Raymond India International Regatta 2013

The fifth edition of the Only International Youth Sailing Regatta of India is due to be held from Sep 30th to Oct 7th 2013. Organised by the Yachting Association of India (YAI) and hosted by Chennai Sailing Academy (CSA) under the aegis of Tamil Nadu Sailing Association (TNSA), the Raymond India International Regatta (RIIR) 2013 is the only event of its kind in the country and keenly anticipated by sailors from India and many other nations. Over a hundred sailors from 9 countries including India have registered for this event which will feature three of the most popular youth classes of boats, the Optimist, 29er and Laser 4.7. Twenty four sailors from Ireland, Seychelles, Malaysia, New Zealand, Britain, The USA, Netherlands and Slovenia will be here forming nearly 25% of the fleet. Malaysia will be the biggest foreign contingent with 9 of their sailors participating in the Optimist and one in the Laser 4.7. The RIIR 2013 will be inaugurated on the 30th of Sep 2013 by Shri G K Vasan, the Honourable Union Cabinet Minister for Shipping, Government of India.

The Optimist is the international single-handed class for juniors up to the age of 15. Ninety percent of the Olympic sailors are said to have started their career in this boat. Laser 4.7 is a hugely popular single-handed youth class which is a stepping stone to the Olympic classes Laser Standard and Radial. The relatively newer Australian skiff 29er that ‘sails faster than the wind that propels it’ is one of the most exciting boats ever designed and it has captured the fascination of the youth worldwide like few other boats have. The interest in this boat has grown exponentially in a very short period and this class has now gained a prominent place in the European circuit and the Asian Championships. It is the intermediate class for sailors who aspire for the Olympic classes 49er, 49FX and 470. It is worth noting that it was TNSA that introduced both the youth classes Laser 4.7 and 29er to India, the former in the Laser Coastal Nationals held here in 2006 and the 29er in the inaugural India International Regatta in 2009.

International Race officials and Jury have been appointed to ensure that the conduct of the event is scrupulously fair and efficient. International Race Officer Ilker Bayindir from Turkey is the Principal Race Officer for the event while International Judge Jagdish Singh from India will chair the jury which will comprise of distinguished International Judges from Singapore and Malaysia and Indian National Judges.

With unusually active SW Monsoon in Chennai this year and the approaching NE Monsoon, the Bay of Bengal is expected to provide the sailors with challenging conditions equal to any international sailing centre. The competition promises to be intense and exciting as all the participating countries have fielded their top sailors who have produced excellent performances in key international events.

In the five years that TNSA and CSA have run this international regatta, their constant endeavour has been to elevate Indian sailing to a new level and bring the best of world talent to India. Besides providing the Indian sailors an opportunity to sail with the best in the world, this event has promoted excellence in the sport of sailing and has also firmly established Chennai as an important sailing destination in the world. It is the organizers’ earnest hope that the Tamil Nadu Government will soon create the proposed marina facility which will further boost sailing activities as well as other water sports in the state besides attracting leisure yachts as well to our shores.

Pleased with the growing international participation, Ashok Thakkar, the Commodore of TNSA says, “It is wonderful to see sailors from nations far and near coming to Chennai to participate in the RIIR. Sailing engenders kinship across communities and helps establish cross cultural exchanges between nations. There is tremendous potential for taking this sport to a greater level in India and in the not too far future we hope to see India as one among the greatest sailing nations. With the kind of support we have received from our sponsors for this event, it is certainly possible.”

Title sponsors Raymond who have extended their support till 2021 are certainly convinced about the sporting and social value of this event. Mrinmoy Mukherjee, Director – Marketing, Raymond Ltd said, “The Raymond India International Regatta is very special for us indeed, the event is becoming a special feature on international sailing calendar. For Raymond this is the third consecutive year of association and our long term association with this event is a testimony to our dedication towards building and growing the emerging sport of sailing in the country and we will continue this endeavor in the coming years. On behalf of our Chairman Managing Director Gautam Hari Singhania, we welcome all national and international participants and wish them good luck for the event.”

Titan has come in as a co-sponsor for the event this year. Bhaskar Bhatt, Managing Director, Titan Company Limited said, “Titan Company in general and brand Fastrack in particular have continually encouraged and inspired young Indians to achieve global standards in all walks of life including sports.  It is in that spirit that Fastrack has associated with this international event.”

LT Construction – the construction arm of Larsen Toubro, which has designed and built many iconic sports infrastructure in the country and abroad, extends its support for the Regatta. S.N. Subrahmanyan, Member of the Board Sr. Executive Vice President (Infrastructure Construction), LT expressed his happiness in the  Company’s association towards this event  and said, “this is an ideal platform for the children in the age group of 8 – 18 years to learn and evolve into  Asian and World Champions. Just like the records set by the Indian Company (LT) in building a world class stadium at Chennai in 260 days, Wankhede (Mumbai) and Kensington Oval (Barbados) stadiums for two Cricket World Cup Finals, I wish that the children from India set new records in international racing competition and bring laurels to the country.”

Adding luster to the RIIR 2013 and inspiring the young sailors to excel will be the presence of Lt Cdr Abhilash Tomy, a naval aviator who created history for India earlier this year by completing a circumnavigation of the earth on a sailboat, solo, nonstop and unassisted. He is the first Indian to have achieved this feat and one among just 80 in the world. He readily accepted our invitation to be the Star Ambassador for the event, saying, It is an absolute honour to be part of the India International Regatta and as a sailor, it is a pleasure for me to be among these young sailors who no doubt will one day make the world respect India as a sailing nation.

The Raymond India International Regatta is supported by the Ministry of Youth Affairs Sports, Govt of India, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Chennai Port Trust and Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, amongst others.


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