Indian Navy officer sets sail for global circumnavigation race

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New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy, who has solo circumnavigation of the globe to his credit, set sail on a unique voyage on Sunday as the only invitee from Asia to participate in the Golden Globe Race (GGR).

It is the first time that India is participating in the race which commenced from Les Sables d’Olonne harbour in France and is expected to complete at the same location in April 2019.

According to an official statement from the Indian Navy, the participants are required to sail around the world, single-handed and non-stop.

“The uniqueness of the race is that boat designs and technology newer than 1968 is not permitted, hence use of Global Positioning System (GPS), satellite communication, navigational aids, etc is forbidden,” the statement said.

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The GGR is being conducted by Sir Robin Knox Johnston of UK to commemorate 50 years since the world’s first solo non-stop circumnavigation was undertaken by him in 1968 on-board the Indian built boat, Suhaili.

One of India’s most prominent sailors, Cdr Tomy will be sailing on the indigenously built sailing vessel ‘Thuriya’ which is a replica of Suhaili.

“The boat showcases India’s boat building capability on the world forum and promotes the ‘Make in India’ initiative,” the statement said.

Cdr Tomy has covered 53,000 nautical miles under sail, including a 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, MacGregor and Tenzing Norgay awards.

–IANS

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