Monday, March 14, 2011

Rohini Rau: Only Indian Sailor At The Perth International Regatta 2010

Rohini Rau: Only Indian Sailor At The Perth International Regatta 2010

Seven world number ones have confirmed their participation at Perth International Regatta (PIR), the test event for the 2011 World Sailing Championships. The PIR has attracted 230 boats from over 40 countries and starts on Tuesday. The Regatta will run from 16 to 21 November 2010. Athlete entries include triple Gold and Silver Olympic Medallist Ben Ainslie from Great Britain, six current World Champions and four 2010 ISAF ‘World Sailor of the Year’ award finalists!


Only Indian Sailor at PIR 2010

I, Rohini Rau, am the sole participant from India competing in the Laser Radial Class. So far there are about 70 entries confirmed. The Perth International Regatta is the test event for The Perth 2011 World Championship which will serve as the first qualifier event for the 2012 Olympics. This event is where 75% of the country quota or 29 countries will qualify.

I am looking forward to this test event as I will know exactly where I stand and therefore will know how much more I will need to work towards making the cut to qualify next year. I have to finish among the top 29 countries at the Perth 2011 World Championship next year in order to qualify India for the 2012 Olympics in London.

Typical Perth Sailing conditions

The conditions have been very typical to Perth… with strong sea breeze “Fremantle Doctor” and warm sunny temperatures. I feel like Perth is almost my second home… and that I am sailing on home waters as this is my 3rd time here making it a total of 5 months of sailing here. I have been training hard off the waters of Fremantle, Perth, for the last four weeks as part of the Fifth Emerging Nations Programme Camp under top coaches, Arthur Brett and Belinda Stowell. With the intensive preparations on water and fitness training I have been going through, I think I am ready to give it my best shot. Wish me luck!

I would like to acknowledge the support from the Yachting Association of India (YAI) and the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT).

Rohini Rau selected for Perth Sailing Camp

Rohini Rau selected for Perth Sailing Camp

Rohini Rau selected for a 3 week sailing camp in Perth. She shares the details of the camp with iSport.

The Emerging Nations Programme (ENP) is an initiative of Perth 2011 intended to increase the participation of nations that were not represented in any sailing discipline at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Twelve international athletes, who are on the cusp of Olympic qualification, will be attending the second Emerging Nations Programme (ENP) Camp. The second camp will be held between 20th November to 11th December, 2009. Two athletes from Camp 1 – Anna Aile and Alex Denisiuc, of Latvia and Moldova respectively – have been recognised as emerging talent and will progress their sailing skills further in Camp 2, in Perth. Ten new athletes: two athletes from India, and one each from Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria, Bermuda, Paraguay, Colombia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Serbia will join them. They will train under Head ENP Coaches – 2000 Sydney Olympics Gold Medal winner (470s) Belinda Stowell and former 2008 Beijing Olympic Coach and former World Number 1 Arthur Brett.

Rohini Rau of The Royal Madras Yacht Club (Laser Radial Sailor) and Prakash from AYN - Mumbai, (Windsurfer) are the two Indian athletes who have been selected for this intensive training programme.

These athletes come from developing sailing nations and are on the cusp of qualifying at Olympic level in their chosen sailing event, although due to circumstances at home such as a lack of quality training facilities, limited access to quality coaching methods and difficult conditions, they have never quite reached their potential.

Rohini will then go on to participate in Melbourne at the Sail Melbourne Regatta (Grade 1) – which is the first event of the 2010 ISAF World Cup.

iSport had a chat with Rohini on her selection:
rohinichampWhat are your expectations? How are your preparations?
Well, Its a great opportunity for me to train with the best coaches and get the best equipment and learning environment. I am hoping to fine tune my sailing skills and work on my downwind technique as I find that is where I lose out the most during races!

If I perform well in this camp, I will be called in for the next one. This is a huge incentive to make sure I work hard.

What milestones have you set to get to 2012?
I aim to get into the top 100 ISAF World rankings by the end of next year and progress to the Asian Championship and Asian Games - in the open category! I will just have to keep training hard and hopefully I will get support from corporates and the federation to fund my campaign.

iSport wishes Rohini all the very best!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Royal Madras Yacht Club’s “Vestas 420 Sailing Nationals 2009”

The last 3 days at the Royal Madras Yacht Club, Chennai were extremely memorable, for various reasons. Even though my partner (Pallavi Shanbhag) was only 17 and a light weight, we managed to put up a good show against the army and navy men.

The first day was a mixture of highs and lows. The wind was a steady 15 - 18 knots, in the first race of the day we had a bad start and nearly capsized once or twice. We finished 11th. In Race 2, we actually did capsize after rounding the top mark 3rd! My toe strap broke, and I was sent flying into the water. But we still managed to finish 9th. We redeemed ourselves in the next race by sailing a flawless race from start to finish and succeeded in finishing 2nd overall!

The next day we had similar wind conditions but bigger waves. Excellent conditions for surfing! We started off really well in the 4th race rounding the top mark 4th, but a trivial mistake sent us into the water and finished 13th. The day didn’t get any better for us as we finished outside the top 5.

The third day of racing proved that even though our competitors were 40 kilos heavier, weight doesn’t matter. Farokh Tarapore, former 2002 World Champion, gave a few important tips to help us sail faster and smarter. It must have helped because we finished 2nd, 3rd and 3rd overall.

Day four was a thrilling last race. We finished 2nd overall!

Pallavi and I (RMYC) won the women’s title and finished 5th overall. This was great considering we hadn’t practiced much for the event. This is the second consecutive year of winning the Vestas 420 Women’s Sailing National Trophy.

Honourable Member of Parliament Ms Kanimozhi graciously gave away the awards to all the sailors at a Grand Regatta Nite at the Taj Coromandel, Chennai on the night of June 20. It was a wonderful ending to a well organized and fun Regatta. Kudos to the Royal Madras Yacht Club!

Well, I am off to Germany early hours of June 23 for some training and then to Denmark for the European Championships in the Laser Radial from July 9 to 17. My aim is to do well in the Gold Fleet.

A big thank you to everyone for their good wishes and for following my progress! I will strive to make you and India proud….