"/> Sailing guru Brig. Chowdhury
 

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Meet: Brig. Chowdhury

The name of Brig. T.P.S. Chowdhury will forever be associated with the story of ocean sailing in India. He was the leader of India's first round-the-world sailing expedition - a journey of over 16 months that started towards the end of a Bombay monsoon, in 1985, and finished a few days into 1987. Brig. Chowdhury led four other ocean sailing expeditions before retiring from service in June 2000. Since then, he has been passing on his sailing experience to Defence and Civilian sailors, and to students across India. Besides his heroic endeavours on the water, he has also found time to indulge in trekking, rafting, gliding and parasailing, as well as golf, meditation, yoga, Pranayam and Access Consciousness .

From: Chandigarh, India
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I've been sailing since 1959, from the time I was in the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. My love for sailing developed around this time, when I would go sailing on Khadakwasla Lake, next to the academy. A few years later, when I was at the College of Military Engineering, Khadki (Pune), I sailed on the River Mula (which flowed next to the college). While at CME, I got to practice sailing in the Seabird class of boats in the harbour in Mumbai, before deciding to sail, with a crew of four, from Mumbai to Goa and back. We then undertook the first trans-ocean expedition from Chennai to Port Blair; and from Mumbai to Bandar Abbas, Iran, and back. All these trips were undertaken in the Seabird class of yachts (meant only for harbour sailing and not trans-ocean voyages). My passion was to circumnavigate the globe - no Indian had ever achieved this feat. But finding seaworthy boats in India proved quite a task. Also, getting leave from the Army and sanction from the Government was problematical! But after four years, we finally got sanction, in June 1984, following which we travelled to the UK where, after a long hunt, we managed to purchase a second-hand 15-year-old yacht, which we then took home and got repaired at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. We named the yacht "Trishna" (which means "an urge to satisfy a deep-rooted desire"). For the round-the-world trip, we got together a team of 10 people - six on the yacht at any one time (four being permanent crew) and four on land in charge of administration and communication. We planned in such a way that six officers got to sail at least a third of the journey, and four got to sail the entire distance. So on September 28, 1985, Trishna, skippered by Major K.S. Rao, set off from Bombay on the voyage of a lifetime. It was, to cut a very long story short, an eventful journey - we ran into a ferocious cyclone with winds of up to 140kmph and waves as high as 40ft, in the Tasman Sea, between New Zealand and Australia. It was our worst moment on the trip, and we seriously wondered whether we would survive! But, with God's grace, survive we did, and we finally docked at the Gateway of India, Mumbai, on 10 January 1987 - 470 days after we had started out!
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 Good day sir, my name is Jonathan Benjamin. I want to ask you about the purchase and use of a laser class boat. Please may I have your email address? Thank you, sir..
1172 days ago
 
Not Yet Answered
 Thanks a lot for the lead. Will check out the facility at Okhla, but the picturesque lake at Chandigarh seems a more enticing prospect. Would like to catch up with you in Chandigarh sometime..
2023 days ago
 
Answer(1)
 Hi Brig. Chowdhury, My question is on rowing. I learnt rowing on a single scull at CME (Mula river) as the son of an army officer, but have struggled to pursue this interest as a grown up civilian. Any leads on where can one try this sport in India? Am currently based out of Gurgaon. .
2029 days ago
 
Answer(2)
 Hi Sir, how does one get into sailing in India?.
2044 days ago
 
Answer(2)
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