Coromandel to Malabar coast

Army men set sail round the peninsula.

Chennai: While it was infantry men from the Indian Army who trekked up the Tiger Hill in the Himalayas to mark Kargil war’s victory, down south, the Army adventure wing has embarked on a sailing expedition from the Coromandel to the Malabar coast on Sunday to promote the advantages of joining the armed forces, while also creating awareness about sailing as a sport.

Fifteen army officers and men under the leadership of Major Kishore Kunal along with two Tamil Nadu Sailing Association (TNSA) members, one of them a woman, have started to navigate towards the three seas in two yachts from Chennai to Kochi via Rameswaram. At any point of time, six members would be in each Maxi-77 yacht, while the remaining would follow in an Army vehicle by road.

“Sailing is a sport of riches. With the Indian Army promoting sailing as an adventurous activity, more sailors can emerge in this country and take it up as a profession. We are actually looking forward to training sailors who can give medal winning performances in the future Olympics,” said Major Kunal, who trains with his team at Yelemallappa Shetty lake in K.R. Puram, Bengaluru.

Major Kunal’s team from the Madras Engineer Group Centre located at Bengaluru won the inter-organisational cup in sailing at Pune in September 2013.

The Indian Army already has a renowned sailor in Rajesh Choudhary who bagged all medals available at the national and Asian levels in the laser standard section. Recently, a rowing Olympian Subedar P.T. Paulose retired from the Army.

The expedition team plans to reach Rameswaram on January 8, take some rest, refresh their supplies at the Coast Guard station in Mandapam and continue their journey to Kochi on January 10. After five days at sea, that includes going around Cape Comorin, the Army adventure team will reach Kochi on January 15.

In the return direction, the team will leave Kochi on January 17 and reach Rame­swaram on January 21. After a day’s rest, it will lea­ve Mandapam on Janu­ary 22 and is expected to reach Chennai on January 26. “W­e will cover 1,080 nautical mi­les in 21 days,” said Kunal.

Shantha Ravikumar (52), a laser sailor from TNSA, is excited to embark on yet another adventurous sailing trip with the Indian Army.

( Source : dc )
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