Parasailing made an adrenaline-surging comeback at Sonari aerodrome on Thursday.
Thirty-two thrill junkies took to the skies with active support from three crew teams of Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF). Another 175 have already enrolled for the 200ft soar from Friday to November 5.
Day One of the pulse-racing, jaw-dropping exercise started at 7am and continued till 5pm with just an hour’s break.
Excitement among participants was palpable and so was nervousness.
“I tried parasailing for the first time. In the beginning, I was very nervous because I am scared of heights. But, my father encouraged me and I am glad I enrolled. It was a thrilling experience. I am coming again on Saturday (November 2),” beamed Prakash Rai, a student of Karim City College and resident of Jugsalai.
Satya Senapati, who has come to the city to celebrate Diwali from Rourkela, said he couldn’t wait to go parakiting.
“As soon as I heard that TSAF has re-launched the sport, I asked my brother to register my name. Soaring at 200ft is simply fun. I made a safe landing too,” said the 32-year-old employee of a private firm.
Kadma businessman Rakesh Sood, too, waited eagerly for his turn. “I loved gliding in the sky after a long time. I did parasailing at this very place six years ago. The experience was thrilling to say the least,” the 35-year-old said.
The Tata foundation had on Thursday ensured that entry of participants to the aerodrome was hassle-free.
“Any aerodrome is restricted zone, but we wanted our event to be welcoming. So, all participants had to do was show their registration forms to security guards who allowed them entry,” said TSAF secretary P.P. Kapadia.
Everester Rajender Singh Pal,who piloted the tow jeep for the parasail, said the first day was a huge success. “Launch, flight and landing — all went off smoothly,” he added.
Thursday’s launch crew comprised TSAF’s Gopal Singh Bisht, Mohan Singh and Madhumita Mahto, while Pravin Singh and Dipankar Banerjee assisted in safe landing.
Secretary Kapadia confirmed that 175 enthusiasts were in queue. “Only 35 can be granted opportunity every day. Enquiries and requests are pouring in. We have our hands full,” he said.
In a tad upsetting news for adventure buffs, Kapadia said that the aerosport would end two days early than the scheduled date of November 7.
“Sonari authorities have allowed us to use the runway only till November 5. But, we will restart parasailing soon, as the response has been very encouraging,” he promised.
Have you enrolled for TSAF’s parasailing programme yet?