PUDUCHERRY: Reviving the great ancient sailing heritage between France and Puducherry, Puducherry is set to host the First International Regatta and nautical event ‘Sailing on the East coast’ from January 25 to 28.
The event is being organised near the Puducherry Beach Road by Pondicherry Sailing Association (PSA) as part of Bonjour India with the support of French Embassy and the government of Puducherry
The regatta will be an important event of Bonjour India among the 80 events and will focus on innovation, creativity and the bonding between India and France, said Puducherry Chief minister V Narayanasamy addressing a press conference jointly with Consul General of France Catherine Suard and Puducherry Tourism Minister Malladi Krishna Rao and Parliamentary Secretary to Chief Minister K Lakshminarayanan.
The four-day regatta is expected to see the participation of around 50 competitors, including international sailors in various categories of the event. The French Laser class national team will come all the way from France to participate in the event.
The event will feature Optimists class, International 420 class, Laser 4.7 class and Laser radial and Moth class event to be held in the sea on Beach Road. The moth class even is a new event to be held first time in India. Competitors in this category would be provided a kit and they have to get the boat ready and set sail for the event. Children up to 15 years of age can participate in the Optimists class in a fibre glass sailing boat.
The winners will be decided based on their performances 10 to 12 individual races in each category. Competitors have to go on a route that is trapezoidal in shape for a distance of three kilometres with each race lasting about an hour. It will be a test of physical and mental endurance. The sailors will be launched from Thengaithittu Harbour and sail up to the start line, opposite the beach road.The races have been scheduled to be held between 9 a.m to 5 p.m, but subject to wind and other weather conditions, said S V Balachandran, Treasurer of PSA.
Olympian Felix Provot of France will conduct a coaching camp in Puducherry from Jan 18 to 24 before the start of the regatta.
All the competitors would be provided life jacket and 10 rescue team will be at sea during the event, said Balachandran to ensure the safety of the competitors. PSA has been conducting classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays for children and adults in Thengaithittu. At least a week’s training is required to learn sailing, said Balachandran
The event will rewind a piece of heritage by reviving the ancient history of trade between France and India by sailing, the chief minister said thanking French President, French Ambassador to India and Consul General of France in Puducherry for the event. It will be significant for tourism and development of Puducherry, he said. Puducherry Tourism department is chipping in with Rs 57 lakhs for hosting the event, Minister for Tourism Malladi Krishna Rao told express. In addition, the tourism department is supporting the cultural and food festival held as part of Bonjour India with a finance of Rs 11 lakhs, he said.