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COEP’s 90th Regatta: It’s full steam ahead for message of world harmony this year

With a spectacular display of shell games, kayak ballet and punt formations the festival reaches new height

pune Updated: Mar 11, 2018 23:39 IST
Ashish Phadnis
Ashish Phadnis
Hindustan Times, Pune
Students of College of Engineering, Pune (COEP) display ‘Telematches’ formation during the 90th edition of Regatta, annual boating festival, at Boat Club in Pune on Sunday.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

The 90th edition of Regatta, the annual boating festival of College of Engineering, Pune (COEP) gave a strong message of world harmony with a spectacular display by 366 students in different categories at Mula river on Sunday.

The boat club of COEP annually hosts its traditional, invigorating festival wherein enthusiastic students display their talents in water sports. The festival came into existence, right from the institution’s foundation,1928 ,located on the bank of the river Mula.

Students of COEP display an arrow formation during the 90th Regatta at Boat Club on Sunday. (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

This year, the theme of the event was ‘Tryst with Peace’ and the students narrated a story from Vedic period and with the help of lights and firecrackers, they displayed how war and violence has affected humanity. Every religion gives a message of love and peace and it should be the followed throughout the world. India can be at the forefront for this mission, stated the students through their creative formations and short plays. Their efforts were well received by the huge crowd gathered for the event at the banks of the river. Over 1200 Puneites witnessed the event and hugely applauded the display.

The show started with arrow formation by the Eighters, symbolising harmony and integrity. The second one was shell games, which was woven by elegance and spirit and had a display of sleek and swift shell boats with oars impelled by skilled rowers against the unpredictable river currents. The synchronisation amongst the rowers along with the resplendent ripples left the audience awestruck.

The shell games were followed by Kayak Ballet and the show was defined by speed, thrill and agility. The dedication of the students was seen during a small incident, when two kayak boats collided during the formation and one boat toppled over. The rescue team immediately pulled the two kayakers out of the waters but they quickly got down to business and continued the formation. The determined kayakers showcased tremendous amount of energy, confidence and team spirit that made their every move look effortless. This display of streamline kayaks resulted in a ballet with an unending applause from the audience.

The lighting and firework displayed by the students looked spectacular, as darkness set in.

The Punt Formation narrated the entire life story of great Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj. The Mashaal dance performance was complemented by pitch dark sky and silent waters.

Dr Abhay Wagh, director, directorate of technical education, Maharashtra was the chief guest. Robert John, director and chief executive, Amphenol, Dr BB Ahjua, director, COEP, deputy director BN Chaudhary, Sanjeev Dhokate,vice president enterprise quality eQ Technologic and actress and activist Rajashree Deshpande graced the occasion.

Dr Sandeep Meshram, Regatta, in-charge welcomed the guests while Amrutraj Singh, chief secretary, Regatta 90th edition, gave the vote of thanks.

“The way COEP has been conducting Regatta for the last 90 years has made it into an icon for Pune city and it will continue to grow in the future. I was impressed by the way message of world peace was delivered through boat formations,” said Wagh.

“During our visit we noticed that the Mula river is quite polluted and we will talk to some groups and the water purification of the river will soon take place,” he added.

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 23:17 IST