Gaurav Shinde has a dream, a dream to build and sail in the smallest boat ever. Planning to circumnavigate the globe in 200 days, Shinde also wants to the first Indian to compete in the longest Round the World Yacht Race named Clipper.
Shinde was first acquainted with sailing at the age of 8 when he joined the Sea Cadet Co and took up sailing there. "My passion for sailing kept growing and I went on to teach and coach in sailing," says the Mumbai-based sailor.
"I plan to build a boat myself and embark on a 180 to 200 days voyage circumnavigating the world in it. Funds have been a crunch as I need at least Rs25 to 30 lakhs to build the boat and sponsors are not very excited about funding sailing," reveals Shinde.
Speaking about the challenges at sea, Shinde who has taken part and won a number of sailing competitions said, "I believe even the worst storm is navigable and there's always a way to make it through it."
Currently, Gaurav Shinde is looking for a sports manager and money to fund his sailing dreams. "I tried crowdsourcing to fund a previous sailing exploit and managed to raise Rs2 lakh but I didn't find that method very feasible," admits Shinde.
Talking about his dream of building his own ship and circumnavigating the globe, Shinde reveals, "The plan is to start building in June 2014 through the monsoon and then test the boat for two months and then set sail."
"Sailing is often seen as an elitist sport and the sailing community needs to open up as this is the only way that will ensure that more people from all strata of society take up sailing. Also sailing and safety needs to be given more importance as it has been overlooked a lot in India," said Shinde.