45th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s circumnavigation of the globe

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on Suhaili

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on Suhaili

Legendary Hampshire sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, now 75, celebrates the 45th anniversary of his historic solo circumnavigation of the planet on 22nd April 2013. On that date in 1969 he sailed into Falmouth and into the record books as the first man to circumnavigate the globe non-stop and single-handed in his 32-foot boat Suhaili. He had been at sea for 312 days.

The Sunday Times Golden Globe Race started on 14th June 1968 but it wasn’t to go smoothly for him. He lost his self-steering gear off Australia but managed to round the treacherous Cape Horn on 17th January 1969.

All seven race rivals dropped out at various stages, leaving him to take the title. This achievement saw him made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston will return to his solo ocean racing roots later this year by taking on the French single-handed Route de Rhum from St Malo to Guadeloupe in his Open 60 entry Grey Power. He is the oldest entrant so far.

He said: “Solo sailing is where I feel most at home – no one else can benefit you or let you down – it is all in my hands. The Route de Rhum is one of the classics – it is a very well-run race.”

Serious practice starts after the current Clipper Round the World Yacht Race finishes in July. He is founder and chairman of the Clipper race which last year ended in Southampton.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston starts the Route de Rhum on 2nd November.