Dhanika puts SL on the sailing map again


Dhanika Nanayakkara, a sailing aficionado, put Sri Lanka on the sailing map once again by winning the first ever medal for Sri Lanka in a Laser Class event at the 3rd Chief of Air Staff International Sailing Championship 2022 held in Karachi, Pakistan.

Dhanika became the first Sri Lankan to be placed at the International Optimist Dinghy Association Championship held in Oman in 2019 by coming in third (Bronze) in the Silver Fleet event. 

The youngest National Champion in the Optimist class 2018 and 2019, National Champion in the Laser 4.7 class 2021, and 3rd place in the Laser Radial class 2021, Dhanika’s passion, focus and talent is obvious. 

Always striving to improve his sailing skills and strategies, the multi-talented 16-year-old Dhanika has always loved water sports. The youngest PADI certified rescue diver in the country, he and his three brothers have taken advantage of our diverse island heritage and the coastal belt. 

Pursuing his dream of participating and representing Sri Lanka at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China 2022 at the Ningbo Sailing Centre this year in September, Dhanika has set his sights on reaching the very top of his chosen sport. 

The sailing community is thrilled with the Yachting Association of Sri Lanka (YASL) securing the hosting rights for the GP14 Sailing World Championships 2024 to be held prospectively in Negombo. The further development for sailing with national and international regattas being planned at the highly desirable location of the Port City and development of the Port City with its world class marina is a further incentive to promote Sri Lanka as a sailing destination.

Throughout his journey, Dhanika has been ably supported primarily by National Sailing Coach Krishan Janaka, Joseph Kenny, President of YASL and Vice President National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Navy and Sarath Kuragama, COO YASL. 

Special mention should also be made of the support extended by the Team Manager in Pakistan and Chairman of the Navy Sailing Pool, Captain Dumindu Abeywickrama and fellow Navy sailor U.D. Rajapaksa, YASL Sailing Convener Asanka Goonawardene, North Sails Ltd. for sponsoring the sails and the Ministry of Youth and Sports for their continued facilitation and support at international level events with the blessings of Minister Namal Rajapaksa.