India's first powerboating race, the Nexa P1 Powerboat -Indian Grand Prix of the Seas, is being hosted in the city over the weekend. What makes the event even more prestigious is the fact that it is the first Grand Prix of the Seas recognised by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), the global governing body for all powerboating activities.
The grand finale, which will take place today, will feature six teams — each with two P1 Panther Powerboats, manned by a pilot and a navigator — competing on a specially designed, 5.2 km-long racetrack from Marine Drive promenade between the Nariman Point Land's End and Girgaum Chowpatty.
With the event marking its Indian debut in Mumbai, powerboating aficionados have already begun celebrating. BT & MissKyra team spoke to some celebrities, who were part of the event:
Asha Bhat, Miss Supranational 2014, who is the brand ambassador of Mirchi Mavericks, owned by Times Group, said, "I'm just so pumped up for the finale and will be rooting from way up here at the marquee with this fabulous view. Our team is doing pretty well. I think it's so fabulous that something like this has started. So far, we have just experienced water sports in places like Goa on jet skis. But this is a great sporting initiative. It's nice opportunity for youngsters who are keen on taking this up as a profession."
Noyonita Lodh, Yamaha Fascino Miss Diva 2014 - Miss India Universe, added, "It's highly competitive and that's what makes it exciting. There are 15 laps in a go and there are six teams, so you never know who's going to win."
Interestingly, a Koli (fisherman) boat race is also part of the event. While a showcase of the competition was held on Saturday, the finale will be held today, between 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm.
Many celebrities felt that such events should have started long ago. Model Aanchal Kumar observed, "It's very exciting to see an event like this for the first time on Indian shores. It's high time we explored a vast shoreline like ours."
Model Bhumika Navlani was equally thrilled. She said, "Mumbai should host more events like this, because kids truly enjoy them. We have been to many boat races abroad, but this is the first in India and that makes it even more special. I am totally impressed."
Entrepreneur Ramona Narang Rodella also can't stop cheering for the participants. She said, "I have come here especially for my kids. I have attended powerboat races in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Monte Carlo, so it's good to see it finally happening here in Mumbai. At least, they will keep the sea clean now." Photo Courtesy: Tejas Kudtarkar