Hyderabad: Fifteen-year-old Durga Prasad is all set for the coveted World Sailing Championships in the under 16 Optimist Class to be held at Pattaya where 280 sailors from 62 countries will vie for honours. He is leaving for Pattaya on Friday.
The Telangana boy, who comes from a very poor family background, has been practicing for the last two months under the tutelage of his coach Suheim Sheikh and more recently being assisted by a professional Swiss Coach who has been in the city to coach the Telangana sailors.
A product of the Yacht Club of Hyderabad, he will be the first sailor from Hyderabad to attend a World Championship after a gap of more than 24 years.
“It is a fantastic feeling to represent the country at the World Championships. My coach and the tri-colour at Hussain Sagar are my inspiration, “ said an excited Durga Prasad.
Coach Sheikh said that Durga went through a tough regimen of strength and endurance training for many hours on the water. “He is surely a stronger and more agile sailor since his last international.’’
Durga Prasad will return on July 22, just in time for the Telangana State Regatta followed by the coveted Monsoon Regatta Trophy end July.
Thomas Whitcraft, president of the Optimist World Championship 2017, said there are record entries for the Optimist Class meet.
“This is a record-breaker in terms of the number of sailors competing here (Pattaya) and the number of countries represented. This year is notable also for the number of Asian countries taking place after several years of absence. They include China, Macau, Taiwan (officially called Chinese Taipei), Myanmar, Indonesia, India and the UAE. Several teams will also travel from the South American continent, including Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Chile,” he said.
The championship will be held at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, located just outside the city of Pattaya in the residential area of Pratamnak Hill. The Optimist Dinghy has proven to be the ideal boat for introducing young children to the sport of sailing. The objective of the class is to provide an affordable racing boat for young people.