Keona & Pearl of GYA at YAI Senior National Sailing Championships

Panaji, Nov 22 (Agency) Goa Yachting Association’s Keona Rajani in RS:X Women and Pearl Colvalcar in Laser Radial Women will represent Goa at the Senior National Sailing Championship to be held in Mumbai from November 22 to 27, 2020. This will be the first competitive sailing event for seniors to be held in India after the lockdown in March 2020. Keona, who has just turned 17, will be the youngest competitor in the RS:X category and Pearl Colvalkar at 14 years will be the youngest competitor in the Laser Radial Women class and probably the youngest sailor in the entire competition. Despite the lack of an SAG coach, both Keona and Pearl have trained hard and will compete against the best in the country in their respective categories.

‘Goa has over the years produced many National Champions in Sailing and has a great potential to maintain its competitive edge in this sport. However due to lack of equipment and specialized coaches in sailing, there is huge risk that this talent could go unnurtured and eventually wasted. We are hopeful that we shall get timely support in this matter from the Goa Government and SAG who shall be the wind in our sails,’ a statement from Goa Yachting Association said. Dayne Coelho and Katia Coelho, Goa’s ace windsurfers who represented India at the Asian Games at Jakarta 2018 are unable to participate at the Senior Nationals as they are recovering from injuries. Russel Lobo another excellent windsurfer is also nursing an injury and will not be able to compete this year. Dayne Coelho, who has been approved for the Goa Governments Grant for “Achieving Excellence in Sports at International level”, is still awaiting disbursement of the same and had to abandon midway his quest for qualifying for the Tokio Olympics 2020 due to lack of funds. ‘However he is eager to start his preparation to qualify for the Paris Olympics 2024 and this will be possible only if grants are disbursed immediately,’ the statement added.