The eighth edition of Admiral’s Cup Sailing Regatta 2017 gets underway with an impressive opening ceremony at Marakkar Watermanship Training Centre (MWTC) on the banks of the picturesque Kavvai backwaters at Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala today, Sunday, 03 December 2017.
The eighth edition of Admiral’s Cup Sailing Regatta 2017, with 28 competing teams from Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, Fiji, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nigeria, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam and two Indian academy teams from INA and National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, has the distinction of having the highest number of participating countries in the world for any military sailing competitive event. The closest was during the 2011 Military World Games held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with 26 countries participating during that event.
The historical eighth edition of Admiral’s Cup Sailing Regatta 2017 was inaugurated by Vice Admiral SV Bhokare, AVSM, YSM, NM, Commandant in an impressive opening ceremony at MWTC. Special invitees, individual team participants, respective participating country officials and senior Naval officers were present on the occasion. The cyclone Ochki and the intensification of a depression over the Arabian Sea resulted in significant erosion of the beach head at Ettikulam Bay – the original venue of the Admirals Cup Regatta opening ceremony event every year. Indian Naval Academy overcoming the challenges imposed by cyclone Ochki, shifted the inaugural ceremony to MWTC near Kavvai backwaters.
The Admirals Cup sailing regatta conducted by INA involves races in Laser (Radial) class sailing boats that are scheduled over the next four days commencing Monday, 04 December 2017. The course laid out is in keeping with international norms as laid down by ‘World Sailing’ which is the world governing body for the sport of sailing and is officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The courses for the sailing regatta are planned to be conducted at Kavvai backwaters due to high sea swell experienced at Ettikulam bay as a result of cyclone Ochki. The race would be shifted to Ettikulam beach in case the condition improves by tomorrow, Tuesday, 04 December 2017. INA has facilitated and made available all infrastructure and race activities so as to enable conduct of the prestigious international event at both these venues. The event has become very popular since its inception in 2010. Each team comprises of two boats each totaling 58 participants, including six female participants, who will fiercely compete for the coveted ‘Admiral’s Cup’.
The ‘Admiral’s Cup’ and the Runners Up Cup are to be awarded to the top two teams in the championship on the basis of the combined performance of both boats. In addition, individual medals will also be awarded in the men’s and women’s category. The Admiral’s Cup Sailing Regatta 2016 was won by Singapore Naval Academy team. This year’s regatta is expected to be more exciting and keenly fought with the highest ever number of countries participating in the event. First time participation of countries like Russia and Vietnam has added to the edge of the competition. INA has also invited eminent yachtsmen from all over India, in addition to local schools, colleges and NCC cadets to witness the event.