With over a 100 sailors from a dozen countries participating, one can expect keen fight and high drama on the water. Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Iran, Slovenia, Myanmar and Seychelles have all registered to participate in the week long regatta which promises to be challenging not only because of the speed of the boats and the young age of sailors, but also because of the demanding pre-monsoon conditions prevalent at the time.
The India International Regatta which is partly funded by Government of India and Government of Tamil Nadu aims to: promote interest in preservation and conservation of our environment and natural resources, promote sailing as a healthy and enjoyable sport for pleasure and competition for everyone for life, bring international and interstate sailors to Chennai, highlight and promote Chennai as the world class sailing destination and support the development and growth of sailing classes, Yacht Clubs and sailors.
Admiral Nirmal Verma, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of Naval Staff and President, YAI, while pledging to broad base the sport in the country, says, "India International Regatta will provide the greater Indian sailing community, in particular youth sailors, with a terrific opportunity to learn and develop into future World Champions."
By conducting professionally run regattas, bringing together many of the World's best sailors, with support programs and coaching, excellent facilities and infrastructure we are helping Indian sailors become even faster, more professional and better experienced to take on the world. These steps will ensure that our Indian sailors become faster, more professional and better equipped to take on the world.
The Tamil Nadu Sailing Association is hosting the Regatta out of the Port of Chennai and races will be organized in the Bay of Bengal. With the emphasis on youth, this regatta has been organized in two youth racing classes: the single handed Optimist dinghy for the sub junior sailors and the 29er for adolescent sailors who have grown out of the Optimist.
Since 2004, two years after its inception, when it conducted the first ever National Championships in two classes simultaneously, the TNSA has been conducting National Sailing Championships every year. With the largest youth fleet in the country, who have been dominating the junior level nationally, it is but natural that TNSA is the chosen one for conducting the annual India International Regatta. Pleased with the responsibility, Mr.Ashok Thakkar, Commodore of TNSA says, "It is wonderful to be spearheading the growth of a nascent sport in Tamil Nadu, there is no doubt that the IIR will spark great interest in the sport and draw more youngsters to sailing."
Convinced by the terrific success of the Inaugural IIR in November 2009, Volvo Buses and Volvo Penta of the Volvo Group in India have come back as the title sponsors. Volvo Group, as followers of this sport will be aware, are major supporters of this sport internationally and the title sponsors of the toughest and most prestigious of around-the-world yacht races, The Volvo Ocean Race.
"We are very proud of our sponsorship of the India International Regatta. Volvo is associated with the sponsorship of major sailing championships worldwide and connected with loyal and dedicated sailing fans around the world. As the title sponsor of the 'India International Regatta,' we have the honour of extending our relationship with sailors in India too," said Managing Director of Volvo Buses, Akash Passey.
He further added, "We see a great synergy between our brand and sailing, and the growing popularity of sailing in India makes this a great opportunity for us to partner with. Sailing is a clean sport - close to environment and synergises with our core values of 'Safety, Quality and Care for environment'. Of course, we also have a connect, as a legacy, through the Volvo Ocean Race - the world's most followed and toughest ocean race which visited Kochi last year during its latest edition; and, this is like an extension of that position. With a coast line that India has, and the progress it is passing through this sport will surely take good form in time to come.
Other sponsors like Tata Teleservices and Coca Cola India, also have come back to support the event once more, along with new sponsors including Gamesa, GAIL(India) Ltd, Tissot Watches, Miramar and Air India. The participants and officials will be hosted by the Taj Group of Hotels. The event is supported by the Government of India, Chennai Port Trust, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu and Indian Navy.
Volvo Penta, Head, S Prabhakaran said, "Volvo Penta is committed to promoting the need to preserve and conserve our environment, and sailing is just that sport which connects people to these elements of nature. With the growing popularity of the sport in India, the children are ideal ambassadors for us to help make the change."
ISAF International Judges and Race Officials will be here to ensure a fair conduct of the Regatta. The races will be conducted by International Race Officer Khoo Boo Sun, Singapore, who has 30 years of experience behind him. The jury, comprised of three International Judges and three National Judges, will be chaired by ISAF Official Tomasz Chamera, who was the Principal Race Officer in the first edition of IIR in 2009.
From the 1 to 4 October, officials from ISAF will also be conducting two seminars which will offer the visiting and host team members the opportunity to qualify as International Judges and Race Officers. Bryan Willis, who has overseen five Olympic Games and six America's Cups as a rules advisor, chief umpire and Jury Chairman, Neven Baran, who has been an ISAF Judge since 1994 and IU since 1995, Marinus Blickmanwho has been an International Race Officer since 1994 and Tomasz Chamera who holds both ISAF International Judge and Race Officer status, and has been an ISAF Official since 2001 will conduct the seminars and certify participants who qualify.
A star attraction during the event will be 470 class champion sailor Lobke Berkhout, a five time World Champion and Silver medallist in 2008 Olympic Games at Beijing, who will interact with the young sailors and motivate them.
With the second India International Regatta, Chennai will be established firmly in the international sailing map as a great centre for world-class sailing - a sport that breathes passion and leaves no carbon footprints. Come and watch dramatic action unfold on the high seas as fearless youngsters fight for supremacy over wind and water.
For more information go to - www.yai.org.in