boat An old photograph on the Boat House Club bar Showing the Nainital Yacht Club fleet in 1890 prompted us to celebrate the 100 years of Sailing on Naini Tal Lake. The lovely print shows 5 to 6 Yachts sailing in front of the Grand Hotel. Late Bachi Sing Pawar who was our Bosun of the N.T.Y.C.for over 3 decades was the person who inspired the members of the N.T.Y.C. Committee and The Boat House Club committee to take up this regatta in real earnest. We were really sorry that Bachi babu did not live to see his dream translated into reality but by a strange coincidence the Bachi Singh pawar Memorial cup –Race for the Kistiwalas was sailed on 8th june 1990 which was his first death anniversary. The Sailors and the N.T.Y.C.committee members and some members of the Boat House club showed the affection that they had for Bachi Babu by contributing over Rs. 10,000/- as prize money for this race.

Our Vice-commodor Shri R.L. Nanda took upon himself the responsibility of getting the sponsors for the races. Shri R chopra of of Shriram Foods was the first sponsor and he agreed to sponsor two races-The Rath and Ruby Challenge Cups. We then found it easy to get the other 8 sponsors.

The first race was held on the Ist. June 1990 and Mr. P.R.Nariman the senior most sailor present at Nainital was asked by Mrs. Sita Nanda the Commodore and members of the Nainital yacht Club and Boat House Club Committees to inauguarate The Centenary of Sailing at Naini-Tal Lake regatta’-1990.

The prize money in all the races was quite substantial and we were happy to see the good response of the sailors. All the races had at least two heats and there were days when the yachts were out form 10.30 A.M. for the first race till well past 4 P.M. when the last heat was over. Even though I could not participate in the races due to some back problems I was to officiate as the O.O.D-for the events. I have never seen such enthusiasm amongst the sailors at Nainital. The closely fought out races sometimes ended in protests and this kept the protest committee quite busy. Some protests were so technical that we even had to get Shri Virendra Singh to cut short his holiday and come and join Shri D.S. majithia and the other members to sort them out. I was really glad that even though very healthy rivalry existed on the Lake the sailors were the best of friends after the races.

Amongst the participants we had the pleasure to see veterans like Shri Puran Lal Sah (who had given up sailing almost 3 decades ago) participate in nearly 75% of the races. He won first prize and also a second prize. Shri D.S. Majithia not only took part in the races but also chaired the protest committee meetings as and when required. Shri B.K.Pande the Hony.Sec. Of the Boat House Club helped us with the organisation and he and Mr.R.L.Nanda were really kept busy during the entire regatta.

The young sailors were the keenest participants and as most of the races were Handicap races the prizes were quite evenly distributed.boat We were happy to see Shri Aslam khan Honorable Minister of Sports and Forests U.P.Govt.come to Nainital and participate in a few races and win the Nainital Lake Centenary Cup albeit as Arvind Prasad’s crew.

It was fitting to see the "Siddharth Rao Sanga Cup” name after one of our Keenest young sailors of N.T.Y.C.” "Bhuru” being sailed with such enthusiasm. We had lost this young sailor just a year ago in tragic circumstances and we are really grateful, to Shri and Smt.J.S. Sanga in donating this beautiful trophy for this race. The Nainital yatch Club hosted a tea for all the members of the Boat House Club after the prize distribution that evening. The cup was won by another very young and keen sailor Shri Sameer Luthra.

The committee was happy that all the sponsors came to Nainital to be present at the races and help us in conducting the draws in the mornings. They also participated in the various entertainment programmes after the races. The Sherwani Hill-Top Inn who sponsored The Geep Flashlight Handicap Cup in association with Geep Flashlight Industries and Naini Retreat helped organise some lovely evenings for the sailors.

Amongst the various dignitaries who came to witeness the races we had the pleasure to welcome and have with us Shri Arif mohammed Khan hon’able minister of Govt. of india, Shri K.C.Pant the former Defence Minister Govt.of India,Shri Aslam Khan Minister of Sports and Forests Govt.of U.P. (who participated ina few races as well) and Lt. Gen F.N.Bilimoria G.O.C. central command who showed great interest in the development of sailing in Nainital and when informed of the yeoman service of Shri Bachi Singh Pawar promised to donate a Trophy and prize money every year form Central command Lucknow for a kaisthiwala race at Naini-tal. He is also instituting a running trophy to sailed between the sailors of Central Command and Nainital from next year.

We are also happy that Shri Aslam Khan has promised all help in promoting the sport of Sailing at Nainital.

The response form the sponsors and sailors was so good that we had to extend the Regatta for a day. The last race the Pasupati Acrolon Trophy was sailed on 11th June, 1990. The prizes were given away by Shri B.K.Chaturavedi the president of the Boat House Club. The sponsors had given a lovely tea party to all the members of the Boat House Club. It seemed that even the Gods wept to see the Regatta conclude as during the prize distribution we had the first heavy showers of the season.

Seeing the enthusiasm of the sailors I feel happy that That Nainital Yacht Club Committee did organise this regatta as sailing in Nainital which seemed to be solely dying out has once again received a shot in the arm and with the active participation of the sailors and the help promised to the yacht Club by Shri Aslam Khan and the Ministry of Sports and Tourism Govt. of U.P. we shall continue to see good sailing at the highest yacht club in India and the future of safe.

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