CHENNAI: Sailors KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar have been more or less living in a bio-secure bubble since they restarted training last month.
Away from the bustling city life, the Asian Games bronze medallists had a three-week stint in Rameswaram — an unspoiled, quiet town situated 600kms from Chennai — from mid-August to September first week before coming back to the state capital for a short break. The sailors left Chennai on September 11 again to train for a few weeks.
Not a usual sailing destination for the duo, their sojourn in Rameswaram was a bit different, says Thakkar. Not only did they experience a difference in training conditions — Rameswaram doesn’t have big rolling waves and the wind speed also varies compared to Chennai or Mumbai — but staying in a property close to the sea with minimal interaction with the world.
“The water there is cleaner and less polluted. Since only I and Gana trained there, it made us feel safe and secure. At the back of the mind, we didn’t have the fear that we might contract the virus,” Thakkar said.
Sailing after a forced break for four months, the duo began with an hour and a half’s training and gradually increased the time to more than three hours per day. The focus was on fine-tuning their skills.
“It’s not a typical sailing venue, but we made it for us,” said Thakkar. “We are learning new things. We are working on our skills like communication on the board, what we are looking for in the racecourse. It’s a bit of a change in our training programme. Generally, we have like three-four boats. Now, we have just one. So, we are concentrating more on skill to improve our manoeuvre, speed of the boat etc.”
Apart from the boat, they have also carried weights and a few gym equipments to Rameswaram to continue strength and conditioning sessions.
“We do different activities, so we don’t get bored. We do windsurfing, stand up paddling and swimming. We have online gym sessions with our trainer in the evening. Now, we are planning to cycling in the morning,” added Thakkar.