Sailor Vir high on tide

Sailor Vir on High Tide

From: The Deccan Herald

Archana Mishra, Oct 11, 2012

For adolescents life is a fantasy, full of myriad hues. For them, life revolves around groovy music, cool apparels, smart phones and the desire to attain immense popularity at a young age. 14-year old Vir Menon is no different than other kids of his age, but for a small difference. He has has a big goal – to bag an Olympic medal in sailing in 2020.Going by his current track record, he does stand a very good chance of doing the country proud.The teen is the first Indian sailor to have qualified into the Gold Fleet of Laser 4.7 Worlds. He sailed the series superbly to finish 33rd in the gold fleet and seventh overall in the under 16 category this year. He was in fifth place in the second race of the series.Vir has his roots in New Delhi but lives in Bangalore now. “I am aiming for something big. I would try to qualify for Olympics in 2016 but it would be tough to compete. I want to take a break after my XII exams and want to go for rigorous physical exercise and sailing practice so that I can achieve my target in 2020,” says Vir who want to complete his basic education first before adopting sports completely.Interestingly, Vir is not the only one in his family who took to sailing for fun. Three generations of his family have been into sailing. “My grandfather was in the Navy and my father also participated in sailing events,” shares the youngster whose father introduced him to sailing at the age of seven and became his inspiration.In 2010, Vir for the first time, participated internationally. His journey as a champion started in 2011 when he secured the second position in the Hyderabad Inland National Championship. In March 2012, he represented the Indian team along with two other boys and one girl and produced the best ever result at the World Championship. In April last, he also participated in the Malaysian and European Championships.
With so many events in a year, Vir has to miss classes.
But he appreciates the effort his teachers make to help him with his studies. “My school has always encouraged me along with my studies. Teachers give me additional time and explain the chapters I have missed.”

Though Vir is a sailor, he enjoys other sports too. “If I was not a sailor I could have opted for soccer, tennis, basketball or golf. I take out time to play all these.  I think I am a born sportsperson and want to continue throughout my life.” However, Vir feels that sport is not given enough importance in India. “Sports funding programme should be increased.  Every sport should be distributed equal amount of funds so that sportsperson can get support to polish their talents

From the Hans India:

http://www.thehansindia.info/News/Article.asp?category=1&subCategory=12&ContentId=91649

Smooth sailing @ 14

Vir Menon became the youngest Indian sailor to superbly finish 33rd in the gold fleet sailing race

“Immediately after I come back from championship I catch with studies and try to cover up whatever I have missed out on”

Vir Menon, a student of Inventure Academy, Bangalore was recently awarded with India Positive Awards by CNN-IBN for becoming the youngest Indian sailor to have qualified into Gold Fleet of Laser 4.7 Worlds. The 14-year-old Vir sailed the series superbly to finish 33rd in the gold fleet and 7th overall in the under 16 category. His best was a fifth place finish in the second race of the series. This doesn’t come naturally. One has to work really hard for it. During his visit to Hyderabad, the young champ talked about how his inspiration and ambition.

Tell us about yourself 
I am doing my schooling in Bangalore. I am a national level athlete. I have been participating in numerous international events around the globe. I am looking forward to achieving more in sailing. I represented India at the MacLaren 2012 Laser 4.7 World Championship at Buenos Aires, Argentina. Other than this I have participated in championships in Austria, Argentina and Hyderabad too.

From when did you start sailing?
I started sailing when I was six. I learnt the basics of sailing then. Later at the age of ten, I started sailing professionally and started participating in the competitions. The first competition I participated in was in Bombay in 2006. I didn’t win any award then, but yes it was a good start.

What inspired you to start sailing?
My father is my biggest inspiration. He is a sailor himself. He was the one who thought me the basics of sailing. He always encourages me to achieve more. He was in turn trained by my grandfather who was into Indian Navy.

What is your ultimate ambition?
I want to pursue my career in sailing itself. My aim is to win medals in Olympics and win the world championships.

How will the award ‘India Positive Awards’ help you in achieving your dream?
I have started getting recognition after winning this award. People are noticing me. I am being appreciated. I think it’s a good start to my career. 

While participating in the competition did you aim to qualify for the golden fleet?
I started sailing because I love it and it makes me happy. I never aimed to qualify for the Golden Fleet but it just happened.

How hard did you work for qualifying in the competition?
I worked very hard. I tried my best. I started getting trained for it few months before the competition. I did to the best of my ability and my hard work paid.

As you are still studying, how do you manage to find time for practicing sailing?
It’s not difficult as immediately after I come back from championship I catch up with studies and try to cover up whatever I have missed out on as soon as possible. I work my way through. My teachers also support me a lot. My school management is very kind to me. They encourage me and help me when I need them. My teachers’ help me understand the chapters I have missed. This makes it easy for me to concentrate on sailing competitions.