A sailor and his boat: Abhilash Tomy’s love affair with the sea that brought him to race

Written by Amrita Dutta , Smita Nair | Updated: September 30, 2018 9:42:48 am

Abhilash being rescued in an inflatable boat from his damaged vessel Thuriya, on September 25. (Photo provided by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority)

As Navy Commander Abhilash Tomy begins his road to recovery, AMRITA DUTTA in Ernakulam & SMITA NAIR in Goa recount a love affair with the sea that began as a child, the journey that brought him to the race, and the boat that fought against 80 knots-per-hour winds. Out of hospital, Abhilash will head first to his vessel, to Thuriya.

What does a parent do when his child decides to climb onto a boat, embrace the rough seas and sail around the world? Lt Commander (retd) V C Tomy, 67, decided to keep score.

On a globe, the piercing blue of whose oceans is nothing like the grey fury of the real thing, he plotted the journey of his son Abhilash Tomy, as he became the first Indian to circumnavigate the world alone in 2013, without assistance and without halting anywhere. “Every day, I marked where he had reached. This is where he started, from the Gateway of India in Bombay,” he says, tracing the long, wavy line he had drawn on it with a pen as he sat in his house in Ernakulam, Kerala. “And that’s the route, the…

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