It will be a dream come true for Lt Commander Abhilash Tomy when President Pranab Mukherjee felicitates him in Mumbai on Saturday for completing a non-stop solo circumnavigation of the globe under sails in 150 days.
The 34-year-old Indian Navy officer will be the cynosure of all eyes during Mukherjee’s visit for the concluding ceremony of accomplishment of ‘Sagar Parikrama-II’-- Solo Non-Stop Unassisted Circumnavigation.
The Indian Navy had launched the project Sagar Parikrama I on August 19, 2009 in an indigenously built yacht named Mhadei and the first such Circumnavigation was accomplished by Commander Dilip Donde on May 22, 2010, with Tomy, his stand-by officer assisting him at all the ports touched during his seven-month voyage.
However, Lt Cdr Tomy completed the second expedition alone on March 31, thereby making him the first Indian to accomplish the feat.
He joins the ranks of 80 other sailors worldwide to complete the task.
His expedition was flagged off from Mumbai on November 1, 2012, and during the expedition, he sailed non-stop, covering all three major Capes -- Cape Leeuwin off Australia, Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America and the Cape of Good Hope.
When Tomy, a maritime reconnaissance pilot, crossed the 10,000 nautical mile mark non-stop on January 9, 2013, he became the first Indian to do so.
Frenchman Francis Joyon holds the world record for the fastest non-stop solo circumnavigation, completing the feat in 67 days in January 2008.
Image: Abhilash Tomy with Commander Dilip Donde
Photograph: Satish Bodas/Rediff.com