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Commodore’s Highlights – At Last! I’m Off The Hook!

Who is the most famous sailor? Older people might nominate Chichester, the first to sail single-handed around the world. (Some will shout Joshua Slocum but the debate is not my purpose here!)

Ainslie has a great career ongoing. MacArthur, Caffari and a long list of others have done tremendous things. But Knox-Johnston’s career of achievement tops them all. 

He was the first solo non-stop sailor around the world. He was big news again when at the age of 68 he completed the Velux 5 Oceans around the world single handed. He raced across the Atlantic single-handed at the age of 75! He founded the Clipper Ventures fleet that regularly races round the world. His catalogue of other challenges is awesome.

That first circumnavigation was in a 32 foot ketch. No satellite navigation, his long range radio failed leaving him without eg weather information, and his self-steering gear was lost. 

Why am I off the hook? He recently implied he wouldn’t be doing the next single-handed Round The World! “Hurrah” I said. Even though I am a long way off his age, I now feel excused from having to explain why I am not sailing single handed even to Yarmouth (“I like company”), racing across the Atlantic (“I do not have the time”) or sailing to Greenland  (“I am allergic to the food”). 

By an infinitesimal measure, my modest sailing is not quite so far below the lower bar this paragon is setting these days!  

Knox-Johnston’s Message

I heard Sir Robin speak with honesty but without egotism of his sailing. He urged us to “push yourself” beyond our accustomed zones.  Sailing is the opportunity we should take for personal development, and not just in sailing skills. 

At Phoenix, we have some very intrepid sailors in our membership. Most recently, Bill Davis sailed the Atlantic (again!) a few weeks ago. 

Happy sailing!

Ted Sankey

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