We are delighted to welcome to Hong Kong again solo sailing legend Sir Robin KnoxJohnston, to lecture on “First Around the World", the story of his unequalled endeavours as a yachtsman. In 196869, Sir Robin was the first man to circumnavigate solo the globe non stop under sail and he has gone on to achieve numerous further sailing records. He has won the coveted Yachtsman of the Year award on an unprecedented three occasions, together with innumerable other awards. In 200607, at 67 he became the oldest yachtsman to complete a round the world solo voyage, repeating his original feat.
In 19681969, Sir Robin became the first person to sail singlehanded nonstop around the world, spending a total of 312 days at sea. The voyage, achieved in his 32foot ketch Suhaili, prior to the arrival of modern sailing technology, required unbelievable tenacity and skill, especially given the size of the vessel and the loss of his selfsteering gear off Australia. He arrived at Falmouth, England on 22 April 1969 to immediate fame.
In 1971, he took line honours in the inaugural Cape Town to Rio Race. He has also completed six twoman round Britain races, won them twice and held the record for a crewed nonstop circumnavigation of the British Isles from 1976 until 2000. In 1977, he skippered the line honours winner of the Whitbread Race. In 1986, he won the Class 2 multihull world championship.
In 1994, he set a new nonstop sailing global circumnavigation record of some 73 days in the 92foot catamaran Enza New Zealand with coskipper Sir Peter Blake, for which they won the Jules Verne Trophy. He has also made more than 20 Atlantic crossings, for which he held the record for almost a decade.
Today he is the Chairman of Clipper Ventures, a company that runs a round the world race open to anyone, irrespective of their experience. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race first took place in 1996 and the seventh running of this is currently at sea, racing towards Singapore. Since 1996, Sir Robin’s Clipper fleet has raced over 1,860,000 miles, with over 1,300 crews representing 41 different nationalities sailing all or part of the way round the world.
Sir Robin KnoxJohnston is from London and was educated at Berkhamsted. He went to sea as an Apprentice with the British India Steam Navigation Company in 1957 and served mainly in Africa and India. He achieved his Master’s certificate and obtained a command on the South African coast. He served for 28 years in the Royal Naval Reserve. In the 1970s he developed numerous marinas around the world, including at St. Katharine’s Dock at the Tower of London. He is a trustee of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, President of the Sail Training Association, a member of the Sports Council, a Brother of Trinity House and a member of the Board of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. He is an honourary member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, yacht clubs worldwide and a Rear Commodore of the Royal Navy Sailing Association. He has written some 15 books on nautical subjects.
Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this lecture, which is HK$100 for Members and HK$150 for guests and others.