Merit Group, a data and code company for the b2b media and information industry, are proud to announce the sponsorship of two Indian sailors currently competing at the Asian Games this year.
K.C Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar have been sailing since a very young age and are now associated with the Tamil Nadu Sailing Association. The duo is coached by Ian Stuart Warren, aka Coach Bunny.
Ganapathy, aka Partha, began sailing when he was seven years old, a crew member on the Enterprise class of boat. He began sailing solo and dedicated every free moment to the sport to become a national champion in the under-12 category and number three in India. He quit school at 14 and took to sailing full-time. At 15, he qualified to represent India at the 2010 Asian Games and the 2010 Optimist Worlds. He soon graduated to team sailing with Varun Thakkar, racing against each other before deciding to work together firstly on the 29er class and now on the 49er class. They haven’t looked back since. “Sailing has been a constant for me in my life with over 10,000 hours of training. It’s safe to say I’ve grown up with boats. I’m extremely fortunate to have my competence meet my passion in what I spend my life doing”, says Partha.
Varun started sailing in 2005 at the age of 10. By 2006, he became the under-12 national champion and won the nationals in the Optimist Class on 2008. He moved on to a Laser 4.7 in 2009 and became national champion in the under-18 class. Upon meeting Partha, the duo realised they had the same dream – to make it to the Olympics – so they partnered in 2011 to make this dream become a reality. Together they have won the nationals for three consecutive years, from 2012-14 in the 29er class and then moved on to the Olympic 49er category.
Coach Bunny has coached Olympic teams three times and has helped other teams in many events as well. These teams have gone on to achieve wins in several world and European championships and also secured several podium places at World Cup events. The confident coach says: “Our immediate goal is to qualify and win gold at the 2018 Asian Games. Moving from there, the next major milestone is qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and in my honest opinion these are highly likely to become a reality.’’
The pair currently sit third in the 49er standings going into today’s final race.