Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An important 40th anniversary!

On the 22nd of April in 1969 Robin Knox Johnston completed the first single handed non stop circumnavigation, a voyage of 313 days... Big deal, right?

The other day someone told me that going to sea in a thirty-four foot boat was both stupid and unsafe... He pointed out that in all of the cruising magazines they all seemed to be sailing boats forty-five feet or over and that my boat is simply too small! The fact is the nay sayer was right... Not in that a thirty-four foot boat is unsafe, but that the yachting press do push the bigger and more gear you have, the more you spend the better off you are. One can only imagine what they would say nowadays about RKJ sailing off around the world non stop in a Colin Archer style boat designed by William Atkin in 1923 (hardly cutting edge!) and made in WOOD! It might not have been the optimum yacht for the job but it was the boat RKJ had and so it was the right one!

You really should read his wonderful book "A World of My Own" because he can tell it so much better than any of us.

What is even more impressive is RKJ is still doing it and doing it well. Just a couple of years ago RKJ finished fourth in a single handed solo round the world race at sixty-eight years old!

So YES it is a big deal and sailors everywhere owe Mr Johnston a debt of gratitude in simply showing us all it can be done...

For more on RKJ