Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Today has been designated Sir Robin Knox Johnston Day in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the finish of the Sunday Times, Golden Globe Race.

Robin Knox Johnston was the first person to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world between 14th June 1968 and 22nd April 1969. Sailing 30,000-ish miles by himself for 313 days!

You may wish to read his book "A World of My Own". We read this many years ago back in Paris. It would be a great addition to So It Goes' library. Here's Amazon's Product Description: On Friday, June 14, 1968, Suhaili, a tiny ketch, slipped almost unnoticed out of Falmouth harbor, steered by the solitary figure at her helm, Robin Knox-Johnston. This is Robin's uninhibited account of one of the greatest sea adventures of our time.

At age 70 (born 17th March 1939, in Putney, London) he's still active in the boating world. In 2007, Sir Robin finished in 4th place in the single-handed round the world Velux 5 Oceans race.

Here are some life highlights:
  • 1995 : Knighted by the Queen
  • 1995 : ISAF Yachtsman of the Year
  • 1994 : UK Yachtsman of the Year (2nd time)
  • 1994 : Jules Verne Trophy (for the fastest ever circumnavigation) on ENZA
  • 1994 : IYRU World Sailor of the year
  • 1990 : Silk Cut Nautical award Seamanship Trophy
  • 1986 : Round Britain Race on British Airways
  • 1985 : World Champion Class II Catamarans
  • 1983 : Bull World Champion Class 2 multi-hulls (60 feet)
  • 1977 : Whitbread Round the World Race on Heath’s Condor
  • 1976 : Winner RORC Class I championship
  • 1975 : Admiral’s Cup
  • 1975 : UK Yachtsman of the Year
  • 1974 : Winner, Round Britain Race on British Oxygen
  • 1973 : Admiral’s Cup
  • 1970 : UK Yachtsman of the Year
  • 1970 : Winner, Round Britain Race on Ocean Spirit
  • 1969 : UK Yachtsman of the Year
  • 1969 : Awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire)
  • 1968-69 : Only finisher in The Sunday Times Golden Globe on Suhaili; first man to circumnavigate the world solo non-stop after 313 days at sea
Here's a link to BBC Devon December 28, 2006 which is about RKJ's participation in the Velux 5 Oceans race on board his yacht Saga Insurance. It has a quote in this article that I really like...
"It was much easier 38 years ago, no messing around with technology. They said I was missing for four and a half months and prepared my obituary, but I always knew where I was."
Bob & I saw Suhaili once in London... that was a very special moment. Too bad we didn't have a camera with us at the time.

Boat bloggers are linking to other bloggers' RKJ posts: Go to BOATBITS

Have a wonderful day!