Abu Dhabi, UAE, April 29th- After 236 days of sailing, BAYANAT has taken second place at the Golden Globe Race 2022 (GGR), one of the world’s most challenging sailing races. Former Indian Navy officer Cmdr. (Retd.) Abhilash Tomy sailed non-stop around the world on the UAE-registered boat sponsored by Abu Dhabi-based geospatial AI solutions provider, Bayanat. The boat, a Rustler 36, carried the race number ‘71’ and the UAE ensign – a tribute to the nation’s founding in 1971.
The 3rd edition of the GGR commenced on September 4th at the picturesque Les Sables-d’Olonne port in France. 30 sailors had initially enrolled for the competition, but only 16 were able to make it to the starting line. In a testament to the grueling nature of the race, only two boats were able to complete the demanding course, with a contender still into the competition.
Abhilash’s journey on the treacherous 30,000 nautical-mile race around the world was an epic saga of resilience and courage. In a remarkable display of unyielding endurance and masterful skill, Abhilash battled his way through fierce storms, unrelenting isolation, and months of solitude while coping with significant damage to his boat, pushing his seamanship skills to the limit. Against all odds, he crossed the finish line, a testament to his unwavering determination and spirit.
Since its inaugural event in 1968, the Golden Globe Race entails that contenders sail unaccompanied utilizing technology that was obtainable during its initial edition, thus, forbidding the use of any contemporary equipment and satellite-powered navigation aids. Along the route, race participants must navigate through the world’s five great capes, notorious for their extreme weather conditions and unpredictable currents, and return to the starting point. Even with modern equipment, the magnitude of the challenge is so immense that the number of people who have sailed solo around the world is fewer than those who have climbed Mount Everest or journeyed through space.
“I am thrilled and honored to have accomplished such a feat,” said Abhilash Tomy. “This has been quite an extraordinary journey, and I am grateful to everyone who has supported me, including my family, friends and legions of fans from the UAE, India and worldwide. I especially want to thank my sponsors, Bayanat, who made my participation possible. This life-changing experience has been challenging beyond measure, but the rewards have been priceless. I hope my journey will inspire others to chase their dreams with passion and determination.”
Hasan Al Hosani, CEO of Bayanat, stated, “We are immensely proud of Abhilash for making it this far in the Golden Globe Race, which has filled us with immense admiration. Bayanat is truly honored to be a part of such a strong endurance display that tests human limits. Abhilash has brought tremendous joy to the UAE and the Indian community. His legacy will undoubtedly inspire generations to come.”
This was Abhilash’s second participation in the Golden Globe Race. In the 2018 edition, after a storm de-masted his boat, he sustained a life-threatening injury that almost left him paralyzed and forced him to withdraw
In November, the Bayanat Team visited the Cape of Good Hope, rightfully once named the Cape of Storms. Prevailing winds and strong South-Eastern blows are only some of the dangers a skipper can encounter, making it a tough sailing ground with a narrow window to make it through safely.
Abhilash Tomy safely made it through with his boat, Bayanat, with only a hatch leak and other minor issues following a strenuous week at sea. Team members and experts from CairnUAS, facilitated by the Bayanat Team, made sure to capture the historic moment with drone and camera footage and ensure Abhilash’s spirits were kept high.
For two hours, the team followed him side by side and delivered messages from Hasan Al Hosani, amongst others. During his weekly SoundCloud recording, Abhilash delivered a special message back to Al Hosani and stated: “My friend, Hasan, I want to deliver a massive congratulations on the IPO listing of Bayanat. You and your team have done phenomenally well, and I am inspired because of all of you.”
Abhilash Tomy perseveres with grit and determination coupled with master seamanship skills as he predicts to sail through calmer conditions. His resilience is inspiring, and with minimal communication from the outside world, he is recognized for his humility and appreciation of his family, friends, fans and team members for their unconditional support.
In December 2022, the Bayanat Team travelled all the way to Hobart in Tasmania to meet Cdr. Abhilash Tomy as he passed through the second of the GGR photo gates.
Utilising Bayanat’s proprietary GGR dashboard, the team were able to predict the timing of Abhilash’s arrival in advance, and sail out to meet him accordingly. With the support of a local drone imagery provider, the team captured some epic footage of Abhilash and the Bayanat boat as he navigated the unusually calm waters of the Tasman Sea section of the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
After struggling with low winds for 24 hours mere kilometers from the gate, Abhilash was finally able to pass the check point on December 27th. After making minor repairs to the boat including waterproofing of the cabin, and after getting some much needed rest, Abhilash continued on with the race on December 28th, whilst maintaining 3rd position overall.
Race chairman, Don McIntyre has confirmed that the film drop at Punta del Este near Monevideo in Uruguay has been cancelled, making the next stop the finish line in Les Sables dÓlonne. Fair winds Abhilash!