Sunday, 5 March 2017


Our hotel is on Marine Drive Bay– a lovely promenade which is very popular with locals (Mumbaikars) and tourists and includes the Chowpatty beach area which we visited last year to sample street food on our guided evening tour.

As I mentioned in a previous post, there is a large contingent of power boat racing people at our hotel. They're organising a race which is billed as the 'Nexa P1 Powerboat Indian Grand Prix of the Seas' - a trifle overstated methinks

There was lots of opposition to the race taking place as the organisers needed to block off access to a huge area of sea to mark out racing circuits and also they commandeered parts of the popular Chowpatty beach to erect safety stations etc.,   The local authorities initially refused permission for the race but the organisers appealed to the High Court who gave permission for the event to go ahead on the understanding all the buoys/markers would be cleared away within two days.

As we walked back to our hotel, via Marine Drive promenade we realised a qualifying race was about to start so we made our way closer to the start point and watched the action.

I now know that there are 40 of these P1 Panther Powerboats in the world and 12 of them have been shipped to Mumbai for the race - six teams in all with each boat having a pilot and a navigator.  The racetrack is 5.2km and the speed trials consist of 15 laps.  The Finale is tomorrow (Sunday) and the race will be over 20 laps.  The prize money is US$125,000 

The P1 Panther powerboat was designed by former Royal Navy (UK) engineers.  The boats are 28ft long and 5' 6" tall and reach top speed of  120 kmph.  The concept is to race identical production boats over a course close to shore which is 'tight and fast' in an attempt to make it a popular spectator event.   

Most of the races have been in the USA with a couple scheduled in the UK  - July 16th at Milford Haven and September 2nd at Scarborough.  The race in Mumbai, India is the first outside of those two countries and the aim is to build up a circuit of International courses as happens with Grand Prix motor racing - personally I'm  not sure there will be enough interest but ... watch this space I guess!

These young people were more interested in blowing bubbles than watching the racing 

 Nearly 6000 yellow and red floats/balloons have been used to mark the course/track but some have obviously not been anchored very securely and have made their way ashore

We arrived back at the hotel at 4pm feeling very hot and tired after 5 hours in the hot weather, battling Mumbai traffic etc.  We sat by the pool with a cold drink and watched the world go by for a couple of hours.

In memory of the 30 people killed at the Oberoi/Trident hotel in the 2008 Terrorist attack

Indian crows abound everywhere - and these joined me as I stood admiring the view.   They aren't shy!

 they get very active as the sun sets

 and a few having a final dip in the hotel pool ... they had a member of staff on hand with a bucket of water and a broom sweeping up the 'little packages' left by all the birds - a never ending task

Our last Indian sunset ... till next year

We'd put a change of clothing in our hand luggage so retrieved our bags from the Hotel Porter and used the hotel's spa/sauna facilities to shower and change for the onward journey. BA sent a text message asking us to check in one hour earlier than planned as they are expecting congestion at the airport so we changed our car booking from 9.30pm to 8.30 pm.

We cleared all the airport formalities in around 45 minutes which is pretty good for India (so much red tape) and have been sitting around ever since. I've been uploading photos from my camera to the laptop and am in the process of reducing the sizes to suit Blogger … this is always a very slow process as my camera takes large files/pictures and the travel computer isn't very powerful.

We get an hour's free wifi at the airport so will try to publish another blog post but its painfully slow  …

update:   the airport wifi signal was too weak to upload pictures so I've posted this now we're back in England.   Boy that was a nasty surprise - when we left Mumbai at 2.15am (local time) this morning the weather was still 26deg (down from 38deg daytime temperature).    Heathrow at 7am this morning (GMT) was 5deg and absolutely thrashing down with rain. So we went from 38deg C to 38degF. Quite a shock to the system.

1 comment:

  1. Your holiday has flown by and as usual your blog is so interesting and informative. Can't wait for next year!