When toddlers are just starting to walk at the tender age of one, she has been sailing along with her mother, a member of the Royal Madras Yacht club!Rohini Rau was a child of the ocean from the very beginning. “I started competing after a coaching camp when I was 11. I have sailed competitively for 15 years until 2012 during which I was campaigning for the 2012 Olympics in London. It was after this that I had stopped sailing for nearly 7 years until my comeback this year”, says Rohini.
Having sailed from a really young age she says, “Sailing was an amazing experience when I was younger. I looked at it like an adventure sport because I was put into a tiny boat and sent out into the middle of the ocean, where you were completely independent and had to make your own decisions against the harsh winds and waves. I also loved the water so it was great that I could spend so much time in the ocean and see different creatures.”
But sailing isn't the only passion on this wonder woman's list. Dr. Rohini Rau, currently heading the ICU at Kauvery Hospital, is constantly in a balancing act between sailing and her medical career. This Jane of all trades has had many hobbies throughout her life- bharathnatiyam, piano, tap dance, horse-riding, violin and jazz ballet. She has also acted on stage and sung playback for the Tamil movie Three Roses.
On the J80 Sailing Worlds Championship, Rohini says, “Getting back into sailing after 7 years, I was really nervous because I didn't know at what level I stood and whether I had forgotten things. I competed in the laser, a single person boat but as for the J80, it is a team event. Our team, YATRA, was the first all women team from India that was participating at the World championship in Spain from the 13th to 20th of July. It was quite challenging to put together a team of women sailors but we eventually became a team of 6 and we won 4th in the World Championship.”
Having finished 4th among the 7 all women's teams, the 14th in the silver category and placing 54th in the overall 80 boats, it was a huge boost for this doctor and her crew.
“We sailed against sailors who had been sailing for 3 to 4 years and here we were hardly having sailed our boat for a few months”, she claims. “But all the competitors were so supportive because it was the first time India was participating in this class and helped us out with our questions and doubts and we were taken care of very well”, she adds. Addressing the youth of today, Rohini says, “It's a great time for sports persons right now, especially women, as there is a lot of focus on sports other than cricket. I think you couldn't be representing your country at a better time. We will always have certain hardships in terms of starting a family and work, but if you are focused and have goals and are determined to do it, everything else can be managed. It doesn't matter at what stage you are in, anything is possible, which was what I was trying to show with my team”. The youngest members of her team were 2 fifteen year olds and another
member was the mother of a 3 year old, along with 2 fitness trainers “Be it any stage in your life, it is never too late to start something and pursue your dreams!” she says, standing her ground....