Sir Robin Knox-Johnson
The first person to sail single handed and non-stop around the world between 14th June 1968 and 22nd April 1969.
Born 17th March 1939, in Putney, London. The eldest of 4 brothers. School at Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, the same school as Bill Tilman and Graham Greene. A term mate of Michael Meacher MP. Main interests long running, swimming and boxing. Not very good at team sports, indeed, chose tennis as opposed to cricket, but usually slipped away to Grandparents house to work on a 1927 Austin 7 car instead of either. Went to sea in the Merchant Navy in 1957 as a Deck officer with the British India Steam Navigation Company, gaining his Master's Certificate in 1965. In 1962 married childhood sweetheart, Suzanne, who passed away in November 2003 as a result of ovarian cancer. One daughter, Sara, born in Bombay 1963, and now 5 grandchildren. Interests:- Sailing, Exploring by boat, Maritime History, the marine environment, youth development, shooting.
In 1992 RKJ was invited to become President of the Sail Training Association, a youth development organisation which operated two topsail schooners “Sir Winston Churchill” and “Malcolm Miller” and also organised the annual Tall Ships races. Before he retired in 2001 £11 million had been raised to replace these two vessels with two larger brigs “Prince William” and “Stavros Niarchos”.
He served as a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum, at Greenwich from 1993 until 2003, and on the Sports Lottery Panel and Sport England Council from 1996 until 2002. He is currently President of the Little Ship Club and the Cruising Association and Chairman of Clipper Ventures plc. .
He skippered "Condor" to Line Honours in two legs of the 1977/8 Whitbread Race, co-skippered "Enza New Zealand" with the late Peter Blake to take the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994 for the fastest circumnavigation of the world, and completed the Velux5Oceans solo around the world race in 4th position in 2006/7 at the age of 68.
He was Knighted in 1995, and has uniquely been the UK's Yachtsman of the Year 3 times. He was ISAF sailor of the Year with Peter Blake in 1994 and in 2007 was one of the first 6 inductees into the ISAF Hall of Fame.
More recently he took part in the 3 Dogs radio series where veteran war correspondent John Simpson, explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and he took one another to their “own” areas. John Simpson led the trio to Afghanistan, Ran Fiennes was responsible for a trip to Frobisher Bay and RKJ took them to Cape Horn.
More recently, in December 2008 he sailed up the Beagle Channel and 2009 saw the second year of his successful programme H20 on BBC Radio Solent.
Sir William Robert Partrick "Robin" Knox-Johnson, CBE, (born 17 March 1939) is an English sailor. In 1969 he became the first man to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe and was the second winner of the Jules Verne Trophy (together with Sir Peter Blake). For this he was awarded with Blake the ISAF Yachtsman of the Year award. In 2006 he became at 67 the oldest yachtsman to complete a round the world solo voyage in the VELUX 5 Oceans Race. He is available for hire as a Motivational Speaker, Sports Speaker, Keynote Speaker, After Dinner Speaker, Awards Host and Presenter for Corporate and Private Events.