J80 World Championship: Rohini Rau to lead all-women cast

The J80 World Championship will be held in Bilbao from July 13 to 20.

Dr. Rohini Rau (extreme left) and team training for the J80 World Sailing Championship.   -  Photo: Special Arrangement

Her efforts to compete in the 2012 London Olympics had met with rough weather when she narrowly missed the chance, but the sailor in former Asian youth champion Dr. Rohini Rau has stepped up to inspire an all-women Indian team for the J80 World Championship to be staged in Bilbao, Spain, from July 13 to 20.

Hunger rekindled

Even though she had competed in eight World Championships before quitting the sport to pursue her medical degree, Dr. Rohini, a Senior Resident at the Kauvery Hospital in Chennai, who also pursues Internal Medicine from the University of Edinburgh, has rekindled her hunger for sailing.

Dr. Rohini leads a six-member team of fellow sailors — the 28-year-old Alekhya Sudam, an engineer and a mother, Aishwarya Nedunchezhiyan, the Asian Games bronze medallist, a fitness trainer and member of the National team in the 49er FX Class, 10th standard students Tulsi Movva, who has already won international medals in the Optimist and Laser 4.7 Class, and Tejashree, a basketball player, apart from the 20-year-old Yashna Vummidi, a National swimmer.

The J80 is a modern sports boat with competition in open water, away from the protected environment of harbours and lakes.


There are two aims for the campaign, for which the funds are still being generated, including through “crowdfunding.”

The first objective is to popularise sailing in the country, especially among women, and the second is to enhance the awareness about “plastic pollution” in oceans.

Coach Chinna Reddy is training the team at the Royal Madras Yacht Club in Chennai.

“Every little bit adds up and we would like to thank everyone who has contributed so far, but we still have a long way to go,” said Dr. Rohini, who has won six international medals and 32 National medals, including eight successive National titles in the Laser Radial class.

The team has fitness support from F45 Training, Gibran’s Splendid Food Company for nutrition, Vivek Karunakaran for apparel and Kauvery Hospital for a generous contribution.

Logistics has worked fine

Luckily, the logistics for training has worked fine for the team, as the Royal Madras Yacht Club has four J80 boats.

Moreover, the men’s team, which finished fifth in the Asian Championship last year in China, also trains with Dr. Rohini and her team, ensuring the best training and facilities.

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