Cape 2 Rio Yacht Race is a prestigious event that started in 1971, but this is the first time that an all women Indian Navy crew will participate in this race. The crew will be headed by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, who crewed the MHADEI for the first time earlier this year.
“We are a team of six selected for the all-women circumnavigation. We started our journey as a team last year. We were sent on various courses before embarking on MHADEI for long ocean passages. After we successfully completed those courses in seamanship, navigation and communication, the navy decided to send the all-women team on its own,” said Joshi, as quoted by Business Standard.
Indian Navy’s Sailing Vessel (INSV) MHADEI is the one that the women’s crew left on for the race that begins on New year 2017 from Cape Town, South Africa. And it sailed to the southern port city of Visakhapatnam for the International Fleet Review.
“They have already sailed before. Vartika, who is the skipper, has already sailed as an independent skipper. After the International Fleet Review, MHADEI was brought and under her command, they have done a trip to Mauritius and back. Now this yacht is going to go to Mauritius and thereafter to participate in the ‘Cape to Rio’ race, sailing from Cape Town to Rio. With time they will get prepared, and the eventual plan is that we will have an all-lady crew who will undertake circumnavigation,” said Monty Khanna, Rear Admiral, and Commandant Naval War College.
With the purpose of making the women’s crew capable of sailing in drastic conditions and making them more experienced, the Indian Navy has took this step of sending them off for the race, quite early on in their career.
Before taking off for Cape Town, the crew was treated to a flag-hoisting ceremony at the INS Mandovi naval base, which was attended by many eminent naval officials.
Not completely an all-women race, the team will be joined by Captain Atool Sinha in Cape Town who will lead a mixed crew of men and women into the race.
Picture credit- Indian Express