KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar will lead the Indian contingent at the Asian Sailing Championships 2022 in Abu Dhabi, which begins on Tuesday. There will be 28 other Indian sailors competing in the continental event, including Olympians Vishnu Saravanan and Nethra Kumanan as well.
In November 2021, KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar won gold at the Asian 49er Sailing Championships, adding to their silver and gold from the previous two years. The Indian sailing duo had previously competed in the world championships, finishing 21st overall.
The teams of Prince Noble and Manu Francis, as well as Anand Thakur and Satyam Rangad, will compete in the 49er class alongside KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar. Last November, both pairs competed in the world championships.
Meanwhile, in the Laser Radial, Nethra Kumanan, the first Indian woman sailor to qualify for the Olympics, will compete. Kumanan is also the first Indian woman to win a medal in sailing, having won bronze in the Hempel World Cup Series second round in Miami in 2020. Saravanan will lead India's charge in the Laser Standard class. At the recent world championships, he came in 25th place.
Indian sailors will compete in the 49er, ILCA 7, ILCA 6, ILCA 4, RS:X, iQFOil, and Kiteboard classes. Before the medal rounds on March 6, there will be five series of racing in all categories.
The regatta is expected to attract close to 130 sailors from all over Asia.