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Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is our first live Hall of Fame inductee. The pioneering British sailor became the first person to complete a solo non-stop circumnavigation of the Globe on winning the first Sunday Times Golden Globe Race back in 1968/9. He has continued to set markers throughout his life, winning the British Yachtsman of the Year Award four times, and World Sailing yachtsman of the year once.

On 14 June 1968 Knox-Johnston left Falmouth, UK in his 32-foot (9.8-metre) traditional yacht Suhaili, one of the smallest boats to enter the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. Despite losing his self-steering off Australia, he rounded Cape Horn on 17 January 1969, 19 days ahead his closest competitor Bernard Moitessier. Moitessier who had set sail from Plymouth, England 2 months later but subsequently abandoned the race ‘to save my soul’. The other seven competitors dropped out at various stages, leaving Knox-Johnston to win the race. He donated his £5,000 prize money for making the fastest circumnavigation, to the family of Donald Crowhurst, another competitor who had committed suicide after attempting to fake his round the world voyage.

During the 1977/8 Whitbread Round the World Race, Robin skippered the British maxi yacht Condor on legs 2 and 4, taking the winning gun on both occasions.

In 1994 Knox-Johnston and his co-skipper Peter Blake won the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest circumnavigation in the catamaran ENZA New Zealand, with a time of 74 days 22 hours 18 minutes and 22 seconds. It was their second attempt to win this prize after their first one in 1992 had to be aborted when their catamaran Enza New Zealand hit an object which tore a hole in the starboard hull.
At 68, Sir Robin completed his second solo circumnavigation in 2007 aboard his 60ft (18.3m) yacht Saga Insurance, finishing 4th in the Velux 5 Oceans Race.

Sir Robin is now Chairman of the Clipper Round the World Race, encouraging amateur sailors to follow in his wake around the Globe

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