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10 January 2008, 10:26 am
Indian Offshore Sailing Champs Set For January Start
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Indian Offshore Sailing Championships 2008
Kochi, India

The Ocean Blue Indian Offshore Sailing Championship, presented by Ericsson, begins on the 12 January in Kochi.
The ten-day race takes crews from Kochi to Kavaratti and back. The race, sponsored by India's largest leisure boating company Ocean Blue, is conducted by the Offshore Sailing Association of India. The course covers over 600 nautical miles, with 12 teams set to participate from various clubs affiliated to the Yachting Association of India.

The race will be flagged off from Hotel Taj Malabar, Wellingdon Island, on 12 January by Shri Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Hon'ble Minister for Home, Tourism and Vigilance, Govt of Kerala.

The 'Flag Off' ceremony will include an "In Port Race" where the teams compete before setting sail for the race to Kavaratti Islands. Sailors from the local clubs will also be sailing Hobies, Lasers and Enterprises along with Optimist to cheer the teams. A large number of traditional snake boats from amongst the locals will add colour to the "Flag Off" celebrations.

The Offshore Sailing Association, under the Yachting Association of India (YAI), is dedicated to promote ocean sailing in the country. The association has a primary aim to promote broaden and popularize the sport of ocean sailing in the India. The Association is based in Kochi and is being run from the prestigious Anti Submarine Warfare School of the Indian Navy. Since its inception, the Association has a played a very active role in the promotion of offshore sailing in the country, for example, it conducted the Mumbai-Kochi National Offshore Race in January 2007.

At the head of the Association is President V Adm S K Damle, AVSM, NM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, a keen sailor who has skippered various classes of sail boats.

The support of the Southern Naval Command, the elite Command of the Indian Navy, is priceless for their promotion of the event and provision of search and rescue cover for the first ever 'ocean' race in India.

Indian Offshore Sailing Championships -

Ajay Narang (As Amended By ISAF)
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