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Yachtsman Sir Robin marks historic voyage 40 years ago today

PUBLISHED: 19:07 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 14:18 05 October 2010

Sir Robin flies the flag for 40th anniversary of historic race

Sir Robin flies the flag for 40th anniversary of historic race

Carmen Valino

ROUND-the-world yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston arrived at St Katharine's-by-The-Tower today to mark the 40th anniversary of his epic 1969 voyage. He was at St Katharine's to publicise a book by BBC news presenter Chris Eakin about his epic race

By Marina Thomas

ROUND-the-world yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston arrived at St Katharine’s-by-The-Tower today (Wednesday) to mark the 40th anniversary of his epic 1969 voyage.

Sir Robin returned to St Katharine’s, the dilapidated London dock he helped regenerate into a yachting marina back in the 1970s—this time to publicise a book by BBC news presenter Chris Eakin about his epic race.

He posed for the press by the original vessel, the Suhaili, that won him his place in Britain’s seafaring history four decades ago.

AMBITIOUS

“It changed my life,” Sir Robin told the East London Advertiser this-morning. “I left as a young, ambitious bloke—and came back a completely different person.

“Your worries suddenly disappear when you get out to sea. You go back to nature and are no longer dealing with human rules.”

He was the first man to sail solo round the world without stopping, completing the epic on April 22, 1969.

ANOTHER TIME

The Golden Globe race attracted nine entrants—but only Knox-Johnston completed the course.

Author Chris said: “It’s the boat and the man from another time. People say he was just around at the right time.

“It was like trying to land on the moon. No-one had ever done it before and no-one was certain it could be done by a man or a boat.”

Knox-Johnston was to prove the world wrong—and went down in maritime history as the first man to circumnavigate the globe non-stop single-handedly.

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A Race Too Far’ (Chris Eakin, £16.99, Ebury Press).

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