Kochi: The EME Sailing Association (EMESA) team of Indian Army won the Kochi- Andorth – Kochi Offshore Sailing Race 2011. The 5 member team comprising Lt Col SS Siwatch, Gaurav Shinde, Sub. DP Selvam, Hav. Sharif Khan and Sub.Purshottam battled winds varying from 4 to 25 knots in the Arabian Sea over 5 days and 4 nights.
The Race flagged off on 18th of January, tested the seafaring and seamanship skills of the crew to the extreme on the 650 Km course.
The team from the Western Naval Command (WNC) skippered by Sanjeev Chauhan finished second.
Till the second day team EMESA was in lead but WNC took the lead in the night and rounded Andorth Island first. On the third night both EMESA and WNC were right next to each other stuck in a huge lull. Both the teams kept fighting throughout the night, switching off the navigation lights and not making a single sound to remain untraceable by each other.
Fourth day of the race brought in stormy weather with 6 metre high waves and winds gusting to 30 knots. “Our genoa tore and the port shroud broke in the storm. We sailed with our jib and repaired the genoa to hoist it in lighter winds”, said Gaurav Shinde of team EMESA.
Early morning at 0445 hours EMESA reached the Fairway bouy at Kochi harbour with WNC just 4 nautical miles behind.
Vice Admiral KN Sushil Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command gave away the Cash Award and Trophy to the victorious EMESA team, while Commodore K Subramaniam, Chairman and Managing Director Cochin Shipyard Limited gave away the Cash Awards and Trophy to the Runners up WNC. The Admiral in his address complimented the participants and promised more frequent ocean sailing races. Cochin Shipyard Limited was the title sponsors and the Southern Naval Command provided safety and administrative support.