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COEP’s regatta 2018: Students prepare to get on boat and pull strong

A total of 366 students will be displaying their skills with a ‘Tryst with Peace’ motto on Sunday.

pune Updated: Mar 10, 2018 16:56 IST
Ashish Phadnis
Ashish Phadnis
Hindustan Times, Pune
Regatta begins with a display of about 15 precious boats of COEP including the legendary Eighter, a unique racing boat which can accommodate eight people.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

The 90th edition of Regatta, the annual boating festival of the College of Engineering Pune (COEP), will be bigger and more spectacular this year with 336 students displaying their skills in water sports on Sunday in accordance to the motto ‘Tryst with Peace’.

The boat club of COEP annually hosts its traditional and invigorating festival wherein enthusiastic students display their talents in water sports. The festival came into existence on its year of foundation, 1928. The boat club has been providing facilities including training in kayaking, rowing, canoeing and punting. It first started with an attendance of around 100 people, which has gradually become a grand affair with an audience of over 12,000.

“Mula river at COEP has played host to the event for the past 89 years. We feel privileged to be in-charge of this event which encourages, motivates and prompts our students to do better year after year,” said Sandeep Meshram, Regatta in-charge.

Regatta begins with a display of about 15 precious boats of COEP including the legendary Eighter, a unique racing boat which can accommodate eight people. There are only three Eighter boats in Asia, out of which, COEP owns one.The Eighters form an arrow symbolising harmony and integrity.

The second one on the list is Shell games, which is woven by elegance and spirit and has a display of sleek and swift shell boats with oars impelled by skilled rowers against the unpredictable currents of the river.

Speed, thrill, agility and valiance define the third show of kayaking wherein swift kayaks cut through wind and water.

Punt formation and telematches are held amidst the darkness and dusking sky where stories and legends are embroidered in light and fire.

“For the last two to three months, the students are undergoing rigorous training and practice sessions to get the perfect shape symbolising the theme of the show. The combination of fire and water, complementing each other beautifully, definitely keeps intact the element of surprise and the audience on the edge of their seats,” said Sujit Pardeshi, vice-president of COEP boat club.

Lastly, the Mashaal dance performance is complemented by the pitch dark sky, silent waters, dancing in rhythm, flare of hope and will of fire.

This year, Regatta will be held under the patronage of Rowing Federation of India (RFI) and for the first time in history the of the festival, a show comprising of a sailing boat by the Royal Cannought Boat Club will also be held.

“I did kayaking in my first year and rowing in the next. Here at Regatta, you learn teamwork. It brings into you the vibe of unparalleled enthusiasm, unwavering determination and absolute passion. Very few colleges can boast about the fact that they have a boat club, let alone a Regatta currently in it’s 90th edition. It has been bringing students together since 1928. We spend our days and nights slogging away in the water trying to put up a perfect show. The friendships that are formed in the water genuinely last a lifetime. Hence, Regatta provides students with a great learning curve, amassing things they would label as wonderful memories after they graduate,” said Amrutraj Singh, chief secretary, Regatta, 90th edition.

“These shows are undoubtedly a treat for the eyes. Regatta is not just about the shows and what happens on the main day. Many participants of the show continue engaging in the sport after the event and represent the college at the state and national level. It has hence been home to many ace sports personalities who represent the college at national and international levels and hopes to carry forward the distinguished legacy with the latest chapter,” he added.

First Published: Mar 10, 2018 16:56 IST