Upamanyu Dutta, an eighth-grade student of Bombay International School in Mumbai, is only 13 years old and currently, India’s leading junior sailor.
After emerging champion at the Optimist Class of the Hyderabad National Monsoon Regatta in a highly competitive fleet of 53 sailors from all over India, he is now looking to win the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) World Sailing Championship that will be held on December 28 at Langkawi, Malaysia.
The IODA comprises of two events — The Optimist Individual World Championship and The Optimist Team Racing World Championship. Upamanyu will compete in both these categories along with four other Indians representing the country in the Championship.
Upamanyu’s dad, international yachtsman and Asian medallist Gautama Dutta, is also his coach. “I practise daily for an hour at the Naval Sailing Club and my dad is always encouraging me,” says Upamanyu. “My goal is definitely to reach the top 50 in the world,” he adds.
Sailing since he was a kid, he has an impressive line-up of achievements, including top 10 finishes in various international regattas. In March this year, he finished second at the Hebe Haven Yacht Club Regatta in Hong Kong. Says Gautama, “There are hundreds of champions participating but I am confident my son will rank in the top fifty.”