Sir Robin Knox-Johnston returns to racing in new transatlantic challenge
Veteran British sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, aged 75, is to return to solo ocean racing this November when he takes part in the Route du Rhum.
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. Now he will compete in the tenth anniversary edition of the 3,500 mile transatlantic race from St Malo, France to Guadeloupe, which starts on 2 November 2014.
Knox-Johnston last did this race in 1982 in his 70-foot catamaran Olympus, better known as Sea Falcon. This time he will be aboard his Open 60 entry, Grey Power. He is the oldest participant entered so far at the age of 75.
"I think all too often society expects us to put our feet up and watch television and frankly society is wrong," Knox-Johnston told BBC South. "The more active we are in life, the longer we will go on."
He added: “I'm fired up. I just want to get my boat sorted and test her out. Then I'll go off to the Atlantic on my own and make sure I'm mentally ready.”
Knox-Johnston competed in the Sydney to Hobart race last year, and “realised how much I'd been missing my racing," he said.
Challenges of the Route du Rhum
The competitors will leave the French coast on 2 November and cross the Bay of Biscay before reaching squally climes in the Trade Wind belt, before finishing in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. The 2014 race is open to mono and multihull boats across four classes with almost 80 entrants.
Sir Robin, who celebrates the 45th anniversary of his solo, 312-day circumnavigation of the globe on 22 April, will be racing in the Rhum class and will start serious practice once the current Clipper Round the World Yacht Race finishes in July.
Click here for more information on the Route du Rhum.
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