Harken Derm

Fiftieth anniversary of a milestone

Published on April 21st, 2019

It was in 1969 when Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, and his 32-foot yacht, Suhaili, returned on April 22 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. The 50th anniversary of this achievement is April 22, 2019.

Knox-Johnston 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.

He was presumed lost at sea for over four months before being reported by a British tanker vessel just weeks from the finish line. Knox-Johnston’s accomplishment proved to be an inspiring story of the underdog who went on to inspire the nation and a generation of ocean racers.

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