Robin Knox-Johnston to race solo around the world again

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to ever sail single-handed, non-stop around the world, is competing in the upcoming Velux 5 Oceans, the solo, two-stop, round the world yacht race that starts in Bilbao in October this year.

Sir Robin, 67, is two years older than Sir Francis Chichester when he completed his solo one stop circumnavigation in 1967. He last raced around the world in 1994 when with Sir Peter Blake he broke the round the world sailing record and won the Jules Verne Trophy. He will be up against a field of over 10 of the globe’s top sailors competing in the Open 60 class. Sir Robin has looked at the high quality field and decided this is a race he does not want to miss.


Sir Robin wrote his name in the sailing hall of fame in 1969 when he was the only person to finish the Sunday Times Golden Globe on board his yacht Suhaili. Back then, his record-breaking circumnavigation took a monumental 313 days. During this epic voyage, Sir Robin lived off rain water caught in a bucket.


For the silver jubilee year of the Velux 5 Oceans, formerly the Around Alone race, Sir Robin will be competing in a state-of-the-art yacht, hoping to complete the 30,000 mile course in around 112 days taking 200 days off his 1969 record. He recently acquired the former Fila Open 60, previously campaigned by Giovanni Soldini.


Sir Robin commented, “With such a high quality fleet of entrants, this is the race for anyone with a competitive spirit.   My target is to take at least 200 days off Suhaili’s time and aim for a podium position, but let’s see how the competition develops out on the oceans, that’s where we do the talking. I have never seen 65 years as the line for compulsory retirement, life needs to be painted in bright colours, the brighter the better, and this race has become irresistible. It will certainly be a very different experience from the Golden Globe almost 40 years ago with these super fast, high-tech boats and that is what makes it so attractive.”

Sir Robin is Chairman of Clipper Ventures, the company that manages the Velux 5 Oceans, which has been contested every four years since 1982 and is the longest solo race in the world. The 30,000 mile three-leg race is scheduled to begin in Bilbao on 22nd October and will stop in Australia and the USA before returning to the Basque region approximately 6 months later.