But what happened to the lime pickle?

Marking the 40th anniversary of his victory in the Sunday Times Golden Globe around-the-world yacht race, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston today toasted fellow British non-stop solo circumnavigators.

At a lunchtime celebration of his achievement, in which he became the first person to sail around the world non-stop and single-handed, Sir Robin said: ‘If you go to sea on your own, you don’t have to prove anything. Only 18 Britons have got around the world non-stop on their own. Compare that to the 6,000 people who have climbed Mount Everest.’

Speaking at the Mala Indian restaurant at St Katharine Docks, Central London – withSuhaili, his record-making boat resplendent in the courtyard outside – Sir Robin went on to toast the ‘lovely circle of friends that he has met over the many years’.

Of the 18 British solo circumnavigators invited to the luncheon – living legends including Sir Chay Blyth, Naomi James, Ellen MacArthur, Robin Davie, Mike Golding, and Josh Hall, as well as recent Vendee sailors Sam Davies, Dee Caffari, Brian Thompson and Steve White – only eight could make the event. Caffari and White joined Mike Garside, Conrad Humphreys, Sam Brewster, David Scott-Cowper and Richard Broadhead as well as Sir Robin for the luncheon.

Toasting the hero of the hour, Mr Broadhead said that it was Sir Robin’s achievement 40 years ago that inspired him to go to sea at the age of 15.

There was just one disappointment. Sir Robin admitted that he had forgotten his homemade lime pickle to accompany his curry luncheon.

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