Sir Robin Knox-Johnston departs UK to compete in Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe

22 October 2014

Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 75, has departed Portsmouth, UK on his Open 60 Grey Power ahead of the start of French classic race the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe.

It will be the second time the British yachtsman and first ever man to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968/69, has competed in the 3,500 mile Transatlantic contest.

The Clipper Race team waved off the legendary yachtsman from Gosport on board a Clipper 70.

After enjoying sailing with Clipper Race crew in the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race which formed part of the circumnavigation, Knox-Johnston decided to return to competitive solo racing.

Knox-Johnston will be the oldest competing sailor at the St Malo start line on 2 November. He will be racing in the same boat he sailed round the world in during the 2006/7 Velux Five Oceans Race aged 68.

“I am fit, I feel very strong and I am eager to get out there,” said Knox-Johnston.

“Age has nothing to do with it. I am fitter than most. I have worked hard to get my boat ready and have been out sailing a lot for practice, including doing the Round the Island Race.

“Racing solo on the ocean is where I feel most at home. The Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe - is a great race to a lovely island. I won’t win but I shall have a lot of fun participating.”

Knox-Johnston 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.

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