Sailing may not be a popular sport in India, but that doesn’t deter teenagers Diya Correa (14) and Zara Arsiwala (16) from pursuing it.

Zara Arsiwala and Diya Correa
Zara Arsiwala (left) and Diya Correa in action

Recently, in the absence of any women participants in the national selection trials held in Vishakapatnam, the top-ranked duo in the U-19 women’s category competed against seven boys’ teams in the 420 Class event and finished fourth — a feat which earned them the opportunity to be India’s probables in the U-19 women’s category for the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea in September.

However, the duo, which teamed up in November last year, need to do well at the Kiel Regatta (Germany), followed by the ISAF Youth World Sailing Championship in Tavera, Portugal, in July in order to stand a chance to represent India at Incheon.

Sailors Zara Arsiwala (left) and  Diya Correa
Sailors Zara Arsiwala (left) and Diya Correa.

Later, they will head back to Germany to participate in the 420 World and Ladies World Championships.

Asked about adjusting to different conditions, Zara said, “The real task for us will start now. It will be cold in Germany. On the contrary, it will be warmer in Portugal. It’s not an easy sport. The challenges we face are immense. The waves, tides, winds, clouds change with every minute, so we have got to remain focussed. Having the nationals in Vishakapatnam helped as the conditions were very similar to the ones we’ll be facing in Incheon.”