You may have embarked on a Dil Chahta Hai-style road trip from Mumbai to Goa at least once but ever thought of sailing all the way to the beach state? If the idea of steering the course on a sailboat while soaking in the rich Konkan coastline excites you, sign up for a five-day, 450-km Mumbai To Goa Sailing Rally that flags off early next month.
Organised by Sirius Sport, a city-based company that hosts sailing and water sports experiences, the rally was first conducted in the 1990s, and is being revived after two decades. “The idea was to make sailing accessible to all and highlight India’s rich maritime traditions. The rally is designed to allow sailors, both seasoned and amateur, to experience the adrenaline rush that off-shore sailing can offer. It’s a test of skill, endurance, determination and teamwork,” says co-founder Mahesh Ramachandran, an Arjuna Awardee and a retired professional yachtsman with the Indian Navy, who plans to hold similar rallies across the country.
Sun, sea and sail
On November 10, over eight, 20 to 50-feet long sailboats will flag off from the Gateway of India, led by the company’s flagship 26-feet huge vessel, Sirius. Over five days, the entourage will sail past quaint fishing villages, unexplored islands, beaches and lighthouses along the picturesque Konkan coast.
With MTDC as the event partner, the team has planned two stopovers on the way — at Harihareshwar, a beach town in Raigad district and Tarkarli, a village in the Sindhudurg district on the Maharashtra coast. “At Harihareshwar, guests can spend time on the beach and visit a nearby temple. At Tarkarli, they can participate in water activities like scuba diving and zorbing,” he adds. Guests can also set out on trails of the two forts, Himmatgad at Harihareshwar and the sea fort of Sindhudurg at Tarkarli.
Post arriving in Goa, guests can expect harbour races along with an after-party complete with music, booze and barbeque. The rally is open to medically-fit adults and children over 10 years of age, who need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. “Each boat will include six to 12 guests, a mix of qualified and experienced sailors and novices,” shares Ramachandran.
Get your sailing fix
>> If your kids are interested in sailing, enroll them at Gateway Sailing Club’s week-long camp where they learn the sport from certified trainers, in an optimist class or bathtub-sized boat. The course includes physical training, theory on sailing, wind direction, sail setting, boat preparations and racing. The club also offers family sailing courses.
Age group 8 to 14 years
Log on to: www.gatewaysailingclub.com
Cost: `20,000 (for a week-long camp)
>> Aquasail offers courses for kids and adults at its training centres in Mumbai and Alibaug. These are taught on a variety of sailboats, including less-than-20 feet dinghies (in pic).
Log on to: www.aquasailindia.com
Cost: `8,500 onwards (courses); `2,000 (for a sailing experience)
City-based nature club, Heart And Soil also offers a two-hour parent-child sailing experience along the city’s coastline till May. You can book a date and time according to your convenience.
Time: 7 am to 9 am; 4 pm to 6 pm
Cost: `1,800 (inclusive of snacks)
Sailing is for everyone above the age of seven, including non-swimmers
Know your sailboat
Boom: A horizontal pole jutting out at the foot of the sail
Tiller: A lever used to steer the boat
Main sheet: A rope used to control the main sail
Five days at sea
Total race length: 240 nautical miles (450 kilometres)
Nov 10, 3 pm: Flag off from Gateway Of India
Nov 11, 6 am: Stop at Harihareshwar, guided tour
Nov 12, 3 pm: Reach Tarkarli
Nov 13, 5 pm: Start from Tarkarli to Goa
Nov 14, 6 am: Finish the rally in Goa
from travel http://www.mid-day.com/articles/mumbaigoa-sailboat-rally-november-mumbai-guide-konkan-coastline/17702173