KOCHI: The Indian Navy will organise an offshore sailing regatta from Kochi to Goa on Sunday as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the 75th year of Indian Independence. Six Indian Naval Sailing Vessels Mhadei, Tarini, Bulbul, Neelkanth, Kadalpura and Hariyal will participate in the event organised by Indian Naval Sailing Association (INSA).
The five-day race will start from Kochi Naval Base and will cover a distance of 360 nautical miles.
Four of the vessels are 40-ft-long and two have a length of 56 ft. Each vessel will be manned by six naval personnel drawn from three Commands of Navy. Ocean yachts from Yachting Association of India (YAI) affiliated civilian clubs will also be participating in the event.
The participants have been practising for the event for the past one month and have also undergone a capsule course in Kochi to hone their skills. Indian Navy participants include Capt Vipul Meherishi, Capt Atool Sinha, Lt Commander K Pednekar and Lt Commander Payal Gupta, who have won medals in various events at the national level.
The two 56-ft vessels have already made history by participating in circumnavigation. Mhadei has done solo circumnavigation ‘Sagar Parikrama’ with Capt Dilip Donde in 2010 and Commander Abhilash Tomy in 2013. The vessel has also participated in the Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro races in 2011, 2014 and 2017. Tarini has done circumnavigation of the globe ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ in 2017 with an all women officers crew. The crew are selected from volunteers with adequate sea sailing experience.