With the onset of monsoons begin the inland sailing events in India and the first in line that’s eagerly awaited by all sailors across the country is the National Inland Enterprise Championship (NIEC) at the scenic Peacock Bay, Khadakwasla Lake, organized by the National Defense Academy (NDA). It is considered as the kumbh mela of sailing for all sailors who participate, whether you are experienced or a beginner! There’s just no way you want to miss this particular event. India Yacht Page chatted up with a few sailors and here’s what they had to say:
Gulshan Chunekar, won the championship last year along with his crew Yugandhara Patil who became the first lady to win this event. He has been participating in NIEC since 2004 and loves the experience so much that he hasn’t missed it since then! “It is the only event which gathers maximum number of sailors to compete in the most challenging and unpredictable conditions in the country. It is a great platform for young competitors who plan to participate in international events as it offers similar exposure. Everyone from novices to national champions and world champions from different classes participate. I really like the venue, it is a picturesque place, very well maintained by NDA and the best organized event in the country! The most amazing part besides sailing is that you will find sailors from different generation competing, all coming together at the NDA to share their experiences every evening – the talks are endless. If you are passionate about sailing you shouldn’t miss it. It is the only event where you don’t have to rely on the equipment as it is provided by the organizer. Just get your skills along, they will be tested to the limit!” Click here to view last year’s NIEC at the NDA, shared by Gulshan: https://www.facebook.com/gulshan.chunekar/media_set?set=a.10152852368770231.1073741824.725915230&type=1
Peacock Bay is situated on the North-East of the Khadakwasla Lake. It is the nerve centre of all watermanship training. The facilities at the picturesque Bay to train the cadets include an array of seamanship training equipments, sailing boats of all classes, speed boats, wind surfers, water skis, whalers, dinghies and cutters. Peacock Bay derives its name from the abundance of peacocks found in the area. The bay is also home to other fauna such as the deer, Lion-tailed monkeys and civets.
‘Where among the valleys nestle the sweet singing birds,
Where breathes the wind in delightful symphony,
Where on the pleasant waters shine a thousand mirrors,
Where all nature is witness to a magnificent serenity.
To our precious abode Peacock Bay WE WELCOME YOU…’
Sanjeev Mhatra has been participating in the events for the past 20 years, since 1994, and this will be his 21st year! He is definitely the biggest enthusiast and shares his experience with us. “NDA is a beautiful place, its such fun to sail the Khadakwasla lake as the boats are so many! Above all, you get to live the NDA life for 3 days! No other sailing event in INDIA is as privileged as this one. You are provided with boats at no extra cost as no charter is charged, you get to stay in NDA premises and enjoy nature that surrounds you. The excitement is so high that planning for next NDA begins the moment we leave for home after the event. All the top sailors across INDIA participate in the event. This is the only sailing event in INDIA which gets maximum entries. The best part here besides sailing is the peace of mind you get away from the busy city life. After a full day’s sailing, everyone gets together in the evening to have some joy filled moments, they go out for dinner around Chandni Chowk, or at times go trekking to the Sinhagad Fort. It is a one-in-a-lifetime kind of an experience to be at NDA!”
It has been over thirty years since NDA has played host to the event which is considered as the nursery for identifying talent in the sport of sailing in the Enterprise class of boats in the country. The 33rd National Inland Enterprise Championship (IEC) will be held at the Khadakwasla Reservoir under the burgee of the NDA Sailing Club from 03 to 06 June 14.
Mehul Ashar has been sailing the NIEC consistently from 1993 to 1999 and then from 2010 onwards. He has won the championship on various occasions. He looks forward to the event every year as its got one of the highest entries as compared to any other sailing event in the country! “It’s just a super fantastic event! There’s so much energy, so many sailors, and the weather conditions cannot get any better than this. It is a must experience and whoever wants to try it out should not miss it!”
Tara Matiwade is a regular at the event as well. “It’s the whole atmosphere, the weather, the nature and the people liven up this event so perfectly. If you want to be in the right place at the right time then you have to come to NDA! The lake is small and is situated in a valley. The boats are many and the wind direction keep changing! You never know who is going to win, just when you think you are winning the wind changes and blows some other lucky sailor to victory. That’s the whole fun of it! And with such a large fleet, the chaos is exhilarating, everyone’s spirits are at an all time high. The competition is heavy but the cool breeze and the awesome environment really liven and lighten things up.”
So that’s NIEC at the NDA for you folks! If you wish to be a part of it get in touch today and remember the dates for this years event: 03 to 06 June 14.
If you would like to share your experiences, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org