Knox-Johnston Entering Route du Rhum

2 Apr

April 2, 2014

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 75, will return to his solo ocean racing roots this November when he takes part in French single-handed classic, the Route de Rhum on his Open 60 entry, Grey Power.

RKJ winching (OnEdition) (2)

The British founder of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and first ever man to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968/69, will compete in the tenth anniversary edition of the 3,500 mile Transatlantic race from St Malo, France to Guadeloupe, which starts on 2 November 2014. Knox-Johnston last did this race in 1982 in his 70-foot catamaran Olympus, better known as Sea Falcon. He is the oldest participant entered so far at the age of 75. Asked why he had chosen a solo Transatlantic Race at the age of 75, Knox-Johnston responded: “Participating in the 2013 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race reminded me how much I enjoy the excitement of an ocean race. Solo sailing is where I feel most at home – no one else can benefit you or let you down – it is all in my hands. The Route de Rhum is one of the classics – it is a very well-run race.”

The race sees sailors cross the Bay of Biscay late in the year in November before reaching the kinder, yet still squally climes of the trade wind belt before finishing in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. The first edition of the race in 1978 was won by Canadian Mike Birch after a nail biting finish but was marred by the disappearance of French sailor, Alain Colas, who was lost at sea.

The 2014 race is open to mono and multihull boats across four classes with almost 80 entrants. Sir Robin will be racing in the Rhum class and will start serious practice once the current Clipper Round the World Yacht Race finishes in July.

Knox-Johnston will celebrate the 45th anniversary of his inaugural circumnavigation on April 22 2014. The solo voyage took 312 days. He is the chairman and founder of Clipper Ventures which runs the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the biannual event which sees amateur sailors from around the world completing a 40,000 mile global circumnavigation. The trans-Pacific leg of that race is now en route from Qingdao to San Francisco. Source:

This article was syndicated from BLUE PLANET TIMES


  1. Annie

    Grand venture and hat’s off to you Sir Robin-Knox Johnston. You are saying a lot loudly for us older hands who love sailing and being on our own. Best of breezes and safe travel. Will be keeping you in my best thoughts and prayers.
    Stay warm and well fed then go like all speed.

  2. Andre H Mello

    As the first Brazilian to complete a non-stop singlehand circunnavigation I have to say…I am very proud of you! Keep going! We will follow you all the way. All the best.

  3. Pancho Tremaine

    One thing that bothers me about single handed racing, Isn’t it a rule of good seamanship that one ALWAYS keep someone on watch, AKA watching out?

  4. stephany

    Sir Robin was the first in a race, but a few others, Slocum,Bernicot, Moitessier did that Everest. Bravo Sir Robin, Mike Birch did a transat at 72…but with his son. I will be at the start for sure. JS

  5. Bill Conlyn

    Hats off the men who sail around the world, but to me they all have a death wish, life is too short with too many things to do, to temp fate like that.

  6. Dennis Sanders

    I’ve only read about Chicester and Joshua Slocum, but reading the exploits of Sir Robin-Knox, he is an icon!

  7. ralph hewitt

    I too am 75 and have been sailing since the early 1950’s, never around the world but all around the world.
    I say good luck old man! Nice try, he will not make it…. Just NOT the same as it was.
    I now sail 2-3 times a week with the Sea Scout group Exploradores Marinos I started some 9 years ago in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Building young folks for sailing is what is all about.
    I hope he thinks long about this one.

  8. Vance Weiss

    T. L. Rowton has it right. This brings back fond memories of the solo “‘Round the World”, I was pulling for Robin (no Sir prefix at that time) but could only Imagine Sir Francis’ disappointment. Robin was the underdog, small boat, low or no budget and very little support group.

  9. T. L. Rowton

    The article does is fact state Sir Robin was the first to sail “…solo, non-stop…”. Chichester had to make one stop due to – if my memory serves me correctly – a mechanical problem. There is quite a controversy concerning who actually was the first non-stop, solo circumnavigator of the world due to Montessier’s voluntary withdraw from the race prior to finishing. He would have clearly won, but bowed out to continue following his passion of solo sailing. Slocum, had many lay-overs Along the way during his journey. Having said all that, these men have earned mine, and the rest of the worlds respect and admiration!

  10. Randy Hines

    Joshua Slocum was the first man to sail around the world.
    If Knox did it non-stop that dosent make him the first to sail around the world. and thats what the sentence said that he was the first to sail around the world , Its just a misprint, without the words non-stop, still our faithful Sail Magazine editors will put the thing straight im sure Lol!

  11. Frank Roosa

    Great to see him do this again but I thought Sir Francis Chichester was the first man to sail solo around the world, in his Gypsy Moth,am I right?

  12. Tom Martin

    Suggest you read “the Long Way” by Bernard Montessier then you’ll have your facts straight!

  13. Jerry Ursitti

    Joshua “cruised” solo around the world with multiple stops. He went through the Straits of Magellan, not around Cape Horn. Sir Robin was first solo non-stop. Chay Blythe was first solo non-stop east to west. All great feats in their time.
    Ave Sir Robin!

  14. Jim Cole

    Slocum was the first to sail around the world solo, but he made some stops along the way. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was the first solo sailor to accomplish the feat without stopping.

  15. Wayne Addison

    Hats off to Sir Robin-Knox Johnston !!
    Too many people still gauge a person’s ability cronoclogically. Hopefully, as one matures one has gained
    a little wisdom along the way. it is the wisdom, not the age that determines ability. Good Luck and God Speed Sir.

  16. Carl

    It is my understanding it was Josh Slocum who first sailed around the world solo in the late 1800’s aboard the “Spray” a 36 foot converted fishing boat.

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