First ever sailing expedition by all female officers

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The first-ever offshore all-women officers sailing expedition ‘Chennai-Visakhapatnam-Chennai’ by the Indian Army departed from Chennai Port on February 15. On Thursday night, the women officers team resumed their adventure in Vizag. The boat started its return journey to Chennai the next day. The Expedition, which was organized by the Army Southern Wing Sailing Command Node, and the EME Sailing Association will end on Sunday. Major Priya Semwal and Major Priya Das, Major Rashmil and Major Sanjana Mithal are the members of the all-female Indian Army Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, (EME), which is led by Major Mukta Shrie Gautam.

Major Mukta Shri Gautam states, “There’s no place that women can’t explore.” We want to encourage young women, regardless of the difficulties, to take up sailing as a serious sport through the offshore sailing adventure. Nothing will stop you pursuing your dream if you’re determined.

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The team leader stresses the importance of rejecting the notion that women are ineligible for certain fields. Principal believes that women should be involved in extreme sports and join military service because they can accomplish anything they set their mind to. They also have the opportunity to make a mark in sailing. The ten female officers had completed rigorous training before embarking on their journey. This included a 25-day-long course in seamanship at HPTC, Mumbai and a 10-day training onboard the Bavaria-class vessel in Chennai. The crew is composed of six men plus one (the team leader), despite having 10 female officers. The crew was all female and coordinated by Major Prashant Kirshore, a ground liaison team officer, who expressed joy at the extraordinary journey.

Major Mukta Shri Gautam shared some of her experiences, saying, “Apart form wading through gusty wind during the voyage, it was the real challenge for some as they were sailing for the first-time.” Three women officers are onboard embarking upon the maiden voyage. The team leader explained that they have divided the crew into teams so they can share work and activities in shifts. This makes the adventure easy. Major says that planning is essential for smooth operation of an audacious expedition.

The team proved that nothing can stop women. Extraordinary results can be achieved when you combine thorough preparation with perseverance and hard work.

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