the last nationals in Pune.

Unlike most other sailors Leela Sagar’s tactic was to get off to a moderate start in most of his races. “I am confident of my speed and I have practiced a lot at this venue. So I did not aim at getting off to a quick start at the very beginning of the race,” said the young lad later. His methods certainly worked in his favour.

According to International Judge Ajay Balram sailing as a sport is attracting more children nowadays and they are acquiring skills at a much younger age than was the case earlier.

“Sailing is no more a sport confined to the affluent few. Though we have a huge coastline, so far India has not been able to shine in sailing. But now that is changing since youngsters are getting into the sport. I myself took up sailing at the age of 22. Now boys and girls are getting into water at just 7 years. In many western countries children as young as four onwards begin sailing. India has a good future,” he says.