In the hazy morning sunshine at 8:22 this morning, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston slipped Suhaili’s lines in Gosport to head to Falmouth to recreate the historic moment he finished the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race 50 years ago.
There were cheers from the crowd as Sir Robin left the marina, accompanied by Alec Rose’s Lively Lady, en route to start the celebrations in Falmouth.
After 312 days at sea, surviving 80-foot waves, shark infested waters and an appendicitis, this intrepid sailor crossed the finish line on the 22nd April 1969 at precisely 1525; the winner and only finisher of the epic race.
This moment will be re-enacted at the exact time and location on Monday 22nd April 2019 as part of an on-water spectacle with all vessels welcome to join the flotilla expected to attend.
Monday also heralds the prize giving of the 2018/19 edition of the Golden Globe Race in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France. The winner, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, not only beat Sir Robin’s circumnavigation time but also, at 73 years, stole his record for being the oldest person to have completed a single-handed circumnavigation. Of this, and of his old friend, Sir Robin said: “From a personal point of view I am a little bit upset! I hand the baton over to Jean-Luc, but I couldn’t hand it over to a better person. I’m so pleased for Jean-Luc, it’s great news.” Currently, he has no intention of trying to beat Van Den Heede’s time or win back his record.
Although not physically present at the ceremony in France on Easter Monday, Sir Robin will join the competitors via a live link at 11am to offer his congratulations as well as deliver his independent report on lessons learned from handling small boats in extreme conditions during the 2018 GGR. The attrition rate in the 2018 race has been high and with just five sailors having finished or still racing, Sir Robin advises that the skippers signing up for the 2022 race should ‘study the experiences of this race’.
You can join the presentation which will be broadcast on http://www.facebook.com/goldengloberace/.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s unprecedented achievement 50 years ago, not only propelled him into the history books, but also inspired more than one generation of sailors. For further information on the schedule of celebrations in Falmouth please visit: https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/news/article/sir-robin-50-year-golden-globe-anniversary-plans.