Robin is one of Britain’s most-respected sailors as the first person to complete a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe between June 1968 and April 1969 in ‘Suhaili’ as winner of the Golden Globe Race.
Robin Knox-Johnston (Sir William Robert Patrick “Robin” Knox-Johnston, CBE, RD and bar) was the first man to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe and was the second winner of the Jules Verne Trophy (together with Sir Peter Blake Their time was 74 days 22 hours 18 minutes and 22 seconds). For this he was awarded with Blake the ISAF Yachtsman of the Year award.
From 1957 to 1965 he served in the Merchant Navy and the Royal Naval Reserve.
On 14 June 1968 Robin Knox-Johnston left Falmouth in his 32-foot (9.8-meter) boat Suhaili, one of the smallest boats to enter the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. Despite losing his self-steering gear off Australia, he rounded Cape Horn on 17 January 1969, 20 days before his closest competitor Bernard Moitessier, who subsequently abandoned the race and sailed on to Tahiti. The other seven competitors dropped out at various stages, leaving Knox-Johnston to win the race and become officially the first man to circumnavigate the globe non-stop and single-handed on 22 April 1969.
In recognition of his achievement, he was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
In 1970 (with Leslie Williams) and in 1974 (with Gerry Boxall) Robin Knox-Johnston won the two-handed Round Britain Race.
From 1992 to 2001 he was President of the Sail Training Association.
He was trustee of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich from 1992 to 2002
In 1996 Robin established the first Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and has since worked with the Clipper Ventures company as Chairman to progress the race to higher levels every year.
In 2006 he became at 67 the oldest yachtsman to complete a round the world solo voyage in the VELUX 5 Oceans Race.
In late 2008/early 2009 he took part in a new BBC program called Top Dogs: Adventures in War, Sea and Ice. The program sees him unite with fellow British legends Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the adventurer, and John Simpson, the BBC World Affairs Editor.
Robin is a trustee of the National Maritime Museum – Cornwall at Falmouth, where Suhaili is berthed today. The yacht has been refitted and took part in the Round the Island Race in June 2005.
Having served two years as President of The Cruising Association, Sir Robin is now the association’s patron.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is a living legend and has been voted Britain’s greatest ever yachtsman by The Sunday Times. He is a great after dinner Speaker, keynote speaker and celebrity speaker.