Robin Knox-Johnston, the sailor of legend

The British Robin Knox-Johnston is the skipper who has most marked the history of offshore racing, in England and in the world.

Robin Knox-Johnston is, without doubt, the greatest british navigator. But beyond that, this outstanding sailor has written the history of the offshore race, in the same way that Peter Blake or Eric Tabarly. Since the beginning of his career, in 1968 on the Golden Globe Challenge on Suhaili, the Route du Rhum in 2014, Robin Knox-Johnston has never ceased to navigate.

Robin Knox-Johnston was born in 1939, in London and then lives in Liverpool until 1957. From this date, and until 1967, the marine is serving in the merchant navy and the Royal Navy. In 1965, he bought a plan Colin Archer sloop of 32 feet, to Bombay. He will turn his boat, named Suhailiin England, after a journey of two years.

Robin Knox-Johnston, skipper of legend

robin knox-johnston
photo: robinknox-johnston.co.uk

On June 14, 1968, it took the start of the Golden Globe Challenge with his yacht Suhaili, the first tower of the world ensolitaire and non-stop. His fight with Bernard Moitessier, a party two months later, will remain in the legend of offshore racing. It shall come to pass, April 22, 1969, to Falmouth winner and hero, after 312 days at sea.

Robin Knox-Johnston is the first man to circumnavigate the world solo and non-stop.

A skipper on the career of Lord

His win in the Golden Globe Challenge will be the first of a long career. Robin Knox-Johnston won the Round Britain Race on two occasions, in 1970 and 1974. It will be accompanied, often, from people you trust, a bit like Tabarly and his crew (Kersauson, Lamazou,…). He wins The Cape to Rio in 1971 as well as two stages of the Robin_Knox-JohnstonWhitbread, in 1977, with Williams and Peter Blake, as crew. Peter Blake and him come away with the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994, after 74 days 22 hours 18 minutes and 22 seconds at sea.

In 2007, at the age of 68, He participated in the Velux 5 Oceans Race and finished in fourth place , being the skipper for the older to finish a round the world tour. But the sailor didn’t know to stop and, in 2014, Robin Knox-Johnston, aged 75 years, took the start of the transat solo race the Route du Rhum, which he finished in third place in the category of Rum.

In 1995, he will be knighted, in recognition of his career achievements and what he brought to racing and sailing in general. In 1994, he and Blake will be elected Sailor of the year ISAF. Robin Knox Johnston is the only sailor to win three times the title of YJA Yachtsman of the Year.

the history of the race, also to earth

Robin Knox-Johnston is also very active on the ground. It takes an important part in the organization of maritime life, in England. He will be president of the Sail Training Association from 1992 to 2001.

During this period, he is also a director of the national maritime museum at Greenwich. To this day, he is a director of the national maritime museum Cornwall in Falmouth, where Suhaili, his first sailboat is at anchor.

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