45 years after becoming the first man to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968/69, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, now aged 75, is the oldest skipper competing in the 3,500 mile transatlantic solo classic Route du Rhum race, starting from St Malo, France, in early November.
On Wednesday 22nd October the famous Clipper Round the World Yacht Race founder departs the UK for St Malo aboard his 60-foot yacht, Grey Power.
Sir Robin was inspired back into competitive sailing after joining Clipper Race crew in the tough Sydney-Hobart Race at the end of last year. He created the Clipper Race to provide a platform for non-professional sailors to experience the thrill of ocean racing and for many, a circumnavigation. The biennial event has inspired more than 3,000 people to compete in what is now the longest ocean race around the planet at more than 40,000 miles, since it was established in 1996.
Sir Robin is the only British sailor to have won ‘Yachtsman of the Year’ three times. He has sailed around the world four times, twice solo, including the Golden Globe historic circumnavigation in 1968/69, and once winning the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994. He last competed in the Route du Rhum in 1982, on the 70-foot catamaran Sea Falcon.
The Route du Rhum is a classic solo transatlantic race which takes place every four years and is expected to last approximately two weeks to complete. 86 solo sailors will race across the notoriously challenging Bay of Biscay, before reaching the squally climes of the trade wind belt, ahead of a dash to the finish in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.