Retired Indian Navy Officer, Abhilash Tomy scripted history on Saturday (April 29) to become the first ever Indian to complete the prestigious Golden Globe Race 2022. It is a solo around the world sailing competition and had started on September 4 last year from Les Sables-d'Olonne in France. Abhilash not only completed the race but finished second only behind South Africa's Kirsten Neuschafer who ended up first finishing the race on Thursday (April 27).
"#GGR2022 2nd Arrival Abhilash Tomy (43) / India / Rustler 36 - "BAYANAT", finished his 2nd solo around the world," according to the official announcement made by the organisers on their Facebook page.
"Abhilash Tomy / Bayanat crossed the finish line at 0446 UTC, finished his 2nd time solo non stop around the world journey, he at 2nd in #GGR2022 Race.
He thanks Les Sables, and his sponsor Bayanat. AI. Congratulation Abhilash!!!," Golden Globe Race 2022 tweeted.
Abhilash, after completing the race returned to the famous Les Sables d'Olonne channel from where the race had started to complete all the formalities related to the event. He received a grand reception on its shore as well.
Tomy spent a whopping 236 days along on the high seas and admitted that he was exhausted after the race. He is now looking forward to the well deserved rest for the next three days. Interestingly, Abhilash had told his team and he would finish second in the race. He had purchased a Rustler 36 yacht in France, and named it 'Bayanat'.
It had previously been used for the race in the last Golden Globe by sailor Philippe Péché.
Tomy had participated in the Golden Globe Race back in 2018 as well but he had met with an accident while at the third position. His boat was damaged in an unsual storm and he suffered a severe injury to his spine. He spent 82 days on the high seas and was later rescued following complex international efforts. In Match 2020, Abhilash Tomy announced that he would be participating in the race again in 2022 with Bayanat, a company specialising in AI-powered geospatial intelligence, being his sponsor.
"I will be taking part in the Golden Globe Race 2022 on the Bayanat. It is a big thing for me and here is why," the sailor had announced on his Facebook page, recalling his experience after his boat was dismasted and destroyed in a storm in the southern Indian Ocean while participating in 2018.
Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari congratulated Tomy for his achievement.
"Adm R Hari Kumar #CNS and all personnel of #IndianNavy congratulate Cdr Abhilash Tomy, KC, NM (retd) on making #India proud, finishing 2nd in the @ggr2022, the world's most gruelling ocean sailing race using tools & aids replicating the limitations of the first race in 1968," Indian Navy said in a tweet.
In its tweet, Indian Air Force said: "Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and all #IAF air warriors congratulate Cdr Abhilash Tomy for a stupendous performance.
His performance has been a true display of resilience, grit & determination".
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also congratulated Tomy for the outstanding performance, saying he has made the country and the state proud.
"Congratulations to @abhilashtomy for charting history as the first Indian & Asian to finish as runner-up of the #GGR2023, a solo around-the-world sailing race. You've made our country and Kerala proud with this glorious achievement. Best wishes for all your endeavours in future," the Chief Minister tweeted.
(Inputs from PTI)