Commander Abhilash Tomy, Kirti Chakra (born 5 Feb 1979) is the first Indian and second Asian to have sailed around the earth solo, non-stop and unassisted. Tomy wrote a new chapter in India’s Maritime history by becoming the first Indian to Circumnavigate the Earth under sails – solo, nonstop and unassisted. He had set sail out of Mumbai on November 1, 2012 in the sail boat INSV Mhadei to undertake a voyage, no Indian had attempted before. A naval aviator, Abhilash was attracted to seafaring and adventure at a young age. Tomy is a reconnaissance pilot in the Indian Navy. He was born in Chethipuzha in Kerala and his father is a retired Naval officer as well. Joined in Indian Navy in 2000, he has sailed more than 52,000 nautical miles in his 18-year career. By sail on the custom-built Indian Navy vessel INSV Mhadei, Tomy embarked on his first circumnavigation mission in November 2012. He covered 23,000 nautical miles and sailed for 151 days during the mission. He was received in Indian port by then-Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at the end of his journey. During the Sagar Parikrama, he faced a shortage of water which left him with just 15 litres of fresh water for the last 15 days of his journey. Using his resources to the best of his abilities, he resorted to rainwater harvesting for the rest of the voyage. He received the Kirti Chakra in 2013, which is the second highest peacetime gallantry award in India for his solo circumnavigation trip.His Kirti Chakra award was the first for the Indian Navy in 39 years. He has represented India in several international events including the Cape Town to Rio Yacht Race, the Spanish Copa del Rey and the Korea Cup.
Other Notable Achievements
- He has spoken to students regarding the protection and conservation of the world’s oceans.
- He has represented India in several international events including the Cape Town to Rio Yacht Race, the Spanish Copa del Rey and the Korea Cup.
- Tomy also trained the all-woman crew of the INSV Tarini, which undertook the Navika Sagar Parikrama mission — the first time circumnavigation of the globe by an all women crew.
- Commander Tomy is one of the five special invitees to the GGR and the only Asian sailor in the competition. He is sailing with 1,000 ready-to-eat meals, 300 litres of water and 140 litres of fuel.
- He had set out on the GGR with the mission of breaking Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s successful completion of a similar voyage in 312 days in 1968-69.