Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is YJA’s Yachtsman of the Year

13 January 2015

Legendary Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is the YJA's British Yachtsman of the Year for the fourth time.

Sir Robin, 75, beat other shortlisted sailors Giles Scott and Miranda Merron following his outstanding achievements during 2014.

The Yachting Journalists' Association awarded Sir Robin with the honour following his podium place in French solo classic the Route du Rhum in November.

More than 45 years on from his historical solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the globe, Sir Robin continues to inspire the worldwide sailing community. He has helped 3,300 amateur sailors take on the world’s oceans in the Clipper Race, which will celebrate its tenth edition on August 30 this year.

Sir Robin said: “I am delighted to receive this award today at Trinity House, London, amongst so many good friends from the sailing world.

“At last I've caught up with Sir Ben Ainslie having now won my fourth award. The other two nominees have performed fantastically and both deserved to win - so I would like to thank everyone who voted for me.

“I enjoyed the racing I did last year immensely. The support I received from around the world was inspirational and drove me to push harder during the Route du Rhum. I am looking forward to competing more this year before the 10th anniversary edition of the Clipper Race gets underway at the end of August.”

Sir Robin made a return to competitive solo ocean racing in 2014 after competing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race with one of his Clipper Race crews in 2013.

He had become jealous of watching his Clipper Race crews set off at the start of each new leg during their circumnavigation and wished he was racing himself.

He will take part in double handed challenge The Transatlantic Race 2015 in late June.

The award was presented by Ian Atkins, president of and Bob Fisher, chairman of the YJA, at a gala ceremony.

The Yachtsman of the Year Award was established in 1955 by Sir Max Aitken, Battle of Britain pilot, chairman of Express Newspapers, and a leading yachtsman in both sail and power. Other previous winners of the award include Dame Ellen MacArthur and four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie.

Sir Robin has been awarded the accolade four times. He won following his Golden Globe win in 1969, then in1994 and 2007.

Have you been inspired by Sir Robin to challenge yourself? You too can follow in his footsteps and race around the world with the Clipper Race. You have to be a minimum of 18 years old to do the race and have good general fitness but there is no upper age limit; as Sir Robin says: “How can I turn down someone younger than myself!”

We’re recruiting crew members for the 2015-16 and 2017-18 race editions. Find out more here about joining the race of your life.

Watch the video from the YJA awards here.

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