The monsoon quarter in India almost shuts all doors for sailing as the boats are docked safely for the seas get rough and unsafe for sailing. During these months the sailors seek other opportunities to keep in touch with the sport. Thus, Monsoon Clinics are held. Monsoon Clinics are opportunities for sailors to carry on sailing while all other avenues to sail are closed down during the rains. Various drills, races and sailing activities take place and the main aim for conducting monsoon clinics is to keep the sailors occupied during the off-season as well.
The monsoon clinics are conducted by the INWTC (Indian Navy Watermenship Training Centre), a part of the Indian Navy. They provide facilities like the boats, safety gear etc.
The races that take place at these clinics are very important. They are of two types
2. Fleet racing
Matchracing: A match race in sailing involves two boats going head-to-head in match racing there are only two boats and it has specific rules of control over the opponent.
Fleet racing: Fleet racing is a form of competitive sailing that involves sailboats racing one another over a set course. It is the most common form of sailboat racing.
People prefer Fleet racing because it is easier than match racing because there are no rules to be followed.
Also these clinics are held to promote sailing and make it more popular. Anyone and everyone are eligible to take part in it, even women. 6-8 women sailors take part in these clinics every year. Certain safety precautions need to be taken. “Always make sure an extra boat is at hand so that at the time of emergency it can be used. Also a trained and experienced person should supervise the clinic. Other basic safety measures like life jackets are a must and this goes without saying” advises active sailor Shahid Basheer.
These clinics train sailors to face the situations at sea and give them first hand experience of sailing. When asked about his sailing experience during the monsoon clinics Shahid says that “It’s always been a wonderful experience. It is thrilling to sail at this time, one gets to learn a lot from the other sailors about how to face challenging situations at sea. If you can sail during the monsoons you can sail under any weather conditions!”
Article Compiled by Vishwaja Salian.