Commander Abhilash Tomy is a less-known name to Keralites. But when it comes to the nation’s history, his name is written literally in golden letters. The Changanacherry-born naval commander is the first Indian and the second Asian to circumnavigate the earth non-stop. Abhilash speaks to The Kochi Post about his experiences and future plans.
Abhilash inherited the passion for naval profession from his father V. C. Tomy who was a Lieutenant Commander with the Indian navy. “I joined navy at a very young age of 17. I used to read a lot about expeditions in my childhood. This might have had an impact and as soon as I joined navy, I got attracted to yachting. When I joined the naval academy in 1997, there was a small boat called ‘Énterprise’. I learned the basics of yachting in that,” recollects Abhilash.
It was later in 2004, Abhilash got a coach who moulded him to be a competent yachter. “When I began yachting, it was just a hobby. Then it became my sport and later I realised that I had already become really serious about it.” He began his solo, non-stop circumnavigation on November 1, 2012. It took him 150 days to complete and he reached back on the shores of Mumbai on March 31, 2013. He was received by the President at the Gateway of India.