OUT 2018

Abhilash Tomy (42)




Name Abhilash Tomy

Born February 5th 1979

Nationality Indian

Country of entry India

Race GGR 2018

Boat Class Suhaili

Commander Abhilash Tomy, KC from India, is one of India’s most prominent sailors. A pilot in the Indian Navy, he has had the advantage, just as French sailing legend Eric Tabarly did, of spending much of his career sailing for his Country.
Abhilash has covered 52,000 miles under sail while in the Navy including a solo non-stop circumnavigation from Mumbai and back in 2012/13. He has also represented India in the 2011 Cape Town to Rio Race, the Spanish Copa del Rey Race in 2014 and the Korea Cup for two years in succession. He has been awarded the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award, the Kirti Chakra for valour and courageous action and Mac Gregor medal.
He says of the challenge ahead: “This event recreates in the closest way possible way, the magic of the original race. The emphasis is not on technology and its management, but on seamanship and a direct experience of sea. This spartan philosophy is in keeping with my own view that a lot can be achieved with very little.”


Boat [Suhaili]


Name Thuriya
Type ERIC Suhaili replica Masthead ketch
Designer William Atkin
Builder Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Goa, India
LOA 32.00ft / 9.78m
LWL 27.50ft / 8.38m
Beam 11.00ft / 3.35m
Draft 5.50ft / 1.67m
Displacement 19545 lbs / 8865 kgs
Sail area 628sq ft / 58.34 m

To celebrate India’s heritage in building famous singlehanded yachts in the past (Suhaili and Lively Lady spring to mind) Abhilash will be racing a replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s original winner. Work began at the Aquarius shipyard on Goa in 2016, not with the rudimentary adze, bow drill and hand saw that shaped Suhaili in a Bombay shipyard five decades before, but with the latest CAD design and CNC cutting machinery to produce a much lighter wood epoxy composite replica. Thuriya was launched in August 2017 and Cdr.Tomy has been conducting sea trials in the Indian Ocean prior to shipping the yacht to Europe in March 2018.

Skipper Updates

October 16th 2018 12:00 AM

News from India is that Abhilash Tomy, who underwent major back surgery last Thursday following his rescue in the Southern Ocean, is expected to make a full recovery. Capt. Sharma visited him in the INHS Kalyani Naval Hospital and tweeted “This naval legend now has a back of steel. The docs are totally floored by his sense of humour”
Tomy responded “Platinum Sir. My value has just gone up!”

September 26th 2018 12:00 AM

Abhilash Tomy First Picture this morning of a VERY HAPPY guy Tomy! in Hospital on AMSTERDAM ISLAND with his YB3 satellite communicator by his side. That was his only link to the world while laying on his bunk in the disabled Yacht. We are all excited to see his famous cheesy grin and grateful for the medical care being provided by the one doctor on the island.. THANKS and welcome back TOMY!!! WOOP WOOP! 🙂
From COMMANDER Abhilash Tomy, reported by Indian Navy Tweet: “The sea was unbelievably rough. Me & my boat Thuriya were pitched against the nature’s might. I survived because of my sailing skills, the soldier bit in me and my Naval training cut-in for that fight” – Cdr Abhilash Tomy. “Very thankful to #IndianNavy & all who rescued me

September 25th 2018 12:00 AM

Abhilash Tommy UPDATE and Indian NAVY statement.
Capt. DK Shama VSM, spokesperson for the Indian Navy said today that Commander ABHILAS TOMY had undergone X-ray scans which showed that while he had suffered some damage to his back, the results were not too bad. He is taking food and water and is now on a course of pain killers. The Indian Navy is waiting for an update from the Doctor on Amsterdam Isle tomorrow (Wednesday) and then a decision will be made about his repatriation. The Indian frigate INS SATPURA is due to reach Amsterdam Isle on Friday 28th September, and depending on Tomy’s condition, will either take him to Mauritius, for him to fly back to India, or set a direct course for Indian waters for him to be airlifted to land.

September 24th 2018 12:00 AM

They have Tomy Onboard and he is conscious and talking…FANTASTIC NEWS..WELL DONE ALL INVOLVED INCREDIBLE NEWS!!!!

September 23rd 2018 12:00 AM

Gregor MCGUKIN dismasted within 40 miles of Thuriya was called to the area by the MRRC for surveillance, and to organized his evacuation: ETA 24/09 am. The French fishing control vessel Osiris 200 NM away has been diverted: ETA 25/09 am. The Australian rescue unit ship departed Perth, on area in 3/4days.
Thuriya’s rig is still in the water, acting as a floating anchor. Tomy’s communications remain limited due to his incapacity to move to get his GRAB Bag. This morning he managed to drink: “LUGGED CANS OF ICETEA. HAVING THAT.VOMITTING CONT.CHEST BURNIN”

September 23rd 2018 12:00 AM

Since his alerting text message on 21/09 at 12:09 UTC: “Returned. Dismasted. Severe back injury. Can not get up, ” the maritime rescue authorities were alerted and a RED CODE was triggered: Position: 39’38 .420 S 077 ‘22.565 E. 1900 miles from the Australian coast. GGR Race Control is working closely with the Australian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center, which has launched an all-ships alert and is currently coordinating rescue operations conducted by the Australian Defense Authorities. The Indian Navy has also voluntarily offered support for the rescue of Commander Tomy, Naval Aviation Officer. 3 planes, Indian and Australian flew over the area this morning bringing the first reports. Gale over area, 35nds up to 1800UTC decreasing to 15nds on 24/09.

September 21st 2018 12:00 AM

Abhilash has been dismasted and managed to send only one short message to GGR Control. ROLLED.DISMASTED.SEVEREBACKINJURY.CANNOTGETUP. Position: 39′ 38.420 S 077′ 22.565 E at 21 Sep 12:09 UTC Nothing has been heard from him since. The Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Canberra is now coordinating a Rescue effort involving many agencies and the Aust. Defense Department. Abhilash is a serving INDIAN Navy Officer and the INDIAN Navy have offered to assist Aust. Rescue Authorities with assets that may be available. GGR Entrants have been updated and any that can assist by heading to the area will. NO EPIRB SIGNAL has been received and no satellite phone calls have been recieved. There is no indication at this stage if the mast and rigging have been cut away from the hull to prevent damage or are still laying beside the HULL. At this time the Tracker is still giving positions to the GGR LIVE tracking page. All our thoughts are with Abhilash his family and the agencies and all personnel assisting.Nothing

September 20th 2018 12:00 AM

Since their impromptu meeting in the middle of the Indian Ocean 3 days ago, Abhilash is now 40 NM ahead of Gregor : (via satellite) “SIGHTED MARY LUCK PORTBOW. REQSTDGREG2POLISH HISREARVIEW MIRROR”. Abhilash windvane broke down, so he had to fix it by replacing the damaged part. He also mentions on his weekly safety sat phone call this morning that he must filter his rainwater as a precaution. With Thuriya, he is getting prepared to face the strong depression already building up : “30 knots of wind this morning” which should last for the next 24 hours. Abhilash is going into this storm with a DRY BUNK..that’s good news and all the time, still having fun and taking pictures. Boat is good and he is good.
All this doesn’t stop him from watching the stars ! (via satellite) “STRANGE 2 SEE INVERTED ORION”.

September 18th 2018 12:00 AM

ABHILASH TOMY third: The Indian Ocean is definitely working well for the Indian! 10th in Lanzarote, the skipper of the replica of the Suhaili, winner of the original race of 1969, goes back one by one all his competitors since the Spanish Drop Point of Lanzarote, where he had passed in 10th position. This morning, he sails a knot faster than GREGOR MCGUCKIN and is only a big day of MARK SLATS, which sees his second place more and more threatened …

September 13th 2018 12:00 AM

Weekly safety sat phone call this morning : “Broken windvane fixed, and laughs out loud when I asked about his bunk..it is VERY wet?? The wind noise is real and challenging for the listener..but the GGR is very challenging for Abhilash Tomy only 66 miles behind Gregor McGuckin ..can he grab third place? and what will Mark Slats do to halt the Charge!!….a great call…” Don

September 12th 2018 12:00 AM

Abhilash Tomy suffered twice last week from à flood. The Indian clearly had some respite yesterday, texting Race HQ: SUN APPEARED BRIEFLY LIKE RAINBOW AFTER BIBLICAL FLOODS. Whatever the problems, they are not slowing him down!India’s Abhilash Tomy sailing Thuriya, a replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili, winner of the first GGR 50 years ago, has also made big gains, overtaking Uku Randmaa’s Estonian Rustler 36 One and All at the weekend and move up to within a day of McGuckin.

September 6th 2018 12:00 AM

Always faster, ABHILASH is almost back to the level of UKU, despite his concerns of waterway in the back of his boat. he is only fifty miles in the north of the Estonian, sliding twice as fast. It’s a southerly wind that will accelerate this small group, but it will quickly turn East, and force the pursuers to sail upwind.Tomy is a solo circumnavigator already, but not like this in a little boat with nothing, totally alone and he knows the next 14 weeks in the Southern Ocean offer no guarantees! He offers us more than just words when he said “IT IS NICE TALKING TO YOU TODAY!”..emotions are becoming RAW. We can feel this morning during his phone call, a certain emotion from Abhilash, both vigilant and very solicited to repair his waterway and loneliness that begins to weigh.

September 3rd 2018 12:00 AM

ABHILASH TOMY is carried by a powerful current of nearly three knots and the wind blows three quarter rear … ideal conditions for speed. The Indian even has a staggering average for a heavy GGR boat in the last four hours. Nearly 10 knots (9.7 exactly) on his replica of Suhaili! Abhilash feels confident in entering: “IN INDIAN OCEAN. BACKYARD OF INDIAN NAVY.”

August 30th 2018 12:00 AM

Abhilash was quite affected by the dismasting of his friend Are earlier this week: “STRENGTH 2U ARE.CANT IMAGINE A RACE WITHOUT UR VOICE ON HF”. Two days later he writes again: “NEWS OF ARE YET TO SINK IN. ITS A GLOOMY DAY”. But finally, he was happy to hear him again on the radio yesterday “ARE ON HF TODAY.LOUD&CLEAR! WHAT A SURPRISE!!”. Abhilash confirmed this morning during his Sat phone call that he has lost a life buoy and some minor repairs are expected on the boat.Thuriya has progressed relatively well compared to other yacht in this area. But for how long? This zone around him seems really unstable and difficult to say how the Indian will manage to get by in the midst of this slump. He writes this morning: “SUN IS OUT. STOCKED UP ON VIT-D. AIRING THE BOAT”. He also had this week the visit of “SUNBATHING SEALS!”.Abhilash still remains so spiritual : “HAD A DREAM THAT I WAS DREAMING OF REALITY”.

August 22nd 2018 12:00 AM

Abhilash and his ketch are away from a windless area and are happy to sail S-SE. He really enjoy sailing his reliable ketch.

August 16th 2018 12:00 AM

TOMY is roaring along after his night time collision with no reports of damage “HIT BY UNKNOWN FLOATING OBJECT AT NIGHT. ALL OK.”. Thuriya is over 7kts ! 7.4 this morning and has the best run of the day with 155 NM sailed in the last 24h. Abhilash is being pushed by a strong North-Ouest breeze but he needs to hurry if he doesn’t want to get sucked in that hole catching up behind him. He reported this morning on his Sat Phone Call, “a boat crossing passed him only 100m away last night, after he talk to the captain on the radio to ask him to clear the way but the man could not see Thuriya”… All Ok !

August 14th 2018 12:00 AM

Yesterday Abhilash was “CROSSING CAPRICORN. THE 2ND TROPIC”. Thuriya is taking advantage on a good breeze to go across at the moment, but Abhilash needs to hurry East not to get sucked in that whole growing from Brazil. Abhilash #Tomy, still poetic and very aware of the marine environment wrote (via satellite) that he is :“IN BROWN ALBATROSS TERRITORY” after a “NITE OF SQUALLS AND CHAOS. DIAMOND SAIL OUT”

August 9th 2018 12:00 AM

Abhilash summarizes well his actual situation and spirit of the moment in his last text messages: “HOPE THERE IS MORE TO SAILING THAN CLOSEHAULED” and “When I am done with this, I am going to order a pizza. And popcorn” ! and as always, smiling and in a good mood this morning during his weekly satphonecall to the raceoffice. Commandant Abilash has been exchanging salutations via HF SSB and text message to commandants of indian ships going by, with the intermediary of Mark Sinclair and Are Wiig.

August 7th 2018 12:00 AM

The trio of the west, ABHILASH TOMY, LOIC LEPAGE and MARK SINCLAIR also continues its descent but its distance from the direct route and its orientation to the southwest generates very low speeds of approach to the goal, even negative ones for the Indian skipper who remains 9th in the overall ranking for now.

August 1st 2018 12:00 AM

ABHILASH TOMY, not far from LOIC LEPAGE and MARK SINCLAIR are now all out of the Doldrums and are also pointing their bows to the south. Thuriya, his
replica of Suhaili, just crossed the equator this morning at almost 7 knots, in 10th position in the overall ranking, 400 miles ahead of the original course of the Suhaili! After the quitness othrough the Doldrums, sliding south has been a bit bumpy for Thuriya, but Ahbilash seems happy aboard and reports in his messages his many encounters with the marine fauna, and he enjoys the beautiful starry nights..

July 20th 2018 12:00 AM

Go west young man! A few days ago Abhilash made a determined move to head west and only today gybed south to reveal his intended route across the doldrums. He won’t have access to the weather overlays we get on the plotter and most likely is driven by his look at prior history before the start or some advice from an experienced sailor. You can’t help but wonder what Robin Know Johnston advised Abhilash in those days prior to setting sail.

July 16th 2018 12:00 AM

Abhilash has reported that Thuriya tracks well and has shown to be a solid performer in the strong conditions since Lanzarote. A rip in the mainsail has stopped him using it and so it is likely that this may slow him down. Sail repairs this early in the race is a concern so hopefully he can effect a strong repair that will last through the Southern Ocean.

July 11th 2018 12:00 AM

Abhilash continues to sail well in a boat that on paper is far from a performance machine. A testament to his sailing ability and experience. He is using his celestial navigation already searching for clear patches in the sky to get a sight. Thuriya isn’t just a novelty replica entry. She and Abhilash could thrive.

July 6th 2018 12:00 AM

ability of a Suhaili replica

Any doubts about the ability of a Suhaili replica to keep up with the fleet have been dispelled ,with Abhilash sailing a great race. Some problems with his texting unit haven’t stopped him making his daily reports.

April 5th 2018 12:00 AM

Having completed initial sail and jury rig trials of his Suhaili replica yacht Thuriya, Indian entrant Abhilash Tomy had her shipped by road to Kochi at the end of March and loaded on a ship bound for Rotterdam. Tomy expects to have her relaunched and sailing in Holland by the end of April and plans to base his final preparations there.

August 7th 2017 12:00 AM

Launch of Thuriya from the Aquarius shipyard, Goa, India

Clips & Pics Skipper