A team of five officers from the Indian Navy is set to participate in the 50th edition of Cape to Rio Race 2023 onboard INSV Tarini. One of the most prestigious Trans-Atlantic ocean races, it will start from Cape Town on January 2, 2023 and will culminate at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The India team led by skipper Captain Atool Sinha, comprises Lt Cdr Ashutosh Sharma, Lt Cdr Dilna K, Lt Cdr Roopa A, and SLt Aviral Keshav.
The crew left from Goa last month for the expedition to Rio de Janeiro via Cape Town and back, covering a distance of about 17,000 nautical miles (nearly 30,000km) for about 55 days through Indian, Southern, and Atlantic oceans. This is the fourth time that the Indian Navy is participating in the Cape Town to Rio race. In 2017, the then crew set a record of finishing the race in 20.8 days onboard INSV Mhadei.
The expedition aims to train the crew in essential seamanship skills, including navigation, communication, technical and planning under the helmsmanship of Captain Sinha, including the voyage from Goa to Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro. The expedition also aims at training two women officers to undertake a solo circumnavigation sailing expedition of the globe in future. In 2017, the Navika Sagar Parikrama had six all-women crew circumnavigating the globe. That crew, too, was trained by Captain Sinha for two years to undertake the historic voyage.
Other past expeditions of the Indian Navy include Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) – Sail Together – a diplomatic mission to Seychelles and back in 2018, and the Bay of Bengal sailing expedition in 2019, both onboard INSV Mhadei skippered by Capt Sinha, who also brought India a Silver medal in Asian Games held at Guangzhou (China) in 2010.
During the Cape Town to Rio Race, a crew turnaround is planned at Rio de Janeiro for the return leg to India, wherein Cdr Nikhil P Hegde will take over as skipper with Cdr MA Zulfikar, Cdr Divya Purohit and Cdr Abhishek Doke as crew along with Lt Cdr Dilna K and Lt Cdr Roopa A. The two women officers also participated in the recent expedition to Mauritius.
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