Tony Bullimore, international yachtsman, adventurer, writer and entrepreneur was born in Southend-on-Sea. He spent many of his boyhood days wandering along the shore and admiring the great ships that plied the Thames. Here, his lust for adventure and the sea began.


Over 25 years Tony has won more than 150 trophies to establish himself as one of the top yachtsmen of the century, named in the "Encyclopaedia of World Sailing" alongside Chichester, Rose, Blyth, Knox Johnson, Connors and Taberly. Tony was elected "Yachtsman of the Year" in 1985 for his outstanding achievements.



Tony Bullimore


When Tony’s yacht capsized amid the icy vastness of the Southern Ocean in January 1997, he had been at sea for two months, competing in the single-handed Vendee Globe non-stop round the world race. Sheltering in a tiny air pocket in the upturned hull 2,500 kilometres from the South West Coast of Australia, he prepared for the loneliest challenge. Determination and sheer bravado kept him alive when his body - succumbing to hypothermia, dehydration and frostbite - was telling him to die.


Despite being one of the best Yachtsmen this county has produced, Tony was relatively unknown. But in 1997 the nation was glued to their sets after Tony’s yacht capsized amid in the icy waters of the Southern Ocean

Attempts to find him proved fruitless all hopes begun to fade. However, against all the odds, determination and the Bulldog spirit kept him alive despite suffering from dehydration, hypothermia and frostbite as he was marooned in a small air pocket in the hull of his upturned yacht Vendee Globe.

His book “Saved” describes the events and moments he encountered during that fateful time. Be inspired and touched by hearing Tony's first hand account of the events that turned his life upside down.  


Tony is a patron of M.C.I. (Mine Clearance International), J.A.C.C. (Jamaica Age Care Charity), Brainwave (The Kerland Foundation) and actively supports many other very worthy organisations.


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Bullimore launches 102ft cat Daedalus for Oryx Quest 2005



Tony Bullimore and Alan Green launch Daedalus, Bristol


Round the world yachtsman Tony Bullimore today re-launched his famous 102ft racing catamaran at Avonmouth Docks in his home town of Bristol, UK. His boat Daedalus will compete in the Oryx Quest 2005 around the world race, starting and finishing in Doha, Qatar, on February 5. Team Bullimore will be one of four crews chasing a $1million prize in this first ever HSBC-sponsored global yacht race to start and finish in the Arabian Gulf.


The 21,000 mile race takes the fleet down the Indian Ocean into the Southern Ocean and around the five great capes of Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Africa before returning to the oil state of Qatar at the end of April, in what will undoubtedly be a new world record time for any circumnavigation.


Bullimore and his seven-man crew have given their famous multihull an exhaustive re-fit, renewing sails and rigging, and equipped her with the latest navigation and communication aids. They have reduced her overall weight to the bare minimum. The crew will set sail from Avonmouth early next week on the 4,000 mile shake-down trip to Doha, when crew and boat will be honed to a competitive edge.


“The whole team has done a remarkable job,” said Bullimore. “The ‘Big Cat’ has never been this well prepared before. We have reduced the boat’s overall weight by a massive 1.2 tons which will make her much more competitive, especially in lighter winds. We have put together a top-class crew and all believe that we stand a better than ever chance of winning the $1million prize money.”




Daedalus is scheduled to reach the Qatar Capital in early January, a month before the race start, when her engines will be removed, further reducing her overall weight.


“Tony is a household name in sailing circles and we are delighted to have him and his crew on board for the Oryx Quest 2005,” said Alan Green, Race Director at Quest International Sports Events (QISE). “He is the first of four competitors sailing his multihull to Doha for one of the fastest yachting races the world will have seen. Preparations for the race on February 5th are intense but coming together speedily and agreeably. We are now in the final stages of putting this race together and it is enormously exciting to see that things are taking shape.”


Current entries for the Oryx Quest 2005 include Tony Bullimore’s Daedalus, Brian Thompson’s Qatar 2006, and Olivier de Kersauson’s Geronimo. A fourth entry will be announced shortly.


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1997: Bullimore rescued after five days


The lone yachtsman, Tony Bullimore, feared drowned after his boat capsized in the Southern Ocean five days ago, has been found safe and well.  Mr Bullimore survived on "a little chocolate, water and sheer determination" crouched in the upturned hull of his yacht.


He is said to be suffering mild hypothermia and dehydration but is otherwise well.  His drifting yacht, the Exide Challenger, was spotted by an Australian navy ship.  There were no visible signs of life, but when the rescuers banged on the boat's hull, they were amazed to hear Mr Bullimore knocking back.



The Exide Challenger - capsized


Asked for a cup of tea


Rescue co-ordinators say the yachtsman is very lucky to be alive.  He was wearing a survival suit which helped protect him against the extreme cold - but trapped in the boat's living quarters he probably had only enough air to last six days.


Mr Bullimore said his first reaction to hearing his rescuers outside his boat was, "absolutely ecstatic, I thought it would never happen."  Arriving on board the naval rescue ship, HMAS Adelaide, Mr Bullimore was said to be "babbling with excitement". He also asked for a cup of tea.


His wife, Lalel, was told of the news of his rescue at the couple's home in Bristol.  She is now preparing to fly out to Australia for an emotional reunion with her husband.  She says she always believed her husband would be found. She described him as a "survivor."


Mr Bullimore was taking part in the Vendee Globe single-handed non-stop round-the-world race.

Questions are already being asked about the high cost of the rescue operation and whether it is too risky to send lone yachtsman into the dangerous Southern Ocean.




Tony Bullimore and rescuers


Tony Bullimore was reunited with his wife Lalel at the British High Commission office in Perth.

He needed decompression treatement in a specialised medical centre for a few weeks after his ordeal.  On his return to Britain, he was invited to an audience with the Queen.


Tony Bullimore's ordeal did not put him off sailing. He filmed a TV programme with comedian Lenny Henry in which they sailed from Kent to the Caribbean.  In an interview in the Observer in 2002, he said he planned to continue sailing in races all over the world.


One good thing came out of his accident, he was put in touch with a daughter he never knew he had.  She made contact after she saw him on television.



The Exide Challenger - southern ocean


Le bateau de l’Anglais Tony BULLIMORE s’est retourné. Il a été repéré grâce à sa balise Argos. Il a été retrouvé par la frégate australienne Adélaïde, le mercredi 8 janvier. Il est resté 4 jours dans une des cabines isolée en attendant que les secours arrivent. Sa quille s’est cassée. Il était dans le noir. Il n’a mangé que du chocolat et bu de l’eau. Il était blessé au petit doigt de la main gauche. Il a perdu une phalange. Il a pensé qu’il allait mourir. Il a soudain entendu la sirène de la frégate et il a plongé pour rejoindre ses sauveteurs.




Few world-class yachtsmen enjoys so much recognition and public regard as Tony Bullimore. His fortitude, while sheltering from the tempestuous and icy seas of the Southern Ocean in the upturned hull of his capsized yacht, has become the stuff of legend.  His epic rescue whilst competing in the 1996 Vendée Globe single-handed, non-stop, round-the-world race, was not the end of the story, but rather a new beginning for a committed competitor.


With 150 trophies, transatlantic sailing records and victories in countless ocean and offshore races, Tony Bullimore is enjoying a remarkable career in his sport. Long before his fame as a survivor, and recent celebrity as a popular author, he was awarded the title 'UK Yachtsman of the Year' for his many achievements.


With the support of commercial sponsors, including the DTI, the City of Birmingham, Apricot Computers, Atlantic Financial and Exide Europe, Bullimore underpinned his success in this most competitive of sports by commissioning a sequence of 'state of the art' ocean-racing yachts. The craft themselves have proved to be vibrant venues for corporate hospitality, as well as becoming effective promotional platforms for each sponsor.




Having recently acquired his new boat, the 92' catamaran pictured right, which is currently undergoing a complete overhaul and refit in Bristol docks, Tony now has the equipment to continue smashing records and winning races in the future.


We will be providing much more detailed information about the catamaran in due course, details of some races to feature in Tony's race programme are detailed in the race page.







The Transatlantic Sailing Record

Racing from Ambrose Light, New York to Land's End, England.


The Round Britain Sailing Record

Racing non-stop round Britain to break the record.


The Round Ireland Race

Competing in this great classic racing event, that attracts over 1000 competitors, to take line honours and break the present record.


Cowes Week & The Fastnet Race

August 1999 - The ideal time for corporate hospitality and promotional opportunities, with sponsors guests crewing on one of the fastest racing yachts in the world. The climax of the1999 Cowes week will be the Fastnet race, many boats compete to break the record from Cowes on the Isle of Wight to the Fastnet Rock, off the south western tip of Ireland , and back.




The Jules Verne Round-the-World Sailing Record

Attempt on the Jules Verne sailing record. The aim is to smash the existing record .





Brian Thompson named skipper for Qatar 2006
Quest International Sports Events (QISE) today announced that world-class sailor Brian Thompson has been chosen to take command of the newly sold, record-breaking yacht Qatar 2006 (formerly Club Med and Maiden II).


Team Adventure to race in Oyrx Cup
In Doha for the Oryx Cup press conference and to announce their return to ocean racing, Team Adventure's skipper, Cam Lewis and navigator, Larry Rosenfeld, today congratulated Steve Fossett and his crew on Cheyenne.






Tony Bullimore

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Westbury Park




Home tel. +44 (0) 117 973 3294

Office tel. +44 (0) 121 771 2000

Fax +44 (0) 121 773 1792

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