Srirangapatna: The Yachting Association of India Multi Class Youth Sailing and Kiteboard Championship at the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam entered the fourth day yesterday where over 120 youths are vying for various titles under many categories. The event will conclude on Aug. 13 (tomorrow) and is being jointly conducted by the Mandya District Administration in association with the Madras Engineering Group (MEG) of the Indian Army and General Thimayya National Academy of Adventure (GETHNAA).
Yesterday, the main attraction of the event was Kannada actor Shivarajkumar, lovingly called ‘Hat-trick Hero’ who was the special guest for the occasion. This year, the organisers have added the most thrilling and adventurous Kiteboarding to be a part of this coveted Championship in memory of the late actor Puneeth Rajkumar. Shivarajkumar distributed prizes for the kiteboard winners.
Not only did he address the gathering and his fans who had gathered in large numbers, Shivarajkumar went on a motorboat ride, arranged by the organisers. He told the gathering that it is important to promote rare sports like sailing. “These days, there is so much focus on cricket and football. Even sailing must be encouraged and Mysuru and Mandya are fortunate to have the KRS Dam where the event can be held on a full scale without any glitches,” he said.
He noted that it is very rare that politicians encourage a sports like sailing. “But Pandavapura MLA C.S. Puttaraju is an exception here and he has encouraged these sports and I am told that the MEG and GETHNAA are organising the event for the second consecutive year. I will surely come to attend the International Sailing Championship to be held at KRS Dam next year,” the actor said.
As part of the event, popular clips of Puneeth Rajkumar’s movies were aired to the audience. Body-builders from MEG&Centre showed their toned-up and muscular bodies. Keelara Cultural Forum presented Devara Kunitha, Puja Kunitha and Veeragaase and other cultural programmes.
‘KRS Dam a superb location for sailing, kite surfing’
One of the participants of the event, Katya Saini from Vontikoppal in Mysuru, who trained at Outback Aqua and has participated in many high-level National Sailing Championships told Star of Mysore that performing in her hometown is a happy moment.
“It is a dream come true for me to perform in KRS Dam. It is very different from the oceans and the wind is extremely nice, gusty and strong also and the weather is good for the competition. I am looking forward to many years in participating in competitions here,” she added. Katya took part in the kiteboard category and started sailing since the last two years. She is a scuba diving instructor and co-founder at Ocean Nomads. She has an M.Sc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. She stood second in the overall category in kiteboarding.
Philip, an India-born sailor and a resident of Goa, who is teaching kite surfing since the last 17 years, told SOM that he was the first person to bring kite surfing to India in 2006. “No one in India knew about kite surfing back then and I set up the first school and it is a dream come true for me. I wanted to bring the sport to the country where I was born and it has become a reality now,” he said.
“The sailing experience in KRS is fantastic and this is the wind we need for kite surfing. It is a superb location. Age is not a bar as I have taught a 12-year-old and a 72-year-old. Age is just a number, if you have the passion, go for it,” he said.