Golden Globe Race | Indian Naval officer Abhilash Tomy sets sail to circumnavigate the globe solo

India's Abhilash Tomy gestures on his boat "Thuriya" as he sets off from Les Sables d'Olonne Harbour on July 1, 2018, at the start of the solo around-the-world "Golden Globe Race" ocean race in which sailors compete without high technology aides such as GPS or computers. (Photo: AFP)

Indian Naval officer Abhilash Tomy, who had created history in 2013 by becoming the first ever Indian sailor to travel world non-stop and solo, has embarked on his second solo circumnavigation of the globe.

Abhilash will once again sail his boat Thuriya across the globe in the historic Golden Globe Race. The race was flagged off from Les Sables d’Olonne, France, on Sunday (1 July).

There are 18 skippers who are participating in the race and the Commander Abhilash Tomy is participating as a special invitee.


The Golden Globe Race is being held to celebrate the 50 years of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston successfully completing the solo, unassisted and non-stop circumnavigation in 312 days.

The participants of the race will be sailing according to the similar condition to 1968, without any assistant from modern navigation aids.

The Golden Globe Race is raw and pure and it is for ‘those who dare’ as it was for Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in 1968.

Speaking about the exciting journey that awaits, Commander Abhilash said, “At the Sagarparikrama (the first circumnavigation), I had used GPS-based maps and other satellite-based technologies. But at GGR, I have to make do with a compass, printed maps, and star and planetary movements. There is a solitary HF radio set for contact. The size of the boat limits the possibility to carry water. Sir Robin had used rainwater and used it, I will have to do the same. There is no help from the outside world throughout the race.”

When Abhilash was asked what he would be carrying with him, he said, “Lot of things are to be carried! It is an endless list.”

The items he listed are:

– Almost 1000 meals, including MTR, freeze dry and tinned food

– A suit of 13 sails

– Two sextants

– Two taffrail logs

– Two automatic watches

– Three trackers

– Two satellite phones

– Lot of charts

– Lot of books

– An MF direction finder

– Two Short wave radio sets

– Lot of communication equipment

– Four 10 kg gas cylinders

– Lot of spares for the engine etc

– About 300 litres of water

– About 140 litres of fuel

He added: “There is also a major emphasis on safety due to which we are taking a lot of safety equipment with us. This is almost four times more than what i carried in my last round the world. There is also a lot of emphasis through regular briefings, safety checks etc from the organisers. MSOS will be providing the medical support while we are at sea.”

Commander Abhilash Tomy has covered 53,000 nautical miles, including the solo non-stop circumnavigation of the globe in 2012-13 on board Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Mhadei. He is also a recipient of the Kirti Chakra, Mac Gregor and Tenzing Norgay awards.

Tomy is sailing on a replica of Suhaili while representing India at the Golden Globe Race. The ingenuous Thuriya has been built by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Ltd in Goa.