The Golden Globe Race (GGR) is a solo sailing race around the globe in a yacht with no kind of modern technology. It started off on July 1, 2018, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race when Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person to make a non-stop solo circumnavigation trip. Indian sailor and Navy officer, Commander Abhilash Tomy KC was part of the race when his yacht was dismasted and he suffered severe back injury. He was traced by the Indian Navy Reconnaissance after he sent out distress messages from his vessel and rescued by the French vessel Osiris on Monday.
The GGR is modeled on the race that took place in 1968. Accordingly, participants were expected to use yachts and equipment similar to the kind used by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. This means that no kind of modern technology like GPS, electronic watches, electronic compass and the like can be used during the trip. “Competitors must sail in production boats between 32ft and 36ft overall (9.75 – 10.97m) designed prior to 1988 that have a full-length keel with rudder attached to their trailing edge,” says the official website of the GGR. The sailors departed from Les Sables-d’Olonne in France and will return back there after crossing the five Great Capes.
There are 18 participants in the event, belonging to 13 countries. Apart from Tomy, there were others as well who had to stop midway through the trip. In August, Norway’s 58-year old sailor, Are Wiig was dismasted 400 miles South West of Cape Town. His boat had also capsized and he had to end the race there. France’s Antoine Cousot also had to retire at the end of August due to a broken wind vane and injuries. Palestinian skipper Nabil Amra had retired in July itself also due to a broken wind vane. There were others as well who stopped midway.
Tomy was the only Indian in the race and was in the third position when he was stranded after having sailed over 10,500 nautical miles in the previous 84 days.