Tony Bullimore dies aged 79

Tony Bullimore Tony Bullimore famously survived at sea after his boat capsized during the 1996 Vendée Globe

Seasoned sailor Tony Bullimore has died aged 79 and having achieved over 30 Atlantic crossings.

The international yachtsman, famed for having survived under the overturned hull of his boat after a storm capsized it during the 1996 Vendée Globe solo round the world race, had circa 150 trophies to his name and took part in several round the world races.

More than 20 years ago, in January 1997, when his IMOCA 60 monohull Exide Challenger capsized in the Southern Ocean 2,200km off the coast of Australia, Mr Bullimore endured five days inside the hull surviving on a meagre ration of chocolate and water before being rescued by the Royal Australian Navy.

However, the Bristol-dwelling ex-Royal Marine, then aged 57, didn’t let the incident put him off his sport. Before the Vendée Globe, he had been racing for 25 years and had won the 1985 Round Europe and Round Britain races with trimaran Apricot.

He skippered a team that came second in the 2005 Qatar-held Oryx Quest race for multi-hulled craft. A year later he began a solo world record attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 70 days, losing contact with his support crew for 11 days.

In 2010, Mr Bullimore’s multihull Spirit of Antigua overturned off France, though he wasn’t onboard at the time. He later raced her in an attempt to set a new record for sailing around Antarctica.

A businessman as much as a sailor, Mr Bullimore founded Bristol’s Bamboo Club music venue and also ran the city’s Granary Club for two decades.

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