'Ocean Blue' offshore sailing championship flagged off

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Kochi, Jan 12 (UNI) Kerala Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishanan today flagged off the 'Ocean Blue' sffshore sailing championship at a colourful 'sail parade' here today.

The 'sail parade' is a tradition in which sail boats unfurl their sails as they go past the cheering crowds.

A total of 12 Enterprise boats, seven J-24 boats, six laser boats and one Seabird boat swamped the Ernakulam Channel waterfront even as the crew displayed their sailing skills.

The seven J-24 boats from the various Watermanship Training Centres (WTC) of the Navy and the one Seabird boat of the Kerala Yachting Association (KYA) participated in the 'In-Port' race.

These boats will sail for the Lakshadweep Islands which will be the 'Ocean leg' of the Race.

Of the eight teams, 2 are from Mumbai, 2 from Vishakapatnam, 3 from Kochi and one team of the KYA.

This is the first time that the KYA is participating in a championship organized by the Offshore Sailing Association of India - OSA (I).

The Ocean leg of the Championship will start on January 13, off Kochi harbour. The boats will reach Kavaratti around January 17, where they will be hosted by the Indian Navy. The second leg of the race towards Kochi will be flagged off on January 19, thus covering about 600 nautical miles both ways, braving the heat, cold and waves of the Ocean.

The closing ceremony is scheduled here on January 23.

UNI ARC KKS1930

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