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India sends sailing teams to train Sri Lankan counterparts

Indian Navy’s five sailing yachts arrived in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, on Thursday after completing a 3000 mile voyage. Twelve Sri Lankan sailors will be trained by the Indian officers manning the sailing yachts while they spend a week in the island nation.  There will also be a two-day harbour training phase at Trincomalee, on the east coast, and a four-day sailing expedition that circles half the island and leads to Colombo, on the west coast.

Ocean sailing is one of the toughest adventure sports, and the Indian Navy encourages its officers to take part in the sport that enhances risk-taking abilities while honing important seamanship skills, including navigation, communication, technical operation of engines and onboard machinery, logistics planning, etc.

The Indian Navy Sailing Vessels (INSV) Mhadei, Tarini, Bulbul, Kadalpura and Hariyal, all manned by six officers, began sailing from Goa in India’s west coast on January 12 of this year, stopping en route at Kochi and Chennai in India before reaching Visakhapatnam in India’s east coast. A fleet review was held in the last week of February as part of the President’s review of the fleet.

These yachts are visiting Sri Lankan cities during their return trip. Three women officers are among the thirty officers sailing on these yachts. Participating in major expeditions at both the national and international levels enables the Indian Navy to project its benign presence across the globe. In addition, it enables the Indian Navy to engage in an extreme adventure sport. Crew members will have to harness the ocean current and wind to propel their vessels, both during the day and night, as well as braving the weather on the high seas.

INSV Mhadei has circumnavigated solo ‘Sagar Parikrama’ with Capt Dilip Donde in 2010 and Cdr Abhilash Tomy in 2013. He has also accomplished Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro races in 2011, 2014, and 2017. A crew of all women officers circumnavigated the globe in 2017 on the INSV Tarini as part of the Navika Sagar Parikrama. The five Indian sailing yachts are expected to return to Goa by the end of March after sailing through Lanka.


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