Southern Naval Command Chief flags off ocean-sailing regatta

Kochi, Oct 24 (Sports news) To commemorate the 75th year of the country's independenc, an ocean-sailing race from Kochi to Goa was flagged off on Sunday by Chief of Southern Naval Command Vice-Admiral A K Chawla.

Six Indian Naval Sailing Vessels (INSVs) — Mhadei, Tarini, Bulbul, Neelkanth, Kadalpura and Hariyal — are participating in the regatta which is for a tentative duration of five days and would cover an approximate distance of 360 nautical miles between the starting point at the Naval Base in Kochi and the finishing point in Goa.

Chawla, who spoke to reporters after flagging off the race, said, "Sailing is an all-round skill requiring a lot of mental strength, physical stamina and team spirit." "Ocean-sailing is a very tough and demanding sport because you are in the high seas and you are subject to the vagaries of weather. You have to be able to handle the boat in all sorts of weather, be it rough seas or sometimes still-calm seas when it's very hot and the boat is not moving. You will have to navigate the boat in the open seas. There is also some machinery onboard the ship which may have to be repaired at times," he said.

The sailors have been undergoing rigorous training for the event over the last one month. Each of the six INSVs – four 40-footers and two 56-footers, are being manned by six naval personnel drawn from three Commands of Navy, the ANC and IHQ MoD (Navy).

In addition, Ocean Yachts from Yachting Association of India (YAI)-affiliated civilian clubs are also participating in the event.

Chawla said it's the thrill and adventure of going to the sea which draws the people to the sport.

"This is also what people used to do in ancient time using only sails to go by as there were no engines. This helps us understand the sea better and makes good seamen," he added.

The two 56-footers participating in the regatta have already made history in the Indian Navy by participating in circumnavigation, a press release by the Navy said.

The Navy said the crew was selected from volunteers with adequate sea-sailing experience.

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News Source : PTI


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