A. Joseph Antony
A 26-foot yacht made in the United States launched at Hussainsagar
The $19,990 craft was shipped from California to Chennai It was brought to Hyderabad by a trailer four days ago It was launched with the help of EME Sailing Association
HYDERABAD: If sailing has fired the imagination of Ernest Hemingway and Jack London, the twin cities can look forward to more action on that front or some lazy cruising too.
`Splash,' a 26 foot yacht, owned jointly by Suheim Sheikh, a 1991 Laser National silver medallist, film producer Suresh Babu and Challa Prasad, was launched at the Hussainsagar on Wednesday.
"The first and last letters of the name represent Secunderabad and Hyderabad, the two sides of the lake. Names of the owners' wives fill in the rest," explained Sheikh of the nomenclature.
The $19,990 US-made craft was shipped from California to Chennai and reached Hyderabad by trailer four days ago.
It was moored at the Secunderabad Sailing Club and launched with the help of the EME Sailing Association (EMESA). Sheikh acknowledged the support of Col. Shirodkar in ensuring the MacGregor 26's hull hit the water and successfully too.
Fitted with a 50-horse power (HP) outboard motor that enables maximum speed of 35.2 kmph, the twin-rudder, double-sail boat also has an optional spinnaker to harness the wind better.
It is also equipped with a dagger board that is superior to the regular centreboard.
Six persons can sleep in the vessel that has a toilet and a washbasin too. The fibreglass body is ideal for lake/inland water sailing.
"We plan to tow it to Nagarjunasagar too and hope it involves more people in the sport," said Suresh Babu.
"With even one more boat of its kind, we can have some match racing in the future," he hoped.
"The 30-40 per cent customs duty rate is prohibitive," said Challa Prasad.
Its reduction would go a long way in promoting this non-polluting sport, while providing the amenities of a houseboat combined with performance.
Suheim Sheikh represented India in an international championship at Doha and also in the Asia Pacific competitions on this very lake. He was also Commodore of the Secunderabad Sailing Club.