KRS backwaters dotted with colourful boats
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KRS backwaters dotted with colourful boats

August 28, 2021

National-Level Multi-Class Youth Sailing Championship flagged off

Mysore/Mysuru: As the early-morning sun soaked Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam, the stillness of the water is now dotted with rhythmic paddling of oars where young rowers are testing their skills at the National-Level Multi-Class Youth Sailing Championship, a ranking event for boys and girls. Twelve clubs from across India and around 150 sailors are participating. 

 The event is jointly organised by Madras Engineers Group (MEG) of the Indian Army and General Thimayya National Academy of Adventure (GETHNAA) under the aegis of Yachting Association of Karnataka and Yachting Association of India. This is the first sailing championship of national magnitude organised by Indian Army at KRS backwaters and the event will continue till Aug 30. 

 The Dam, located in Mandya District, is all set to figure prominently in the Indian sailing map as the first sailing event (National Regatta Championship) was organised here by Royal Mysore Sailing Club in association with Karnataka State Sailing Association from Aug. 19 to 23 and now this National Championship by MEG and GETHNAA. 

The MEG till now used to conduct such sailing events at Ulsoor Lake in Bengaluru and it is for the first time they have chosen KRS backwaters. Water sport is an integral part of MEG, also known as Madras Sappers that has its own Madras Sappers Sailing Club (now renamed as ‘Trishna Yacht Club’). 

Minister K.C. Narayanagowda inaugurated the National-Level Multi-Class Youth Sailing Championship at KRS last evening in the presence of Brigadier T.P.S. Wadhwa, Major General M.S. Pillai, SM (Retired), Additional Chief Secretary of Sports Department Shalini Rajneesh, MLA C.S. Puttaraju, Mandya DC C. Aswathi, ZP CEO Diya Prabhu, AC Dr. Shivananda Murthy, Pandavapura Tahsildar Pramod Patel and others.

Minister for Youth Empowerment and Sports K.C. Narayanagowda, who is also the Minister in-charge of Mandya District, was the chief guest at the inauguration. Brigadier T.P.S. Wadhwa, Commandant, MEG, Major General M.S. Pillai, SM (Retired), Vice-President of the Yachting Association of India and others were present. 

In his address, Minister Narayanagowda said youths from the State who were trained in sailing were also taking part in the event and expressed hope that such events are organised regularly in the backwaters. “I am happy that the event with such a magnitude is being held in Mandya. In May next year, Khelo India event will be organised in Mandya where over 7,000 sportspersons from all over India will participate,” he said. 

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Brigadier T.P.S. Wadhwa said, “We have a proud tradition in sports. We have nurtured 14 Olympians so far. I am hopeful this event will become a regular schedule in the YAI calendar.”

Additional Chief Secretary, Sports Department, Shalini Rajneesh wished that the event would not be limited to this particular championship. Instead, it must pave way to identify more and more young talents so that they can win laurels for the country in international events. 

The event was not open for general public keeping in mind COVID safety measures and safety of sailors. 

Organisers praise beauty, potential of backwaters

Impressed by the beauty of KRS Dam and the available facilities, Maj. Gen. M.S. Pillai, who is the Vice-President of Yachting Association of India, told reporters yesterday that the backwaters were an ideal place for sailing. “We can have international events here. I am surprised that the potential of the venue has not been tapped until now. The best of the sportspersons will be picked up from here for the Asian Games 2022 which will be held in Hangzhou in China,” he said. 

“In the next few years, this venue can be one of the places in India that can host national and international sailing championships,” he said. Sailing is not a rich man’s sport and this notion is wrong. “Anyone who is interested can take up sailing. Once KRS becomes a popular sailing destination, many local youths can take up this sport and it will help us train good sailors who can go on to win international medals,” he said. 

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 The sailing competitions are being held in different classes including 29er Class; Laser Radial Class; Laser 4.7 Class; RS: One class; Optimist main fleet; and Optimist green fleet. 

Over 75 sail boats are participating in the event. Youngsters from Hyderabad and Chennai have landed at the KRS backwaters and are showing their sailing skills. One of the youngest participants is 11-year-old P. Manideep who won the silver medal at YAI National Sailing championship 2021, a week-long event held at Hyderabad on Aug. 13.

 The Trishna Yacht Club (earlier Madras Sappers Sailing Club) was established in Ulsoor Lake in 1977. It was called ‘Trishna Yacht Club’ in late eighties after the “Trishna” yacht circumnavigated the globe under the command of Lt. Gen. K.S. Rao PVSM, SC, SM (Retd), an Arjuna Awardee.

The club has brought many laurels to the nation in the sport including the participation of Sub Vishnu Saravanan of Madras Sappers in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics 2020.  

The organisers are planning to make it an annual feature in the national sailing sports calendar under the Yachting  Association of India.

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