47 years on from Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Golden Globe historic achievement
22 April 2016
Forty-seven years ago today, Clipper Race chairman and founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the first man to have sailed solo, nonstop round the globe having been victorious in the Sunday Times Golden Globe race.
The sole finisher out of nine entrants, Sir Robin crossed the finish line off Falmouth, UK on 22 April 1969 aged 30 after 312 days at sea. With none of the modern technological aids available to sailors nowadays, Sir Robin was asked where he had come from on his 32-foot yacht Suhaili, to which he replied ‘Falmouth’.
"To be able to say you were the first to do something on a planet of seven billion is nice. It changed my life. I left as a young ambitious bloke and came back a completely different person," reflects Sir Robin, now 76.
Following his first circumnavigation, Sir Robin skippered Condor to Line Honours in two legs of the 1977/8 Whitbread Race; co-skippered Enza New Zealand with the late Peter Blake to take the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994 for the fastest circumnavigation of the world; and completed the Velux5Oceans solo round the world race in fourth position in 2006/7 at the age of 68.
In 2014, he finished third in the Rhum class of solo Transatlantic the Route du Rhum, and in 2015 also took part in The Transatlantic Race with friends and finished third in class.
Sir Robin was knighted in 1995 and has been the UK's Yachtsman of the Year four times.
He was ISAF sailor of the Year with Peter Blake in 1994 and in 2007 was one of the first six inductees into the ISAF Hall of Fame. In 1996 he created the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to offer people from all walks of life and ages the experience of ocean racing together with the opportunity of completing a circumnavigation. More than 4,000 people have since been introduced to sailing through the unique event which is the longest in the world at 40,000 miles.Join The Race