Route du Rhum
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston : "I feel exactly the same as when I last did the Route du Rhum in 1982"
Sunday 2 November 2014 –
The British founder of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and first ever man to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968/69, is racing on his Open 60, Grey Power in the Rhum class.
Sir Robin set off from Saint-Malo, France on the 3,542 mile contest in south/south westerly winds of 15-20 knots and conditions race organisers described as “disturbed”. Two cold fronts with winds of 30 knots and gusts of 40 to 45 knots are predicted to arrive later on Sunday with an “agitated” sea state making for a difficult first night.
Sir Robin is making a return to competitive ocean racing after becoming jealous of watching his Clipper Race crews setting off at the start of each new leg during their circumnavigation and wishing he was racing himself.
Sir Robin said: “Following the latest weather forecast I have put in the third reef and will use my storm jib for the first day. I will take it slow as far as Cap Finistere and then I will start to race properly. I don’t want to risk injury to myself or damage to my boat.
“The first couple of days are going to be sleepless, getting past Ushant and the Bay of Biscay with the shipping and fishing boats.
“I feel exactly the same as when I last did the Route du Rhum Route du Rhum #RouteDuRhum in 1982. In my head, I am 48. If you think young, you feel young.
“I worked very hard on my event the Clipper Race the last year and it’s time for my holidays now. The sea is where I feel most at home. I am just not ready to stop racing yet, and why should I?”
Sir Robin also thanked supporters from around the world who have wished him luck during the last week.
Around 2 million spectators visited the race village during the week, and Sir Robin was also given the medal of the City of Saint Malo for his ‘exceptional’ career in sailing.
“The whole atmosphere here has been very friendly, and it has been great to catch up with so many old friends, including a surprise visit from previous Route du Rhum Route du Rhum #RouteDuRhum winners Florence Arthaud, Mike Birch and Titouan Lamazou today.
“Now I just can’t wait to get racing,” he added before setting off at 4am local time through the lock at Saint-Malo.
Sir Robin is racing against 19 other sailors in his class, and 90 other skippers in total over five classes.
He is racing in the same boat he sailed round the world in during the 2006/7 Velux Five Oceans Race aged 68. He last competed in the Route du Rhum in 1982, on the 70-foot catamaran Sea Falcon, when he finished in 14th position.
Knox-Johnston created the Clipper Race to provide a platform for non-professional sailors to experience the thrill of ocean racing and for many, a circumnavigation. The biennial event has inspired more than 3,000 people to compete in what is now the longest ocean race around the planet at more than 40,000 miles since it was established in 1996.
Sir Robin is the only British sailor to have won ‘Yachtsman of the Year’ three times. He has sailed around the world four times, twice solo, including the Golden Globe historic circumnavigation in 1968/69, and once winning the Jules Verne Trophy Jules Verne Trophy #TropheeJulesVerne in 1994.
View online : Press info clipper-ventures.com
Also in this section
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race : Brian Thompson set a new World Record for Monohulls 60 feet
New York - Barcelona : Pepe Ribes and Ryan Breymaier won the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona race