Two Telangana sailors

Hyderabad,15th July 2023…..Two Telangana Sailors Alekhya Coondoo (Helm) a 12th-grade, Science student of HPS Ramanthapur and her sailing partner Pilli Akhil (Crew), from Khammam, an open school student of 11th standard both from Telangana representing the Secunderabad Sailing Club to represent India International 420 Class World Sailing Championship (The 420 World Championships) in Alicante city in Spain from 21st to 29th July. The team is leaving for Spain on 17th July from Hyderabad.

Speaking to media on the day two of Secunderabad Club Youth Regatta, Siddarth Coondoo and Pallavi parents of Alekhya informed that both these sailors who have been paired for well over a year and sailed in three competitions in the last year got qualified to represent India. They are the only team from India to represent. This is unique as they are representing India after a gap of four years or so. In the past four years, no team got qualified to participate in the tournament. They will compete with 126 accomplished sailors drawn from across the world.

The 420 World Championships are international sailing regattas in the 420 Class organized by the International Sailing Federation and the International 420 Class Association. They have been held every year since 1973. 420 International events are organized to promote 420 dinghy sailing all over the world. The events shall have the highest quality racing, the best conditions for developing individual friendships among competitors, and goodwill among all participating people.

Both these sailors got qualified to participate in their maiden international event after winning the three National Ranking Events held so far such as one at Mysore, the other at Marve Mumbai, and Shillong recently.

According to their coaches Arjun Pradeepak and Sanjeev Chauhan, the young sailors from Telangana will fight with strong contenders from Germany, Newzealand, Australia, Brazil, Italy and Switzerland.

Prior to the international debut sailing engagement, both Alekhya and Akhill will be trained for a week in Spain under the guidance of Jose Ruiz Sanchez, Professional Sailor and 420 World Champion. Both the sailors are put under the guidance of Ryan Fernando, an award-winning celebrity Nutritionist and the Co-founder of Qua Nutrition, who also coaches Virat Kohli. A fitness coach Sailo is also working on them.

HPS Ramanthapur through its alumni raised Rs seven lakh (it costs Rs 15 lakh) to support their student Alekhya to encourage her in the sport. The Principal Dr. S. Narasimha Reddy said it is a matter of great pride for HPS Ramanthapur and we wanted to support the child. Alekhya Coondoo is our head girl. She is good in both studies and extra-curricular activities. She is multi-talented. She is doing academically very well. She balances education and sports very well. It is very rare to find the qualities she possesses in peers of her age, he said and wished her good in the tournament.

Arjun Pradipak says they have been trained hard to perform well in tough competitions. They are comfortable to sail in all conditions.

420 is the highest sailed class in the world. It is one step short of 470, the Olympic Class. It is a quite popular youth race. The 420 is an established worldwide performance two-person trapeze and spinnaker racing dinghy which holds status as a World Sailing International Class. There are 56,000 boats that have been built worldwide. This popular dinghy is sailed at school, club, open, national and international levels. The 420 is an international class recognized by World Sailing. The name refers to the boat’s length of 420 centimeters.

Alekhya wants to pursue a career in medicine and is currently preparing for the NEET. Academically at the top of her class, she is literary captain, and lead guitarist in the school band, despite an 8-hour day at school, and 3-hour evening classes for NEET preparation, she makes time to pursue her passion, sailing.

Akhil is a student of Boys Sports Company, in Sailing Discipline and is presently pursuing his sports and education with Boys Sports Company of MEG Centre, Bangalore Akhil comes from a humble background (Mala – Scheduled Caste) from a rural part of India. Akhil has been supported by the Telangana State Sports Academy as well as the Trishna Sailing Club, Mysore. He was selected by the Army Sports School for his achievements as a sailor. He aspires to serve his country in the army. Talented, sincere and hardworking. Alekhyas are supporting him to fulfil his dream of participating in this world championship.