Sir Robin Knox-Johnston awarded ‘Sailor of the Year’ accolade by Sailing Today magazine

11 September 2015

Clipper Race Chairman and Founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was today announced as Sailing Today magazine’s Sailor of the Year at its 2015 awards.

Members of the public voted, and Sir Robin accepted the award at a ceremony on the opening day of the Southampton Boat Show.

“Is there no limit to the accolades garnered by the British sailing institution that is RKJ? His latest exploits include a very creditable finish in the singlehanded transatlantic Route du Rhum race at the age of 75,” said Sam Fortescue, editor of Sailing Today magazine.

“In our vote, he narrowly beat off competition from Tom Partridge and Susie Plume, the circumnavigators who set sail for Vanuatu carrying aid in the wake of Cyclone Pam.

“Sir Robin continues to inspire new generations of sailors, and shows that the freedom of the seas, whether racing or cruising, are a powerful elixir of youth,” Sam added.

The other nominees for the category were Rev Bob Shepton, Jimmy Cornell, Noel Lister, Tom Partridge and Susie Plume.

Sir Robin said: "Thank you to everyone who voted for me, and congratulations to the other nominees too. I have enjoyed getting back to sea and racing competitively over the last year, with my most recent adventure being The Transatlantic Race I competed in with my good friends aboard my Open 60 Grey Power in July.

"I am happy to show that anyone can get out there - regardless of age - and experience everything the sport of sailing has to offer.

"Thank you so much for the trophy. I was delighted to share the occasion with Henri Lloyd and Raymarine, both old friends.”

Following Sir Robin's first circumnavigation when he became the first person to sail solo, nonstop round the world in 1968/69, 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.

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 3,300 people have since been introduced to sailing through the unique event which is the longest in the world at 40,000 miles.

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