Thursday, February 27, 2014

Club J/80 Promotes Chennai Sailing Festival

J/80 sailng off Chennai, India (Chennai, India)- Located in Chennai, the Royal Madras Yacht Club (RMYC) was the first sailing Club in the South of India. It was founded in 1911 by the then Chairman of The Madras Port Trust– Mr. Francis Spring. Now, a century later, you will find that RMYC is still pursuing the ideals laid down at the very beginning. The Club’s primary purpose is “to promote the sport of sailing” in all its aspects. The RMYC members pride themselves in being an active, inclusive and family-friendly Sailing Club, working together to encourage participation in the sport— old or young, experienced or novice they welcome all those whose aim is to have “fun” on the waters.

J/80 sailing off Chennai, India at sunsetRecently, members of RMYC created CLUB J/80 and put on a show with the Indian Coast Guard Service and the Tamilnadu Marine Police during the Chennai Waterfront Festival.  The messaging was- to promote sailing as an “eco-friendly, green boating activity”.

Each of the J/80s participating took up to ten people aboard, including family and friends.  There were thousands lined up on the marina beach to enjoy the spectacular J/80s sailing back and forth on 16th Jan 2014.

These are some of the pictures taken from a helicopter hovering around the J 80s, with the setting sun and the city in the background.

The report from the Hindu follows:
“On Thursday, as people thronged the beach, some may have noticed a number of specks on the sea, close yet far out of reach.

J/80 sailing enthusiasts- Chennai, IndiaA chopper circled overhead, a hovercraft periodically went up and down the sea, and a couple of sailboats and Coast Guard boats bobbed on the waves, keeping watch on the bay. There were also a few divers on the shore waiting to grab that errant person who managed to venture into the sea through the makeshift barricades.

The Coast Guard began its vigil of the coast a little after mid-day and continued until midnight, along the Marina and Elliot’s beaches in Chennai.  Smaller boats patrolled the sea in Puducherry, Karaikkal, Tuticorin and Mandapam,” said S.P. Sharma, Commander, Indian Coast Guard (east).

The Coast Guard’s patrol boats sliced through the waves, while two J/80 class sailboats with Coast Guard and RMYC (Royal Madras Yacht Club) logo’s printed on the sail propagated the Coast Guard motto: “To maintain a pollution-free, green ocean.”

Mr. Sharma said, “The seeds were sown on February 1, 1977, when the Coast Guard began policing the sea. Their association with RMYC would help build the character of the youth when they sailed the seas and understand its behavior,” he said.

“The State, with its well-prepared Coast Guard patrol team, had not lost any fisherman to the spate of cyclones that rocked it last year,” said Mr. Sharma.

Recently, the Coast Guard added two more Dornier aircraft to the existing three. The State government had also allocated 50 acres to create an air station for the Coast Guard with the aim of making it easy to patrol the northern parts of the Indian Ocean.

The Coast Guard is in the process of acquiring the land. “When that happens, we will be able to reach the Gulf of Mannar (region) faster. It now takes a long time to reach from Chennai,” he said.

“The water-jet-propelled patrol boat, AADESH, which was recently commissioned at Cochin shipyard is expected to arrive soon and will be stationed in Tuticorin to patrol the Gulf of Mannar,” said Mr. Sharma.  Thanks for contribution from “The Hindu”.

For more information about sailing J/80s in India as well as the Royal Madras YC sailing program (, please contact- Sunil Lobo-