Teen fish-seller looks to conquer the waves

Fifteen-year-old S. Nikhil Kumar has made rapid strides in the sport of sailing since he took it up about three years ago on the waters of the Hussainagar Lake. His family is in the business of selling fish and when he is not studying or sailing his boat, he too puts in his share of handling the household chores which includes selling fish.

Recently Nikhil had the privilege, along with a few other boys from India, to go to Hong Kong to attend a sailing course conducted by Marek Nostitz Jackowski, the well-known Polish sailing coach based there.

Marek had come to Hyderabad a few months ago following an invitation by Suheim Sheikh, founder of the Yacht Club of Hyderabad. On that occasion Nikhil’s skills in handling his craft had caught the eye of this experienced coach.

Marek had asked Nikhil to come over to Hong Kong for further coaching and recently Nikhil managed to make the trip.

The training was provided free by the coach and YCH paid other expenses. It turned out to be a very exciting and valuable experience for this young lad from Hyderabad.

“Marek sir provided me with very good advice. I was among a group of 16 sailors from different countries. Our coach put us through some tough sailing exercises on the water. Every day we trained for about seven hours. The way he trained us was an eye opener to me in many ways. After my trip, I can truly say that I have emerged a far better sailor and I am sure I will do even better in the days to come,” says Nikhil.

High on confidence

“Sailing in the sea was quite a different experience from sailing on the Hussainsagar Lake which is an inland venue. Coping with wind speeds, changes and shifts and also handling boats under simulated competitions gave me a lot of confidence in my own abilities. Now I am sure I will do well in the national meets that I am planning to take part in, during the coming year,” Nikhil says.

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