AMA Cdr Abhilash Tomy for the Golden Globe Race 2018

Abhilash Tomy
Sep 12, 2017


I am Commander Abhilash Tomy and I will be taking part in the Golden Globe Race 2018.

I had completed a single handed non-stop circumnavigation of the earth in 2013 on board 56-foot Mhadei. She was a sloop built by Aquarius Shipyard in India based on the Tonga 56 design from Van de Stadt.

GGR18 is an iconic round the world race happening for the first time in 50 years. In its first edition, 9 men set out from England to sail around the world single handed and non-stop. Only one man finished the race. He was Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and his boat was an Eric 32 built in India.

In the 2018 edition of the race, I am going to sail a replica of Sir Robin's boat, Suhaili. She is being built in Goa at Aquarius Shipyard. Work is in progress and her hull was launched on 07 Aug this year.

GGR 18 starts on 30 Jun 18 from Plymouth and the first boat is expected to finish in 260-300 days.

You can follow me on my website, facebook page or twitter handle @abhilashtomy


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Conversation (57)

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How useful would you rate a yeoman plotter on a race like this?

Sep 12, 3:33PM EDT0

Do you sometimes use a trailing log to calibrate or check your speed?

Sep 12, 10:23AM EDT0

For this race, you can use only a trailing log. I must confess I haven't used one ever. I need to train myself for this and quite a few other such equipment. Do let me know if you have any recommendations for a trailing log.

Sep 12, 3:13PM EDT0

How much is the entry fee and what are the entry requirements?

Sep 12, 10:00AM EDT0

The entry fee is 14000 AUD. The entry requirements are quite a few and they are listed in the NOR.

Sep 12, 3:09PM EDT0

Are you still looking for additional people to your crew

Sep 12, 6:52AM EDT0

This is going to be a solo race. So there won't be any more crew other than me

Sep 12, 9:05AM EDT0

How did you get invited? What is your driving motivation to participate in this race besides the fact that it hasn't happened in several years?

Sep 11, 9:01PM EDT0

I mailed the organisers asking about the race and they ended up inviting me!

After the last circumnavigation, I have been looking for an excuse to go on a long voyage around the world. This seemed like an ideal opportunity.

Sep 12, 12:42AM EDT0

Have you sailed around the world before and if so when and what boat?

Sep 11, 5:00PM EDT0


I sailed around the world in 2012-13. The voyage was from Mumbai to Mumbai, solo, non-stop and unassisted. The boat was a Van De Staedt Tonga 56 called the Mhadei. 

You can read more about it here - www.sagarparikrama2.blogspot.com

Sep 12, 12:44AM EDT0

Before you became a solo sailor did you enter team races or competitions?

Sep 12, 7:32PM EDT0

Who is your tactician and how much experience does he/she have in offshore racing?

Sep 11, 4:56PM EDT0

This is a solo race and I will be sailing alone. So I guess I am going to be the tactician too!

I have about 50,000 nautical miles of sailing under my belt.

Sep 12, 12:46AM EDT0

What tracking system is used to monitor the progress of the yachts during the race?

Sep 11, 1:20PM EDT0

The race organisers are going to be installing satellite based tracking system for the race. The positions won't be available to the competitors. Which exact system is not yet known.

Sep 11, 1:26PM EDT0

Which is your personal, preferred tracking system?

Sep 12, 8:30PM EDT0

How do you plan to get people excited about your campaign? Are you using social media to secure funding?

Sep 11, 11:38AM EDT0

Newspapers have written enough of the campaign. The launch of the boat has been covered all over India and there is a promise of more coverage. You can follow the progress on my social media pages. Eventually, I plan to get a blog going, which is tough under the present circumstances. 

I am resorting to crowd funding on 

https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/abhilashtomyGGR and looking for sponsors at the same time

Sep 11, 1:28PM EDT0

What size boats do you normally sail on and what is your position onboard?

Sep 11, 7:26AM EDT0

I have sailed a 56 footer around the world solo and non-stop.

For this race, I am building a 32 footer (Eric 32) designed by William Atkins.

Sep 11, 1:29PM EDT0

Once it is built will you take it out for a test voyage prior to the race?

Sep 13, 6:50AM EDT0

Have you got a lot of experience in sailing in bad weather seeing that you have a few precarious waters to cross like the roaring forties?

Sep 11, 5:51AM EDT0

I have sailed up to 58.5 deg South. Seen up to 70kn at Cape of Good Hope.

Sep 11, 1:29PM EDT0

What were the most dangerous conditions you sailed in and how did you handle the situation?

Sep 13, 1:53AM EDT0

What piece of spare gear would you say is the most important one during a race like this?

Sep 10, 11:44PM EDT0

I suppose it would be an extra sextant

Sep 11, 1:29PM EDT0

What instrumentation do you have onboard?

Sep 10, 11:27PM EDT0

I cannot use technology later than 1968. So all electronics are out. An electronic depth meter is permitted. The log is going to be a taffrail log. I can't think of any other modern instrumentation I will be using.

Sep 11, 1:31PM EDT0

Have you sailed any other vessels without using todays technology before?

Sep 12, 10:15PM EDT0

What is your opinion on women sailors?

Sep 10, 10:23PM EDT0

The sea doesn't see gender. I have personally been inspired by Isabelle Autissier, a French sailor.

Sep 11, 1:31PM EDT0

What sponsors do you have?

Sep 10, 9:36PM EDT0

None so far. Windpilot has donated an autopilot for the race. 

Sep 11, 1:32PM EDT0

I am an offshore sailor and live in the Hamble, its a very big community but I've never heard of this race before, where is it advertised?

Sep 10, 9:25PM EDT0

You should visit www.goldengloberace.com

Sep 11, 1:32PM EDT0

Is your crew complete or are you still looking?

Sep 10, 8:24PM EDT0

It's a solo race. So I am not looking for sailing crew.

Sep 11, 1:32PM EDT0

How many foot is your boat and how many crew are there?

Sep 10, 7:58PM EDT0

She is a 32 footer (Eric 32 designed by William Atkins). The design is from 1923. The boat is being built at Aquarius Shipyard, Goa. I am going to be alone in the boat.

Sep 11, 1:33PM EDT0

What are your sailing qualifications?

Sep 10, 7:01PM EDT0

I have sailed around the earth solo and non stop in 2012-13 (Mumbai- Mumbai)

Sep 11, 1:34PM EDT0

Where and / or from whom did you learn to sail?

Sep 13, 3:37AM EDT0

Are there any restrictions to the instruments or gear you are allowed to use during the race?

Sep 10, 6:06PM EDT0

The technology cannot be later than 1968. So you got to navigate with a sextant and radio. Clothing can be new age.

Sep 11, 1:34PM EDT0

I would imagine the clothing is very important.  What do you look for when choosing what you will be wearing & taking on such a challenging voyage?

Sep 13, 12:09AM EDT0

What position do you have onboard?

Sep 10, 5:49PM EDT0

I will be sailing alone.

Sep 11, 1:34PM EDT0

Will you manually navigate in addition to the electronic navigation?

Sep 10, 3:51PM EDT0

There won't be any electronic navigation. I will be using a sextant and a radio direction finder.

Sep 11, 1:35PM EDT0

At what age did you start sailing?

Sep 10, 3:39PM EDT0

I was 17 years old.

Sep 11, 1:35PM EDT0

How did you get into sailing?

Sep 13, 2:50PM EDT0

What is the route?

Sep 10, 2:49PM EDT0

That's the race map.

Sep 11, 1:36PM EDT0

What inspired you to take the challenge?

Sep 10, 10:29AM EDT0

After my last round the world which I did in 2012-13 I was looking for something more challending.

When the Golden Globe Race was announced, I immediately grabbed the opportunity. This is definitely tougher than anything thats happened before.

Sep 10, 10:36AM EDT0
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