KOCHI: Abhilash Tomy, the Indian naval commander, who sailed around the world non-stop and unassisted, is now going for a second round with the 30,000-mile Golden Globe Race from Les Sables de’Olonne in France from Sunday. He will start his second world expedition with 18 other sailors from different countries.
As the Golden Globe Race is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first round-the-world expedition of Robin Knox-Johnston who completed the solo unassisted, they are not using the technology that was invented after 1968. “We will be going for navigation using compass, printed maps and looking at the celestial bodies which will take much time,” Abhilash Tomy told DC. To get the old-world navigational gears was a challenge, but some sailing fans donated the equipment, including sextants. Two satellite phones are allowed in the travel only for exceptional cases like medical emergencies.
Abhilash Tomy will be sailing in ‘Thuriya’, a 10-metre boat which is similar to Johnston’s ‘Suhaili’ in 1968. The boat has an engine, but it could only cover 100 miles out of the 30,000. According to Tomy, the use of that engine will cut short the electric power the boat needs. It will be a non-motorised sail. “In 1968, nine people had started this race, but only Sir Robin Knox-Johnston successfully completed it in 312 days. So I am aiming to finish the race in 311 days, one fewer than that of Sir Johnston,” Tomy said. The 18-member crew includes one woman, Susie Goodall from UK.
The other members are Antoine Cousot from France, Are Wiig from Norway, Ertan Beskar-des from Britain, Franc-esco Capelletti from Italy, Gregor McGuckin from Ireland, Igor Zaretskiy from Russia, Istvan Kopar from US, Jean-Luc van den Heede from France, Kevin Farebrother from Australia, Loic Lepage from France, Mark John Sinclair from Australia, Mark Slats from Netherlands, Nabil Amra from Palestine, Philippe Peche from France, Tapio Lehtinen from Finland and Uku Randma from Estonia. From Les Sables de’Olonne, the voyagers will lead south to Canary islands gate and then towards the Atlantic and sail eastwards through Indian Ocean and pass Cape of Horn to continue sailing north in the Atlantic to finish the last leg.