Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston first joined the British Merchant Navy in 1957, passing his Master’s Certificate in 1965. Whilst based in India, he built his 32-foot Ketch “Suhaili” and sailed her back to London via the Cape of Good Hope. In 1968, he participated in the Sunday Times Golden Globe race, a challenge to be the first person to sail alone, non-stop around the world. Of the nine starters, he was the only finisher after 312 days alone at sea.
He subsequently achieved Line Honours in the 1971 Cape Town to Rio Race, won the two-handed round Britain Race in 1970 and 1974, crewed in the British Admiral’s Cup Team in 1973 and 1975, won the RORC Class One points Championship in 1976, Line honours in the second and 4th Legs of the Whitbread Around the World Race in 1977/8, the Class 2 Multihull championship in 1985 and in 1994, with Peter Blake, won the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the world in just under 75 days. In 1996 he established the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race for amateur sailors, which has given more than 6,000 people the chance to race in the oceans of the World. The 14th in the series started on the 3rd of September 2023. He took time out in 2006/7 to participate in the solo Velux around the world race, coming 4th.
Four times British Yachtsman of the Year, in 1995 he was the International Sailor of the Year. Apart from training the 6,750 crews for the Clipper Race, he was President of the Sail Training Association from 1993 to 2002 and served on the Council, and as a Trustee of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for 37 years. He continues to sail, visiting the Caribbean during 2002/3 and recently made a voyage to the Arctic Circle in Greenland.
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