75 Year-Old Sir Robin Knox-Johnston Begins Solo Transatlantic Race
Legendary English sailor, 75 year-old Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has begun the solo transatlantic race, the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe.
The 3,542 mile race began in St Malo in France on Sunday, marking 32 years since Sir Robin last competed in the classic French race. It has now been 45 years since he became the world’s first man to sail solo, non-stop around the world, but he insists he feels as capable now as he did when he last competed in the Route du Rhum in 1982.
"There are bound to be questions about my age. They ask what I think of doing this at 75 and I say I am still 45. That is how I feel. I think I am 45 and that is where I stay. I feel no different to when I last raced. I am pretty fit. I lead an active life. I think of myself as young and that is it. I treat myself as young and I am just not ready for the slippers, pipe and television. That is not coming in a hurry."
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston founded the Clipper Round the World Race in 1995. Watching the excitement of the amateur Clipper crew members as they sailed the world made him wish he was on the water competing himself. In 1982, Sir Robin competed in the Route du Rhum on the 70-foot catamaran Sea Falcon, finishing overall in 14th position. This time he is racing to Guadeloupe in the Rhum class on his Open 60 Grey Power, the same boat he raced with in the 2006/7 Velux Five Oceans Race aged 68.
In the week running up to the beginning of this years Route du Rhum, crowds of approximately 2 million visited the race village. Upon his arrival, Sir Robin was awarded the medal of the City of Saint Malo in front of a huge audience, in recognition of his contribution to sailing throughout his long career.
“It’s a fantastic honour to receive this and the medal is beautiful. They really know how to make a man happy. Saint Malo puts on a great show during this race.”
You can follow Sir Robin’s progress in the Rhum category via the race tracker on the Route du Rhum website here.
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Image Credits: Clipper Round the World
Article by Jack Bartrop