Last update: 01 May 2023, 14:07 IST
Commander Abhilash Tomy (retired) became the first Indian to complete the longest solo endurance race around the world covering 30,000 miles in 236 days.
Abhilash, 44, finished second in the Golden Globe Race, the longest endurance race on the planet last week.
He engaged in a sailing duel with South African Kirsten Neuschafer to reach the finish line, the port of Les Sables d’Olonne in France.
The Indian military veteran sailed across the three navigable oceans on a Bayanat boat with vintage 1968 technology and carried out countless repairs on the way to complete a circumnavigation in the Golden Globe Race, according to The Indian Express.
The race, considered the most difficult in the world, started on September 4, 2022, from Les Sables-d’Olonne in France, with 16 sailors from 11 countries.
Adm R Hari Kumar #CNS and all the staff of #IndianNavy congratulate Cdr Abhilash Tomy, KC, NM (retired) for having #India proud, finishing 2nd in the @ggr2022the world’s most grueling ocean sailing race using tools and aids replicating the limits of the first race in 1968. pic.twitter.com/LH2sqee84c— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) April 29, 2023
However, after sailing 26,000 nautical miles, only three sailors remained. Abhilash completed the world’s toughest solo sailing race in 236 days, 14 hours, 46 minutes, 34 seconds on April 29.
Kirsten Neuschafer, the only woman in the contest, made history by finishing first. She not only secured the top position, but was also rewarded with a 23-hour differential advantage after saving her competitors from sinking.
Abhilash made his own history, first returning to racing after an accident in the 2018 edition and then staying afloat in the 2022 race despite countless repairs to his boat.
Congratulation to @abhilashtomy for making history as the first Indian and Asian to finish second in the #GGR2023, a solo round-the-world sailing race. You have made our country and Kerala proud with this glorious achievement. Best wishes for all your endeavors in the future. pic.twitter.com/19RN7bWnDo— Pinarayi Vijayan (@pinarayivijayan) April 29, 2023
Race rules include not receiving help, updates and repairs from the shore. There is no internet and it is a solo, unassisted circumnavigation. Sailors are equipped with a high frequency radio to communicate with those at sea.
In 2018, Tomy encountered a horrific crash in a storm that nearly killed him and was rescued after 70 hours. He ended up with spinal fractures that required the insertion of titanium rods and the fusion of five vertebrae.
However, within five years, Tomy, who could barely walk, not only made a comeback, but went on to win the most important title of his life.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the Indian sailor’s paraphernalia consists of books – One Hundred Years of Solitude and Count of Monte Cristo, 3-4 sets of clothing, extreme weather clothing, tinned jerky and rice and collected rainwater. off sails.
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