Home 2024 Tryst with Sailing

Tryst with Sailing

by Rui Lobo

Being a Cancerian, a water sign, the sea always attracted and fascinated me. In high school we had a NCC Naval Unit which I promptly enrolled in. The high point of the NCC experience was a sailing outing in a class of boats called “Whalers”. These were boats with oars and they had a basic rig to mount sails.  We, the cadets, were taken for one outing with the sails set up. I prayed to the weather Gods that we would not have to row back if the wind shifted against us unfavourably.  Little did I know that the physics of sail boats allows them to move towards any destination, regardless of wind direction. You can sail with the wind or tack against it!

After completing B.Tech from IIT-B, I took a sabbatical in my hometown in Panjim, Goa, enjoying life as a hippie (minus drugs and debauchery), indulging in my love of the sea – swimming, learning how to sail and figuring out a relatively new sport back in 1985 – called windsurfing; there were no trainers at that time.

At the end of that sojourn, I returned to Bombay to take part in my first big race, the National Windsurfing Championship. I stayed on to join the rat race of my engineering career for a dozen years while nurturing my passion for sailing and water sports in Bombay.

Contrary to the myth, leisure sailing can hardly be called an adventure sport because there is a minimal risk factor. The risk is in going out sailing when weather warnings are on. Ironically, the same experienced sailors who once warned me to ‘never get cocky with the sea’, took me out sailing with them once, when there was a storm brewing. It was certainly a close call.

I joined Colaba Sailing Club, a subsidiary of the Royal Bombay Yacht Club, and participated with the Club’s sailboats in weekend regattas in the vicinity of Bombay harbour.  During that time I also bought a windsurfer and enjoyed the freedom of practically walking on water; but that is another story.

Over the years, I did three long distance sails from Bombay to Goa and back, and a lot of National race events.

I am now back to my roots in Goa enjoying leisure sailing once a week. It gives me immense pleasure to introduce friends and acquaintances to the joy of sailing. 

The sense of freedom of being one with the elements – sea, wind and sun without the constant hum of technology around us, far from the madding crowd, is unmatched for me. I love to share the joy of this experience with others.

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António Fonseca May 16, 2024 - 6:30 am

What an extraordinary curriculum, Rui! I was sent this link a little while ago by Orlando and, must confess, I was unashamedly jealous of your achievements. As you well know, jealousy is the most sincere form of admiration.
Allow me to Congratulate you for the courage of making the life choices you made. The rat race could have easily sucked you in, as it does to most, but Passion won and THAT is Priceless. I have no doubt you will continue in this life’s journey and be an inspiration to all those who have the good fortune of meeting you be it in water sports, in your music classes, performing etc. i was delighted to read your brief profile and wish that you continue to the Inspiration that you are.
Um Abraço.

Rui Lobo May 16, 2024 - 11:18 am

Muito obrigado, Antonio. I am humbled by your lavish praise for my madness.


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