Peter Lin Janezic's excellent performance saw him clinch the Optimist class title in the India International Regatta held in Chennai last week.

Up early in the morning, 14-year-old Peter Lin Janezic of Slovenia travels to Portoroz, a port city located about 100km from his birthplace Ljubljana, with his father accompanying him. It's a routine that he likes. “I simply love it,” he says.

Early start

Peter has been sailing diligently for nine years and has in a short time made remarkable strides to become one of the top sailors of his country. His supremacy in the India International Regatta held at the Chennai Port last week was evident as he clinched the overall title in the Optimist class. His understanding of the winds and boat skills showed that his basics were in place.

Such was Peter's dominance that only once in the 11 races did he finish outside the top three— in the 10th race he came fourth. “I am very happy as this is my first win in Chennai, a city where I have made quite a few friends. I had a bad race last year where I finished eleventh. I finished second overall. I very nearly cried. This time, I was determined,” says the Slovenian. A small country with a population of two and a half million, Slovenia has quite a few achievements in sailing with two sailors winning medals in International meets. “We might have few sailors but we have given good results,” says Peter. In fact, in the Regatta held in the city, of the three Slovenians, two finished in the top in the Optimist class.

Peter's father Andrej Janezic, who has taken part in Match racing in the National championships in Slovenia, feels that in Slovenia football, basketball, ice hockey and skiing might be more popular, but it is in sailing that the country has produced International player. “We've had Vasilij Zbogar, the 2004 Olympic bronze medallist and the 2008 Olympic silver medallist, both in the laser class, and Gasper Vincec, who finished third in the ISAF World championship in 2007, and many good sailors,” says Andrej.

Peter is not just a one-sport boy. He plays football with his friends at home and does a bit of cycling. And after school, plays volleyball. His sister Lae Janezic, 17 years, is also a laser radial class sailor. Peter's grouse is that he has never been in the top 10 of the Optimist class. He still has a year to compete in the class, and his desire is to enter the top 10. “To reach the top 10 in the world is my goal. I want to do well in the World championships to be held in Napier from December 30 this year,” he says.

Fact file

Peter started sailing when he was nine.

His sister is also a sailor, taking part in the laser radial section

He loves Chennai as he has made quite a few friends during the two visits

Plays volleyball, football and does a bit of cycling