Ajay Rau in action

Ajay Rau in action

RMYC's Ajay Rau in The Hindu today, March 27, 2010....

Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Mar 27, 2010

Sport - Sailing

Ajay does well

CHENNAI: India's Ajay Rau, currently taking part in the laser radial open class category at the Asian Sailing Championships in Shanwei, China, did the country proud by finishing first and fourth in the two races held on Friday. Six more races remain this series. The regatta finishes on March 29.

It had been a slow start in the championship with 2 to 3 knot winds and very heavy fog. After the first day, races were cancelled for two days.

The winds picked up and this favoured India's youngest sailor Ajay, who is steadfastly working to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. The Indian is supported by SAI, SDAT, AMM Foundation and Mittals Champions Trust.

Team India all set for 'Sail the Gulf 2010'

18th Qatar International Regatta (Sail the Gulf) 2010 will be held from 16 – 20 February 2010. More than 200 Sailors & Officials from 28 countries i.e. Algeria, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tunis, UAE, UK and host Qatar have confirmed their entries for the event of the middle east. Team India is all set to leave to Doha tomorrow afternoon.

India has confirmed a team of 20 Sailors and Officials. Royal Madras Yacht Club sailors Ajay Rau, Zephra Currimbhoy and Vir Menon have confirmed their participation in the event. Rohini Rau is away at Perth attending Camp Three of the Emerging Nations Programme and is therefore unable to participate.

In the Radial/Optimist Classes Rajesh Choudhary/ Upamanyu Dutta from Mumbai will be leading the charge for Team India.

Chennai’s Ajay Rau is Rajesh Choudhary’s closest challenge for the lone Asian Games spot. Rajesh has a wealth of experience in the Class having won a Silver and Bronze medal at the last two editions of the Asian Games. Ajay is yet to compete in an Asian Games. Sail the Gulf is one of the many preparatory events for Team India leading to the 2010 Asian Games.

RMYC's Ajay (Laser Radial) & Zephra (Optimist) for

Asian Sailing Championships!

In the Deccan Chronicle on January 26, 2010

From wearing ethnic outfits to taking part in Republic Day celebrations, city youth are all set to show their patriotism `IT'S COOL TO BE PATRIOTIC AND EXPRESS IT'

Af sense of national pride and Republic Day patriotism is in ull flow among city youth. The young crowd is bubbling with excitement about activities like stepping out in fancy finery of the Indian ethnic kind, attend- ing Republic Day parades in their neighbourhood or even installing patriotic songs as their ring tones.
Yes, they're flaunting their patriotism in every possible way on the occasion of Republic Day. As the city buzzes with various RD activities, youngsters are forming groups and attending events like flag-hoisting and even watching the live telecast of the RDay parade from New Delhi.

Confirming this, a final year college student, Lakshmi R says, "I think it's cool to be patriotic and express it. My friends and I will be attending the flag hoisting in our neighbourhood. We will be wearing salwaar kameezes or sarees and a national flag pin the whole day. And the sweets we get at these places are an added bonus!" According to R.
Muthukrishan, a parent who resides in Anna Nagar, the number of events being held in the city on Republic Day, triggers a spirit of celebration among the young generation. "In our area we have youngsters who come with their friends from with their friends from other colonies for the flag-hoisting," he says.

Even when it comes to schools and colleges, teachers say there is no compulsion to attend, despite which the students turn up of their own accord. Jintha Titus, English teacher at Sacred Heart Matric HSS says, "I simply tell my students to try attending the Republic Day celebrations, but we do not compel them. Many of them volunteer to come up with innovative, bright ideas for the RD student assembly.
The students take pride in actually finding out more about it and even discussing it among themselves."

For Rohini Rau, a sailing champion, representing India at an international level is the biggest achievement for her. "I am a very patriotic person. In school I used to look forward to Republic Day every year. But I think the youngsters today are unable to express it the way one would do in countries abroad, because of the rules. I think the rules guarding the national flag should be eased a little so youngsters feel more free to express themselves!" she sums up.

Rohini and Ajay in the Hindu Retail Plus on Sunday january 24, 2010

"Cuisine talks about a country and its culture"

The sport takes them around the world, and with it, an exploration of the different cuisines. This brother-sister duo tell us their foodie take.

True enjoyment comes from the activity of the mind and exercise of the body - the two are ever united. My young guests for this week are a brother-sister duo who truly enjoy every moment of what they are doing. It all began one summer, when to keep them out of mischief, they were sent to a summer sailing camp. Little did they know then that one day they would make their country proud in a sport which needs a lot of strength and endurance.

"We both started sailing competitively at the national championships in Bombay when I was eleven and my brother was nine," says the affectionate sister. The brother, with a glint in his eye quips that he took to sailing because like everything else, he was asked to do whatever his sister did, which by the way also includes singing, dancing, acting, painting, etc. Over the years it was the exciting prospect of staying away from school which made him take the sport seriously. Tough schedules and practice sessions have not come in the way of their academic graph. She is pursuing medicine and wants to specialise in sports medicine while he has taken up media/communication in Sydney and would like to be a journalist some day. She has the national championship under her belt and has also been one of the first women in India to win a bronze overseas. He has the distinction of being the first Indian to be a part of one of the most toughest and prestigious ocean races - the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Today they are concentrating on training for the selections to the Asian Games. They are the charming, friendly Rohini Rau and Ajay Rau.

Their take on food

"I live to eat. To me food is the most important ingredient in life," says Ajay who believes in working out and not on diets. His family tells us that he is not only particular about the way a meal is cooked but also in its presentation. This young lad always makes sure that the simple food he puts together looks yummy. He tells us that sailing takes him to different corners of the globe and it is the cuisine which talks about the country and its culture. He even has a friend in every country who helps him with his menu choice. Rohini on the other hand is less fastidious - enjoys simple food but is open to anything different and unique.

Experiences worldwide

For Rohini, her latest discovery is the Korean Barbeque. She enjoys the whole concept of sitting down at low tables with a grill in front of you, with different meat on skewers marinated in authentic Asian spices. This is eaten by wrapping it in fresh lettuce along with some crisp vegetables. Ajay loves Sydney for the food. "It is a place for global cuisine which is dominated by Asian and European."

Any favourites?

It maybe Laser Radials for Ajay when it comes to sailing but in food, definitely no favourites. "Italian is the safest in terms of spices, etc. but Japanese is healthy though the hurried feel is there in the cuisine as well." Rohini too enjoys Japanese and Thai for their distinct flavours along with the fresh taste of the meat.

Sailing diet...

...is always high on protein and a lot of Carbo loading is done before a race, informs Rohini . "Being an endurance sport in countries like India we need to drink a lot of water and keep ourselves hydrated, but the banana is the biggest boon," she adds.

Favourite haunts in Chennai...

... are Mainland China where they enjoy the seafood and the Darsaan. Their affinity with the water has them falling in love with Taj Fishermans Cove and when there, it is always seafood. For a big meal it could be Kebab Factory, Steaks at Tangerine and they both love the sushi at Hip Asia at Taj Connemara. Being big fans of the Drive-in, they just can't believe that it has vanished virtually overnight.



Allan Julie of Seychelles - 4 times Olympian Laser sailor.

Sport - Sailing

Allan confident of Ajay, Rohini

Principal Correspondent
— Photo: K. Pichumani

Allan Julie.

CHENNAI: Sailor Allan Julie firmly believes in the adage ‘talk less, work more’.

The 32-year-old from Seychelles, who has taken part in four successive Olympics and 13 World championships, prefers to let his work do the talking.

Allan has taken Ajay Rau and Rohini Rau under his wings as the two are training hard for the selection trials of the Asian sailing championship (in Shanwei, China, from March 20 to 29) scheduled to be held from January 20 to 24 at the Chennai Harbour.

“Only two sailors can qualify from India. All the top teams from Army Yachting Node, Bhopal Sailing School and others are taking part in the trials held in two categories — laser radial and optimist class. It’ll be very tough but we are confident,” says Ajay and Rohini, the brother-sister duo.

A trail-blazer in his country, Allan is the only sportsperson from Seychelles to have achieved so much in any discipline. He received the best sportsman award from the Seychelles Government consecutively from 2000-2004.

Having trained and sailed with the best in the business, Allan is the best bet for the two, feels Ajay. “He is a thorough professional,” says Ajay.

Smiles Rohini: “I have never raced against my brother. So, it will be interesting to see how I fare (in laser radial).”

A freelance coach, as he likes to describe himself, Allan is one of the coaches at the famous Sail Coach, a facility in France where professional sailors from different parts of the world hone their skills.

Allan, who retired from active sailing after the Beijing Olympics, is not averse to coaching Indian sailors.

“If I get a good deal then I will consider,” says Allan, who at one point was ranked in the top 20 in the world

Merit finishes 19th in Line Honours

Australian Sailing News

First Indian Sailor to race Rolex Sydney Hobart onboard Merit finished 19th line honours.

Ajay Rau/Merit

Posted: 2 Jan. 2010

Hobart. Jan 2nd : Merit secures 19th line honours out of 100 boats at the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart. In Division 1 , merit placed 5th .

Leo Rodriguez and crew held it together and were very close in creating a major upset in the overall line honours, when Merit was in 10 th place for a brief period of time during the race. 19th overall is an impressive result for the team.

Last year the team won her Division after being granted redress for rescuing sinking Georgia. This year the teams were committed in finishing the race without interruption, but it was clear that if the team were to stumble across another distress signal during the race, merit wouldn’t think twice in leaving the race and going for a rescue again.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart is considered the most grueling long ocean race in the world.

The first Indian sailor to crew a Sydney Hobart was part of the 18 member strong crew sailing on merit.

”Team work was the key and all of us made sure we did our jobs to the best of our abilities to make sure that we pushed the boat to the limit, I am fortunate that Leo Rodriguez gave me an opportunity to crew for merit. I am honored to have raced along side and against some of the best sailors in the world. It has been the best racing experience. I would definitely like to continue taking part in this special event”.

The Indian Laser sailor added that “ India has not recognized this milestone as it knows little about the Rolex Sydney Hobart and there isn’t much of a sailing culture in India, The Australian and global media have recognized this landmark and in the future will continue to recognize small milestones like these in the hope that India will eventually adopt the sport like its own. There is lot’s of promise for Sailing in India if the Indian sports industry adopts a marketing strategy similar to Indian cricket. One hopes that sailing will figure in India’s current sports boom. In a couple of years we might see an Indian entry at the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

Watch You tube clips on the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2009 on board the Merit

The morning after the Sydney Hobart Race at Hobart.....

YouTube - Interview with Ajay Rau, the first Native of India Participating
in a Rolex Sydney Hobart...before the race began at Sydney.

And more on Merit before the race...

The YACHTe's Portal
Over 300 Clubs, Over 80 Classes

“Ajay Rau” first Indian to race The Rolex Sydney Hobart

Ajay Rau

Posted: 26 Dec. 2009

Today will be a historic day for Indian Yachting as Ajay Rau becomes the first Indian to crew in one of Yachting world’s most prestigious Ocean Races. The Rolex Sydney Hobart.

Rau has been in Australia competing at the Olympic Classes Sail Down Under series, including the Sail Sydney Regatta early this month, as he campaigns for a place to the London 2012 Games.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart 628 mile course is often described as the most grueling long ocean race in the world. There is always a high element of risk involved when sailing this race. The lineup has always been impressive with world class sailors taking part from the Volvo Ocean Race to the America's Cup crews. It is encouraging to see an Indian among the legends of the sport. A fleet of 100 yachts will compete in this year's race, which starts at 13:00 AEDT, 26 December 26, 2009.

Team Merit
Ajay Rau is crewing for team “Merit”, a Volvo 60 ( 2001 Volvo Ocean Race Yacht). The Team is skippered by Leo Rodriguez (Aus). The 18 member Squad is dominated by sailors from Australia. However there are a few sailors from Great Britain and one sailor each from New Zealand, India, Holland, Finland and the USA. . The team has retained most of its victorious crew from last year’s race where it won the PHS division.
Earlier this month Ajay trained on the Merit; sailing 386 nautical miles (50 hours) from Southport to Sydney. The team has been making constant changes to the boat and training hard in Sydney in preparation for the big race. For the Start Ajay has been assigned the job as the head sail (Jib) trimmer and grinder.
“ I would like to thank my family, well wishers and sponsors, without whom none of this would have been possible. I am also very fortunate that Leo Rodriguez has given me this opportunity to be part of the team, despite my inexperience in this kind of racing.”- says an elated Rau.
YouTube - Interview with Ajay Rau, the first Native of India Participating in a Rolex Sydney Hobart

Follow Ajay Rau’s team live by logging onto www.svsvideo.tv and view live coverage of the race. This is one of the rare opportunities where viewers will be able to communicate with the team during the race, making the experience very personal. Additionally fans will be able to keep track of all the boats by accessing the Yacht tracker program and receiving mobile updates. (For more information visit http://rolexsydneyhobart.com/ )

The Vestas 420 Sailing Nationals, 2009! Wind Power moves from electrifying to exhilarating!

The Regatta was great fun and extremely exciting. Everyone involved had a wonderful time. And the Regatta nite was a tremendous success.

The Taj Coromandel dressed it up elegantly and our Chief Guest Ms Kanimozhi, Hon'ble Member of Parliament, graciously gave away the awards.

The speeches from the dais were short, crisp and interesting. The presentations were elegant and the formal ceremonies quickly dissolved into the dinner, dance and music. The who is who of the city took time out to attend the event and all in all the evening was a huge success.

Our sponsors have confirmed support for the next two years!

This was a perfect start to the Royal Madras Yacht Club's year long centenary celebrations. We are very thankful to all our sponsors, supporters and well wishers. Here's to the next one hundred years of fun sailing! Fair winds!

Here's to an even bigger and better Vestas 420 Sailing Nationals next year - our centenary year!

The Celebrity Race on June 14, was great fun....our film stars, fashion designers, models, sports celebrities were very very excited about getting into a sail boat! For most of them for the very first time!

The lovely Lekha Washington who is currently shooting in Bolly wood flew in from Mumbai for a day to be part of this fun event was the lucky celebrity winner with the current 420 Champion Sandeep Jain and his crew for this race, Ben. Vikas Kapila had a handicap of two celebrities! The up and coming film star Radhika Malhotra whose first Tamil film was released on the 12th of June flew in from Hyderabad and Tareen the Trade Commissioner for South Australia. They did well to finish second. Rohini Rau and Pallavi Shanbag the current Women's 420 National Champions with Designer Mandira Bansal finished third!

There were around 200 people at the Club and everyone had a great time! And as usual Ramesh out did himself in cooking up a fabulous lunch.

Rohini on Australian Radio during the second ENP Camp at Perth

Sport FM - radio interview with Belinda Stowell & Rohini Rau

Indian Laser Radial Sailor Heads Down Under to Train with ENP

Perth 2011 ENP athletes (L-R) Qasim Abbas, of Pakistan, Dany Stanisic, of Serbia & Rohini Rau, of India, at the WACA Ground.

Perth 2011 ENP athletes (L-R) Qasim Abbas, of Pakistan, Dany Stanisic, of Serbia & Rohini Rau, of India, at the WACA Ground.

  • Perth 2011 ENP athletes (L-R) Qasim Abbas, of Pakistan, Dany Stanisic, of Serbia & Rohini Rau, of India, at the WACA Ground.
  • RS:X sailor Prakash Alexander, of India.

Laser Radial sailor Rohini Rau, of India, spoke to iSport back home before leaving for Perth to participate in the Second Emerging Nations Programme Intensive Training Session.

iSPort speaks about the ENP:

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.

Eleven 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. Nine 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 (pictured right) of The Royal Madras Yacht Club (Laser Radial Sailor), and Prakash Alexander (pictured in second photo) 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. iSport had a chat with Rohini on her selection:

What 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.

After the ENP winds up, Rohini will 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 wishes Rohini all the very best!

India's Rohini Rau covered in Sail-World.com

Tom Moody endorses Perth 2011 Emerging Nations Programme for sailors
'Tom Moody speaking with ENP Head Coach Belinda Stowell (left, hidden) and three of the ENP athletes this morning (left to right) - Rohini Rau, of India, Dany Stanisic, of Serbia and Qasim Abbas, of Pakistan - Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships' Perth 2011 Click Here to view large photo

Retravision Warriors Coach Tom Moody endorsed the Perth 2011 Emerging Nations Programme (ENP) for sailors at the WACA Ground today. “It is fantastic to see young sailing athletes given the opportunity to realise their potential,” Moody said.

The official announcement of the second ENP Training Programme was held at the WACA Ground this morning with ENP Head Coach Belinda Stowell and Event Director John Longley in attendance.

Despite this being an important Retravision Warriors squad training session in preparation for the Ford Ranger Cup Game against NSW tomorrow, players and coaching staff made time to meet with the international athletes. The ENP athletes and coaches will be attending tomorrow’s cricket match as guests of the WACA.

Perth 2011 is grateful to the Western Australian Cricket Association for their support of international sailing.

Implemented as a world first sailing initiative in July 2009, the popular Perth 2011 Emerging Nations Programme is already showing promise in identifying international sailing talent, increasing these elite athletes’ sailing skills and knowledge and assisting them on their way to success.

Participants in the second intensive Emerging Nations Programme Training Session, Dany Stanisic, of Serbia, and Alexandr Denisiuc, of Moldova, have shown Perth’s best that when they compete, they race to win. The international Laser sailors won Silver and Bronze Medals respectively at the 2009 Royal Perth Yacht Club Mini Series, on the weekend.

This ENP Session, which started on Saturday and runs till 11th December 2009, is the second of seven intensive Training Programmes being held in the lead up to the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

Eleven athletes, from the developing sailing nations of Moldova, Latvia, India, Pakistan, Serbia, Malaysia, Colombia, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago and Bermuda, were invited to Perth as part of the second Emerging Nations Programme Intensive Training Session.

These 11 athletes are on the brink of qualifying at Olympic level, but due to limitations in their home nations have not yet reached their potential. Under the guidance of Head Coaches Belinda Stowell (2000 Sydney Olympic Games Gold Medallist) and Arthur Brett (2008 Beijing Olympic Games Sailing Coach) these elite athletes have taken on the challenge to be the best they can be - aiming to qualify for Perth 2011 and potentially their nation for the 2012 London Olympic Games! For these athletes, the Dream Begins in Perth!

“These athletes will work hard over the next couple of weeks at gym sessions, on water training and learning about what it takes to compete against the best in the world. They will then go home and put what they have learnt into practice. Without this sort of support they have little chance of making it to the Olympic Games,” said ENP Head Coach Arthur Brett.

As part of the Training Programme, the ENP athletes will be competing against Perth’s best in the inaugural Emerging Nations Programme Regatta, which will be held on Bathers Bay in Fremantle on the weekend on the 5th- 6th December, 2009. Expect action and excitement as they compete in the famous sea breeze, the Fremantle Doctor.

The first Emerging Nations Programme Training Session, held in July-August 2009, has also proved its merit, with two of the participants of the first Training Session - Helema Williams and Peter Henry, both of the Cook Islands, victorious at the recent Pacific Mini Games 2009, with respective Gold and Bronze Medal success.

“Helema and Peter’s success at the event was a great boost to all of us involved with the Emerging Nations Programme,” said ENP Head Coach Belinda Stowell.


by Perth 2011 ISAF Media 1:06 PM Wed 25 Nov 2009

Rohini Rau - India's Number One Woman Sailor

Rohini at the second ENP Camp at Perth

Second Emerging Nations Programme Intensive Training Session Begins

It’s been a busy few days for the eleven athletes participating in the second Emerging Nations Programme (ENP).

On their first day in Perth, Saturday 21st November, they competed against 140 of the city’s best sailors at the 2009 Royal Perth Yacht Club (RPYC) Mini Series. Racing on the Swan River continued on Sunday, to complete the Mini Series.

Perth 2011 ENP sailors – Serbia’s Dany Stanisic and Moldova’s Alex Denisiuc - showed Perth’s best that they race to win, picking up Silver and Bronze Medals respectively in the men’s Laser class.

The 11 ENP athletes have completed several gruelling gym workouts and intensive on-water training sessions under the guidance of ENP Head Coaches Belinda Stowell and Arthur Brett.

They also enjoyed a scenic bicycle ride, taking in the sites of Fremantle, with Perth 2011 Event Director John Longley.

This Emerging Nations Intensive Training Programme is the second of seven ENP Training Programmes in the lead up to the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

This Training Programme wraps up on the 11th December, with the pinnacle being the exhilarating racing of the inaugural Emerging Nations Programme Regatta, to be held at Bathers Bay in Fremantle, on the weekend of the 5th - 6th December, 2009.

Rohini leaves for Perth today!

Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009


Sport - Sailing Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Rohini, Prakash in camp

CHENNAI: Rohini Rau of the Royal Madras Yacht Club (Laser

Radial section) and Prakash from AYN Mumbai (Windsurfer)

are the two Indian sailors among 12 to have been selected for

an intensive training programme (second training camp).

This is part of the Emerging Nations Programme, an initiative

of Perth 2011 to increase the participation of nations that were

not represented in any sailing discipline at the

2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The camp will be held from November 20 to December 11.

Rohini will then participate in Melbourne at the

Sail Melbourne Regatta (Grade 1) – which is the first event of

the 2010 ISAF World Cup.

Indian sailor Ajay Rau to Sail Rolex Sydney Hobart 2009

'Ajay Rau' Cameron Cooke

Indian and Royal Madras Yacht Club sailor – Ajay Rau is currently looking for companies to sponsor his various sailing campaigns after confirming his participation in the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2009.

The Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is regarded the toughest offshore yacht race in the world. Often described as 628 nautical miles of sheer torture, it is one of the most grueling long ocean races in the world. A challenge to everyone who takes part.

Ajay will be part of the crew racing 'Merit' on board the former Volvo 60 round-the-world racing yacht, taking on some of the most competitive race yachts in Australia and the world. In the Sydney Hobart 2008 edition Merit was 1st in her division and 16th overall on line honours. Ajay has the distinction of being the first Indian sailor to participate in this race.

An impressive fleet of 116 has been nominated for the impending Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race .The start line set on Sydney's spectacular harbour represents an irresistible challenge for a wide range of sailors including Olympic Medalists, America's Cup winners, Volvo sailors and a group of equally determined club sailors who relish the chance to compete in one major blue water marathon every year.

Ajay's Asian Games campaign is on track after achieving India’s all time best result, 15th at the 2009 Laser Radial Men’s World championship. His Olympic campaign is also on track in a bid to become the first Indian to qualify for 2012 in the Laser class. Recently he started crewing on keel boats.

Now he is competing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2009 which is one of the most challenging yacht races in the world. The Indian sailor is currently based in Sydney and over a short period of time he has been making giant strides in the sport.

Ajay dinghy sailing - Cameron Cooke Click Here to view large photo

About Rolex Sydney Hobart: The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is one of the toughest offshore yacht races in the world. From the east coast of Australia with its classic north easterly sea breezes that drive the fleet at breakneck speeds whilst surfing under Spinnaker, to the harsh conditions often encountered in the Bass Straight, the race is no easy ride. The strong ‘Southerly Busters’ bring big winds, and even bigger seas, ensuring that crews taking part in the Hobart face 630NM of extreme sailing. Teamwork and commitment are of paramount importance.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2009 will start on 26 December and will be conducted on the waters of Sydney Harbour, the Tasman Sea, Storm Bay and the Derwent River.

The yacht- Merit, a former Volvo 60 round-the-world racing yacht has contested many offshore races since coming to Australia, sailing under various names, including Indec Merit, News Corp and Line 7, under which name she set a record for the then 408 nm Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race (the race distance has since been extended slightly.

The boat was recently purchased and refitted in preparation for the race by its new owners in North Queensland).

Sydney and Ajay Rau: A special bond

Sydney seems to be where Ajay has always been reaching milestones in the sport. Among the top milestones before his inclusion into the Sydney Hobart Race, Ajay Rau took part in his first senior world championships which was also the last qualifier for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

He is also a strong favorite to become the first Indian to race the Laser class at the 2012 Olympic Games. He has been campaigning hard since 2006 for the 2012 Olympic Games and has been proudly associated with organizations such as the Mittal Champions Trust, AMM Foundation and Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT).

In 2008 Merit's owner’s Leo Rodriguez and Ian Bishop gained a special place in International Ocean racing history when their former global race Volvo 60, Telcoinabox Merit, became the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart Performance Handicap Champion. Rodriguez and his crew had managed to win the trophy after redress as they completed a dramatic rescue of the 14 Victorian crew sailing Georgia before the yacht sank.

Laser Radial Sailor Rohini Rau in the Express on Diwali Morning


On an adventurous high

Rohini Rau

CHENNAI: She’s 22, beautiful, athletic and steadfast. Rohini Rau’s sailing adventures take her all around the globe and she lives it up with ardour. And that said, it is natural for this dame to wake up feeling homesick.That is one of the reasons why Rohini eagerly looks forward to Diwali every year, “I love the very feel of Diwali . It brings me closer to my near and dear ones and reminds me how much I need them,” she says.Every year, Diwali at home keeps her on her toes. “it’s that time of the year when our house is always filled with people and we in turn are always visiting more people. At home or at my cousins’, I decorate the house, the gifting trays and the pooja mandap.All the artistic work is mine,” she smiles. And then taking a break from work and digging into the sweets of course is the best part.“But my most memorable Diwali was last year. I was in Korea, along with a bunch of Indian girls and we celebrated our own little Diwali with our Korean friends. They loved our homemade sweets,” gleams Rohini.Ask her what the triumph of light over darkness, reminds her of in her own life, and she responds, “when I was younger, I had made up my mind that I wanted to take sailing, as a sport seriously, and alongside pursue medicine.Both being highly time-consuming, it was a tough journey.People kept telling me how this would never work out, but then there were always family and close friends who had so much faith in me that not once did I think about looking back,” she signs off.
First Published : 17 Oct 2009 01:27:00 AMIST

Royal Madras Yacht Club's Ajay Rau

Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Aug 08, 2009
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version

Sport - Sailing

Ajay Rau placed 16th

CHENNAI: India’s Ajay Rau was placed 16th overall after the sixth race of the World men’s laser radial sailing championship at Karatsu, Japan.

Earlier, in race 5, Ajay finished an impressive sixth and race 6, 29th. There are six more races remaining.

Ajay Rau for World Championship!


Ajay Rau among the World’s Best Sailors

World Laser Radial Men’s Championship 2009

Japan, Karatsu: 63 sailors from 16 countries have confirmed participation in the upcoming World Championship. The races are from August 5 - 10. Royal Madras Yacht Club’s Ajay Rau is the only sailor racing for India.

Despite a disappointing show finishing 32nd in the silver fleet at the European Championships (Denmark), he is eager to get back among the top half of the fleet.

Ajay says, “I am aiming to do well. This is the World Championships, there is no place better to see where I am placed in the World. I had a great day out on the water. It’s a great place to sail and I am looking forward to some good top level racing.”

The championship is a restricted allocated event to only a few Radial Sailors across the World.

Accommodating this kind of championships has made it evident that Japan is extremely serious about hosting the 2016 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Four times Olympian, Allan Julie (Seychelles) will be his coach. Ajay is an Elite Athlete of the University Of New South Wales (Sydney) and is supported by the Mittal Champions Trust, Sports Development Authority of Tamilnadu and AMM Foundation.

Great to see young sailors writing about the sport! Well done Hussain!

SAILING To feel the wind on your face and sun on your back is exhilarating. HUSSAIN M. BHAVNAGARWALA


Anticipating and fighting the elements to stay on your craft and ahead of the competition is truly exhilarating. As was once quoted “Sailing is like cycling while playing chess.” Sailing is demanding both physically and mentally and is one of the most exciting adventure sports.

For all ages

“Sailing” is often mistaken to involve ‘rowing’. However, while rowing is practiced in still waters only; sailing takes place in large water bodies such as lakes or, preferably in the open sea. Rowing boats are powered by oars, but sailboats are powered by a sail and the sailor’s ability to rein in the wind. Considering that wind is one of the most powerful elements of nature this is no mean task. Add to this the churning waters of the open sea and you have all the ingredients of an adventure sport.A good sailor must strategise both off the water and on it, while adapting his strategy to the changing wind conditions. Here is a sport where brain can truly overcome brawn. Don’t forget that a certain level of fitness is required to compete at the highest levels of the sport.

Sailing can also be taken up as a leisure activity. There is nothing like spending a Sunday afternoon with the cool breeze in your face and the warm sun on your back. Ask any of the veteran sailors of Chennai and they will agree heartily.Sailing is a sport for all ages. Whether you are seven or 70, as long as you have the heart to face the challenges thrown your way and the strength to hold the wind in your sail, you will always return to land hungry for more.Sadly, despite having one of the largest coastlines in the world sailing is not yet popular in India. Also sailing, being a non-spectator sport, does not find favour with sponsors. For the past 10-15 years sailing has been kept alive in 2 or 3 cities of India through the efforts of passionate individuals, supportive parents and well-wishers. In spite of the lack of support Indian sailors have brought home laurels from international events.

Calling supporters

Akin to cricket, to have celebs like Preity Zinta and ShahRukh Khan lend their support to the sport would bring in the much-needed publicity and funding. With the help of the media to popularize this sport and subsequent funding from sponsors I’m sure India can produce world class champions in this sport.At present two clubs in Chennai, Tamil Nadu Sailing Association and Royal Madras Yacht Club, which is 100-years-old, are trying to popularise the sport by holding various events.

Famous sailors

  • Farook Tarpore and Vikas Kapila: World Champions.
  • Pradipak: Arjuna Awardee
  • Rohini Rau and Pallavi Naik: the first women to win Asian Gold
  • N.S. Johal: participated in Beijing Olympics

To become a sailor or to know more about sailing call TNSA 25382253 Or RMYC 9282107449

Hussain is a Std XI student at Chettinad Vidyashram and has won a gold medal for our country at the Al Bareh international regatta 2008

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rohini Rau finishes 2nd in race 7 at Euro 2009!

July 15, 2009
European Championships Grade C1, Denmark

In an otherwise lackluster series, Royal Madras Yacht Club’s Rohini Rau did India proud on Day 5 of the races by finishing 2nd in Race 7 of the European Championships an ISAF Grade C1 Regatta in Denmark.

A series marked with heavy winds to absolutely no winds and with very tricky shifty winds made it difficult sailing conditions. On day 4 both races were cancelled because of no winds! The sailing siblings from the Royal Madras Yacht Club Rohini Rau and Ajay Rau have been battling it out with the best in the world in the Laser Radial class.

The siblings have been consistently finishing in the middle of the fleet. Apart for race number 7 for Rohini; this is not one of their better championships. Ajay finished a creditable 17th in race 7.

The last two races to conclude the series will take place today.

This is excellent training for both these promising young sailors as they make their way to Japan to compete in the Laser Radial Worlds in Karatsu, Japan. Rohini and Ajay are on their 2012 Olympic Campaign and in training to qualify for the Asian Games. They are both supported by SDAT & AMM Foundation and Ajay is also supported by the Mittal Champions Trust.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thank you Maj Gen Dutta for all your efforts in making this event a success!

Dear Aysha, Navaz
On behalf of 420 CAI let me extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to RMYC for conducting the national event so efficiently. I am sure 420 will become a very popular 2 helm boat in India especially for the youth. We look forward to the centenary celebration of RMYC next year. I hope you will fulfill the aim of 100 boats for the 100th year celebration. Let me know if any help will be required for it.
Please convey my thanks to all other members of the RMYC Council for their excellent effort.
Maj Gen S.Dutta
President 420 CAI

In the Hindu today! June 25, 2009 .....

Follow this link to see the photograph!!!

Crests and troughs
The Vestas National Championship held in the city saw many youngsters struggle with the wind and waves, but the never-say-die attitude enabled the Army Yachting Node duo to win the trophy

TRIUMPHANT sailors In different categories (from left) Sarad C. Singha-Aman Vyas (youth), S.R.Rout-Sandip Jain (open), Pallavi Shanbhagh-Rohini Rau (women)
Mumbai’s D. K. Acharya couldn’t bear to see his 14-year-old son Aman struggle in the Bay of Bengal during the Vestas National 420 sailing championship held at the Chennai Harbour last week. Fearing for his son’s safety, Acharya decided to retire from the race. Similarly, Hamza and his younger brother Hussain Bhavnagarwala couldn’t handle the tough wind conditions and the waves that rose up to six feet and had to come back to the shore without completing the third race.
“I was sailing with him (Aman) for the first time. When he said ‘dad it is getting difficult’, I had no choice but to come back,” said Acharya.
Difficult conditions
On a day when the sea was rough and winds measuring 30 Kph troubled most of the sailors — eight boats capsized and at least four of them couldn’t complete the race — it was the crack pair from the Army Yachting Node (Mumbai) which passed the test in flying colours. The 420 Nationals — it involves two sailors handling the boat, one is called the helm (the captain) and the other, the crew — held in Chennai for the second successive year witnessed the dominance of AYN sailors Sandip Jain (helm) and S.R. Rout (crew). The duo clinched nine out of the 10 races in the open class to bag the Gen. Dutta Rolling Trophy.
“He just flies,” said Hussain about Sandip. “His technique is superior to others.”
The Royal Madras Yacht Club’s Rohini Rau (Pallavi Shanbhagh) couldn’t hide her happiness. The 22-year-old, one of India’s leading women sailors, roared past the Sandip-Rout pair for a brief while in the Nationals and it didn’t matter to Rohini that Sandip’s stern was slightly damaged. “We were ahead of you. I could see the anger in you when we went past you. You don’t like girls racing ahead of you!” Rohini kept pulling Sandip’s legs, to which Sandip sportingly replied, “You are a very good sailor.”
As a matter of fact, AYN sailors hate to lose, be they men or women. Considering the amount of time and energy they spend on sailing, their attitude comes as no surprise. The Sandip-Rout pair knows that winning the Nationals is not an end in itself. For them, it’s the World 470 championship, a higher category, to be held in August in Denmark, which is their next target.
“I keep telling him (Rout) not to be complacent about the win. Our long-term aim is the Olympics. I know we are very late for the 2012. It’s 2016 we are focussing on,” said Sandip.
Rohini seldom loses her composure. Even during bad days, she is always in high spirits. In fact, during the 420 Nationals, Rohini had to retire without completing the race due to tough conditions at sea. There was no bitterness but only the belief that she would do better the next day.
True to her word, Rohini came back strongly with podium finishes in the last two days to finish fifth in the open section and emerge the overall women’s champion.
The National Sailing School (Bhopal) duo comprising Aman Vyas and Sarad C. Singha finished first in the youth section. Aman emerged triumphant in the 10th race, the last race in the championship, outdoing the likes of Sandip-Rout and Rohini-Pallavi — an achievement in itself.
“I am very happy,” said the 15-year-old. With his half-smile and tuft, Aman won the hearts of many with his boat handling skills. Many believe that this teenager will win laurels for India at International events in the future.
More youngsters
The significant aspect of the Nationals was the number of youngsters — out of the 24 pairs of boats, half-a-dozen were manned by teenagers either as crew or helm — who participated. Needless to say, their enthusiasm was infectious.
Farokh Tarapore, three-time Olympian and two-time World sailing champion, felt the youngsters had tremendous potential. “I see a genuine desire in them to get better everyday,” he said.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Catch up with Rohini on isport!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

In the Hindu today! June 21, 2009.


Sandip-Rout pair emerges champion

K. Keerthivasan
SAILING / Rohini-Pallavi take the honours in women’s section
— Photo: R. Ravindran

Winning combination: Sandip Jain and S.R. Rout were in a league of their own in the Vestas National sailing championship.
CHENNAI: Sandip Jain (helm) and S.R. Rout (crew) pair bagged the Gen. Dutta Rolling Trophy by winning the overall title in the open class category of the Vestas National 420 sailing championship, which concluded at the Chennai Harbour on Saturday.

What, however, raised eyebrows was the way the top notch duo from Army Yachting Node performed in the last race of the competition — the 10th race.

Wrong sequence
Sandip and Rout took the wrong sequence and by the time they realised that it was the wrong route, they had lost quite a lot of time and ended up finishing twelfth. Having finished first in nine races, the poor show on Saturday didn’t affect the AYN pair at all.

It was also a bad day for the Artillery Watersports Association pairs of Yaduraj Lad-Azhar Sheikh and K. Yakobu-M. Girish. The two teams emerged sixth and ninth respectively in the 10th race.

The dismal show in the last race, however, didn’t have an impact as the AWSA pairs came second and third respectively overall in the open class.

For the National Sailing School’s (Bhopal) Aman Vyas and Sarad C. Singha, it was a memorable day. The duo raced slowly and steadily under favourable conditions to win the 10th race in style.

“I am really happy. This is my best performance in the Nationals,” said a thrilled Aman, who also bagged the first place in the youth section.

Rohini Rau and Pallavi Shanbhagh of Royal Madras Yacht Club made optimum use of mild wind conditions and light swells to finish second in the 10th race of the open category while emerging the champion in the women’s.

Ayesha K Lobo-Aishwarya Nedunchezhian (Royal Bombay Yacht Club) emerged runner-up in the women’s class.

The results:

Open: Race 10: 1. Aman M. Vyas-Sarad C. Singha (NSS, Bhopal), 2. Rohini Rau-Pallavi Shanbhagh (RMYC), 3. Shilpa Oberoi-Taramati Matiwade (IWSA, Pune).

Women: Race 10: 1. Rohini-Pallavi (RMYC), 2. Shilpa-Taramati, 3. Ayesha K. Lobo-Aishwarya Nedunchezhiyan (RBYC).

Youth: Race 10: 1. Aman Vyas- Sarad, 2. Ayesha-Aishwarya, 3. Shivam Shrivas-Sachin Singha (NSS, Bhopal).

Overall champions: Open: 1. Sandip Jain-S.R. Rout (AYN, Mumbai), 2. Yaduraj Lad-Azhar Sheikh (AWSA, Hyderabad), 3. K. Yakobu-M. Girish (AWSA).

Women: 1. Rohini-Pallavi, 2. Ayesha-Aishwarya, 3. Sidra Sabir-Shaila Charles (NSS, Bhopal).

Youth: 1. Aman-Sarad, 2. Ayesha-Aishwarya, 3. Shivam-Sachin.

Final Results of the Vestas 420 Sailing Regatta, June 20, 2009!



















Saturday, June 20, 2009

In the HIndu Today, June 20, 2009!


Sandip-Rout pair on course
K. Keerthivasan
CHENNAI: It’s more or less been a cakewalk for the Sandip Jain-S.R. Rout pair in the Vestas 420 National sailing championship at the Chennai Harbour.
On the penultimate day on Friday, the Army Yachting Node (Mumbai) sailors carried on despite a broken stern in the third race to win all the three races and virtually win the open class title.
Having been trained in a higher class — 470 — this championship in 420 category has been easy for Sandip and Rout. “I keep telling him (Rout) not to get complacent with this win. Our target is the 2016 Olympics but our immediate target is the World 470 championship in August in Denmark,” said Sandip.
Fight for second spot
The race is hotting up for the second position in the open class. The Artillery Watersports Association pair of Yaduraj Lad and Azhar Sheikh managed to retain its second place even though it didn’t fare well today.
The Hyderabad duo finished eighth in race 7, fourth in race 8 and fifth in race 9. “Our tiller extension got damaged in the second race. So we couldn’t do much,” said Azhar.
K. Yakobu and M. Girish from AWSA (Hyderabad) too had a bad day. The pair finished third in race 7, failed to finish the next race and ended up fourth in race 9.
The rush for the second spot will, most probably, be a fight between the two.
Improved display
It was a much-improved performance from Royal Madras Yacht Club’s Rohini Rau and Pallavi Shanbhagh. The top women’s pair did really well to finish in the podium in all the races in the open class. There will be only one race on Saturday.
The results: Open: Race 7: 1. Sandip Jain-S.R. Rout (AYN), 2. Rohini Rau-Pallavi Shanbagh (RMYC), 3. K Yakobu-M. Girish (AWSA, Hyderabad); Race 8: 1. Sandip-Rout, 2. Pawan Kumar-Kapil Kumar (AYN), 3. Rohini-Pallavi; Race 9: 1. Sandip-Rout, 2. Pawan Kumar-Kapil Kumar, 3. Rohini Rau-Pallavi.
Women: Race 7: 1.Rohini-Pallavi, 2. Ayesha K. Lobo-Aishwarya Nedunchezhiyan (RBYC); Race 8: 1. Rohini-Pallavi Shanbhagh, 2. Ayesha-Aishwarya; Race 9: 1.Rohini-Pallavi, 2. Ayesha K. Lobo-Aishwarya.
Youth: Race 7: 1. Aman Vyas-C. Singha (NSS, Bhopal), 2. Ayesha K. Lobo-Aishwarya; Race 8: 1. Aman Vyas-Singha, 2. Ayesha-Aishwarya; Race 9: 1. Ayesha-Aishwarya, 2. Shivam Shrivas-Sachin Singha (NSS, Bhopal).