You cannot, not love sailing, and if you do, then this perhaps your best way to change your mind. Go sailing in the vast Arabian Sea, on a Yacht in Mumbai, and come back refreshed and with a newer perspective.
A good friend and fellow blogger, Ethel Da Costa sent in an exclusive invite to experience sailing, herself a hydrophobic. The event, named CEO Regatta, immediately put my online searching skills to test. I need to know more, and it was clear that this is something else than what I have experienced to date. If you are in a hurry, let me help you with a visual trailer. Take a look.
Aquasail has established into this new niche of the experiential game of travel and entertainment. I have been talking about the experiential tripping for a while, and sailing is one of the latest trends in the travel and tourism industry.
Visiting Royal Bombay Yacht Club
On the D-day, I ride my RE Himalayan all the way to Royal Bombay Yacht Club, near Gateway of India in the southern tip of Mumbai. The architecture from the 18th century has been tediously maintained to give the rusty but sophisticated at the same time. A perfect way to transfix the nature of Yachting in India.
The who’s who of corporate India was in presence, part taking in the sail yacht racing called CEO Regatta. Sponsored by Axis Bank and Air Vistara, it perhaps is one of the most high-powered meets I have visited, ever. The leaders from the industry sorted into teams and then proceeded towards the vast open sea.
Upon arrival at the jetty (2 minutes walk from the Yacht Club), all the competitors got on a transporting boat which will take them to their Sail Yacht. Watch the part one video, if you are in a hurry to skim through. Make sure to subscribe to Indianomics.tv on YouTube.
Watching the racing yachts in Arabian Sea
I got on the boats with photographers, as I wanted to watch the race from as close as possible, even though I had an option to go on top the luxury yacht, as some others did. The sky was brilliant for a change, and it helped in the video and photographs I took. I am sure you will agree. I could not stop myself looking into the display of my phone (a Lumia 950XL and iPhone 6S)
Watching the Yachts race was fun, and something new for me. It brought back memories of the year 2007. I was working for ABN AMRO Bank back then, and our bank had two sail yachts participating in Volvo Ocean Race. It was the first time I heard about racing Yachts. A decade later, I could fulfill my wish to do a race myself, although much smaller in comparison, of course.
After the first set of teams finished their race, a winning team emerged and sent back to the Luxury Yacht Eesha. Time for some action, then! I got on to the event winning Yacht at the first instant, mid-sea.
Racing the Yacht in Mumbai!
Racing the Yachts is difficult unless you know tons of things. Wind speed, changing direction, and which ropes to pull. If you get a thing wrong, the boat can turn turtle any time. During the race itself, everyone was sitting on the edge. The adrenaline rush was at its peak, and we all were trying our best to stay afloat and race to the victory line.
Thanks to the instructor Moksh, who made it look pretty easy-peasy. He knew precisely what and when to talk to us novices. I was sitting in the corner, close to the water than everyone else taking videos and pictures of our race.
It was fun and an experience that will stick with me for a long time to come. Going back to the Royal Bombay Yacht Club for the high-tea after party, I was memorizing lessons. Being on a boat on a day when the sky was perhaps its best, what more could I have asked!
Kithna kharcha bhai? (How much will it cost brother?)
Before I left the venue, I had a 45-minute conversation with Zia Hajeeboy, Director of Aquasail, talking about various topics. While speaking, I realized that having your boat party is not so much expensive as one would believe. At ₹9000 for 4 hours (for six people), the cost per head worked out to be just ₹1,500! You not only are a passenger, but the sailor too. Now that is affordable for sure!
It helps to break free from the chaotic Mumbai life and visit the seas to take a breath of fresh air and be relaxed while doing it. Not only the cost incurred is lower, but it also is refreshing, and you do not have to travel a lot far. Plus, the only time you get to see Gateway of India and Taj Hotel in a frame is from the sea! And what a lovely sight it is!