Mhadei Set To Touch 100,000 Nautical Miles of Sailing Record Featured

  • Monday, Jun 09 2014

INSV Mhadei entered Goa at 0900h on 08 Jun 14 and berthed
alongside at INS Mandovi boat pool on completion of a 17000 nautical
mile long voyage from Goa to Rio de Janeiro and back. The boat and her
brave crew were received by Adm (Retd) Arun Prakash. The spirited crew
was also cheered by a number of fans from the navy.

The Mhadei had departed from Goa for Cape Town in November last
year to take part in the 2014 edition of the prestigious and historic
trans-Atlantic race called “Cape2Rio”. The boat was skippered by Cdr
Dilip Donde and sailed by a crew of three that included Cdr MVV Satish
(trainee skipper), Cdr TGS Bedi and Lt Cdr Shweta Kapur. After
covering a distance of almost 5000 nautical miles in a little over a
month, the boat arrived at Cape Town just in time to get herself ready
for the race.

The Mhadei was constructed in Goa at Aquarius
Fibreglas Pvt Ltd as part of the Indian Navy’s ambitious project Sagar
Parikrama. In the first edition of Sagar Parikrama, Cdr Dilip Donde
sailed around the world solo under sail with four stops to become the
first Indian and the 189th person in the world to do so. In the second
edition of the project, Cdr Abhilash Tomy sailed around the world
solo, non stop and unassisted to become the first Indian, second Asian
and the 79th person in the world to do so. Ever since her acceptance
into the Indian Navy, the Mhadei has been creating records for the
nation and venturing into uncharted waters. In a matter of 5 years,
she has already logged 96,000 nautical miles of sailing.

Cape2Rio is an iconic race sailed between Cape Town in South Africa and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil over a distance of 3300 nautical miles.
The race is conducted by the Royal Cape Yacht Club at Cape Town and is
hosted by the Iate Club, Rio de Janeiro on the other side. Cape2Rio
2014 began on 04 Jan 2014 at 1400 hrs local time with 35 boats at the
start line vying for the South Atlantic cup. The line up boasted of
legendary sailors and boats such as Jon Sanders and the VOR70,

Tragedy stuck in two days when a weather system packing
tremendous winds hit the fleet as they headed towards Rio de Janeiro
which forced as many as ten boats to retire. The storm eventually
caused a casualty in the Bille, a Bavaria 54 taking part from Angola.
The Mhadei came out of the storm more or less unscathed except for a
few sail tears, which were made good when weather improved. By the end
of the exhausting race, the Mhadei was the 16th to cross the finish
line despite the handicap of sailing with inexperienced crew.

 In addition to taking part in the grueling race, the Navy undertook
the long voyage with the additional aim of training more crew
including women officers. At Rio de Janeiro, Cdr Dilip Donde handed
over the boat to Cdr MVV Satish who began the return voyage with Cdr
TGS Bedi and Lt Vartika Joshi. After another arduous crossing, the
boat arrived at Cape Town, where here mast was given a thorough check
and her sails refurbished. After another change of crew, Cdr MVV
Satish sailed out of Cape Town for Goa on a 5000 nautical mile long
crossing with Cdr Jayant Mahadik and Lt P Swathi.

In the voyage from Goa to Rio de Janeiro and back, Indian Navy not
only managed to take part in the Cape2Rio Race, but also train three
women officers in the art of long distance ocean sailing, which is a
first for the Indian Navy. With the arrival of the Mhadei in Goa, the
Indian Navy has achieved all that it had set out to with this voyage.


The Mhadei has become the most recognised unit in the Indian Navy with a Kirti Chakra, a Shaurya Chakra, two Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards, a McGregor Award for Military Reconnaissance, two National Maritime Achievement Awards, two Chief of Naval Staff Commendations, two Offshore Sailor of the Year Awards, a TIE Aspire Young Achiever Award, an Amrita TV Award for outstanding human endurance and courage and the only Indian to be included in the International Association of Cape Horners. She has crossed the Equator ten times, the Prime Meridian four times and the International Date Line twice.

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