Peter Keig has beaten Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in the race to set the record for sailing solo, non-stop around the British Isles
18 days after leaving Carrickfergus, Peter sailed across the finish line aboard Zeal, his self-built, steel, Bruce Roberts 38.
Peter left Carrickfergus Marina on 5 August, heading north round Northern Ireland, before sailing anticlockwise around the British Isles. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston left Southsea three days later, 8 August, under a shroud of secrecy, aboard his new Clipper Reflex 38, Tiger. Not wanting to entice swifter competition, Sir Robin did not disclose his attempt until the day of departure, not even Peter Keig knew. When Peter discovered the identity of his rival he joked, ‘If I beat him, do I get knighted?’
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Peter Keig battled around Britain for more than two weeks, Sir Robin with undoubtedly the faster boat, but Peter with a three day lead. Sir Robin struggled against easterly gales as he rounded the south-west tip of Ireland, spending much time hove-to, and eventually, anchored.
Peter Keig, who has circumnavigated the world, and sailed to Australia twice, runs Carrick Yacht Services, in Belfast Lough. This year Peter won the Ocean Cruising Club’s award of merit.