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Golden Globe Race 2022: Abhilash Tomy arrives second in Les Sables D'Olonne

by Les Sables d'Olonne 29 Apr 2023 14:42 BST 29 April 2023
Golden Globe Race 2023: Abhilash Tomy arrives second in Les Sables D'Olonne © Golden Globe Race

The Indian skipper completed his circumnavigation of the globe at 6:46am this morning, taking second place in the Golden Globe Race after 236 days, 14 hours and 46 minutes at sea.

Finishing after Kirsten Neuschäfer, the sailor has achieved an outstanding result four years after being seriously injured on the last edition, a race which has made him the first Indian sailor to race non-stop solo around the world.

Back on land and surrounded by the people of Les Sables d'Olonne, Abhilash Tomy said, "You have no idea how happy I am to be here with my boat. I am grateful to my child, my wife, my country, and the people of Sables, who have all made this possible."

Yannick Moreau, Mayor of Les Sables d'Olonne, said: "Abhilash Tomy overcame all the challenges. Rescued, almost miraculously during the 2018 Golden Globe race. Victim of an accident that cost him his bow 15 days before the start of the GGR 2022. He is a symbol of courage, perseverance and the spirit of adventure, so dear to Les Sables d'Olonne. After eight months at sea, only 36 hours separated him from Kirsten. He narrowly lost the final sprint but put in a superb performance and realized a dream."

These are moments that will remain forever engraved in people's memories, and there were many of them this morning on the channel of Les Sables d'Olonne who came to share the return of this incredible adventurer."

Rescued, airlifted and back on the open sea

Abhilash's life resembles the type of novels much loved by sailors; this round-the-world voyage demonstrates a will stronger than anything else, of an ability to fight and resist. During Abhilash's 2018 attempt, the former Indian navy commander was forced to pull out due to a storm that severely damaged his boat, and seriously injured him 2000 nautical miles off the Australian coast. Rescued and airlifted out of the water, he underwent back surgery, but he never gave up on his dream of sailing around the world.

Four years later, Abhilash was on the starting line once again, in Les Sables d'Olonne. This time, he resisted storms, hazards, technical problems and the passage of time. The Indian skipper fought for a long time for first place.

Abhilash said: "Crossing the point of the accident in the Southern Indian Ocean this time round made me very light. Once I crossed it, my whole body relaxed, and I realised I was carrying a lot of problems from my last accident on my shoulders."

Finishing second place is a just reward and cements his standing among the most daring sailors in ocean racing. Les Sables d'Olonne, the host port and home to many iconic maritime events, serves as a beautiful setting to celebrate this achievement.

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