Sir Robin Knox-Johnston receives Route du Rhum prize
06 December 2014
British adventurer and Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has received his Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe prize at a ceremony in Paris.
Sir Robin, 75, came third in the Rhum class of the solo Transatlantic race two weeks ago after a “stimulating” battle for the final podium place.
Sir Robin was welcomed with a standing ovation by his fellow skippers at the prizegiving at the Salon Nautique in Paris this afternoon.
He said: “When you enter a race because you want to go racing, winning a podium position is a nice thought, but not necessarily the most prominent one when you start. However, owing to considerable luck I did manage to get on the podium which was a delightful finish to a very enjoyable event.
“Looking back, I could probably have pushed harder going down the Channel to Ushant, but I am happy that I rounded it without any breakages. The crossing of the Bay of Biscay was when I started to push. The wind had veered after the passage of the leaders and so I was on a good strong reach.
“Watching the other boats positions which were sent out every three hours I realised that I was closing on them and that provided an increased incentive to push harder. Slowly I reeled them in, but the winner had got away from everyone on the first day and the second to finish proved extremely hard to close on so I had to accept third place.
“It was wonderful to get back to sea again and participate in one of the classic ocean races. I might even do it again in four years’ time, but I think I would like a less heavy boat to handle by that time.
"The prizegiving was a great occasion, and it was very touching to receive a standing ovation."
Sir Robin, the oldest entrant in the 3,542 mile Route du Rhum, finished third in his Rhum class into Pointe À Pitre, Guadeloupe on 22 November after 20 days, 7 hours, 52 minutes and 22 seconds at sea.
He finished 3 days 00 hours 46 minutes and 19 seconds behind the Rhum Class winner Anne Caseneuve on her trimaran Aneo.
Andrea Mura finished in second on Vento di Sardegna.
Sir Robin wins 4000 Euros for the race he last entered 32 years ago.
He has made a return to competitive solo ocean racing after competing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race with one of his Clipper Race crews in 2013.
He became 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.
Here is a video of Sir Robin approaching the finish line.
See pictures of Sir Robin's elation at the podium place here.
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