Two boys Adhvait Menon, Padidala Vishwanath and two girls Priya Jhansi, Vaishnavi Veeravamasham are representing India at the 2021 Optimist World Sailing Championship being held at Riva Del Garda, Italy from 30 Jun to 10 Jul 21, and will be pitched against 266 competitors from 59 different countries.
Adhvait Menon, a 15-year-old sailor is a class 10 student from the Navy Children School (Mumbai) and is the son of a serving Naval Officer Cdr Prasant C Menon.
Young Adhvait is promising yachtsman training at the Indian Naval Watermanship Training Centre (INWTC) and sails the Enterprise and Laser class of boats. Advait, training alongside the members of the Navy Sailing Team at INWTC – Mumbai, was the youngest participant at the 2020 YAI National Sailing Championship. He was also an avid runner and stood first at the 2019 Navy Mumbai Half Marathon in the under 14 boys category and has received awards at various state and national events. He has been sailing since the age of 10.
“I started training in Adhvait four years ago. And from the very beginning, he has shown a very strong desire and commitment to stand out in the sport. His goal has always been to represent India in the Olympics and the highest of levels. And I’m really glad that his hard work and dedication is paying off in the form of this opportunity because the pandemic has been a really difficult time for everyone. But he’s finally got the chance to represent the country and get this experience at this early age. I personally am very proud of him. He made it to the internationals, and he’s actually been in the ‘Top Bracket’ of young sailors for the last two to three years. In these years of hard work and training relentlessly, we’ve gotten really close to medal based results. I’m over the moon that he has gone to represent the nation and I can’t wait to see him achieve further in the sport and his life,” said Mr Xerxes Bamboat, Adhvait’s personal coach, speaking to Frontier India.
Adhvait’s Mother, Mrs Akhila Menon added, “It is a proud moment for us, our extended family and friends. We are indeed thankful to Navy, Indian Naval Watermanship Training Centre (Mumbai) and Navy Children School, Mumbai for their support.”
The news comes after the selection of Padidala Vishwanath, another 15-year-old sailor hailing from Hyderabad. Vishwanath has been training at the Navy Boys Sports Company, INS Mandovi in Goa and has won a silver medal at the sub-junior international Regatta in 2017 and has been part of the national side in the Optimist class since then. Vishwanath, whose parents are daily wage labourers, dreams of winning medals for the country in the Asian Championship and Olympics ever since he was selected by the Navy and Boys Sports Company at the age of 12.