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News & Events

50 Year Celebration of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's Golden Globe Trophy Win

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The 22nd April 2019 marked 50 years since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, and his yacht, Suhaili – berthed at Gosport Marina – returned to Falmouth after an epic 312 days at sea, securing him in global history as the first person to sail solo, non-stop around the world.

A fascinating story of the underdog who went on to inspire the nation and a generation of ocean racers, he was written off by most before he even started and faced many challenges along his journey. From raising his own funds and building his own yacht, to facing 80-foot waves in the remote Southern Ocean, battling appendicitis, carrying out repairs in shark infested waters, and eventually losing all radio contact. Robin was presumed lost at sea for over four months before being reported by a British tanker vessel just weeks from the finish line.

To mark this pioneering achievement in global sailing and adventure history, which took place during the year of the first moon landing; a programme of public celebration events took place over Easter in Falmouth. This included a special parade of sail on Monday 22nd April during which Sir Robin and Suhaili, were escorted by a flotilla of supporting vessels to recreate the historic moment they crossed the finish line, and returned home.

Sir Robin and Suhaili were joined by the recently restored Lively Lady, previously owned and sailed by late Portsmouth sailor Alec Rose who circumnavigated the globe single-handedly in 1967-68, stopping in Melbourne, Australia, to visit his son before heading home to Portsmouth Harbour. Lively Lady resides in Port Solent Marina these days, but she departed Portsmouth Harbour alongside Suhaili on Thursday 18th April, with the pair arriving in Falmouth on Saturday 20th April.

A series of events were held over the weekend to celebrate Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s remarkable achievement, including the unveiling of a bronze footprint cast to mark his first steps back on land after 312 days at sea, and a series of talks with the legend Sir Robin himself telling tales of his epic journey 50 years ago.

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