Orcas attack Robin Knox-Johnston

Published on November 27th, 2022

It is always a privilege when Sir Robin Knox-Johnston checks in with Scuttlebutt HQ. As the first person to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe, and then later to set the fastest time to earn the Jules Verne Trophy, RKJ is royalty.

But as much as he’s accomplished in the offshore world, he recently crossed something new off his 83 year old list. He just got attacked by the sea life he has spent a lifetime sailing above. He explains:


On November 24 at 0835 GMT off the Spanish coast of Cape Finisterre (Lat 42 53.6N Long 009 30.3W), a pod of 7-10 Orcas surrounded my Farr 56 Sanjula and then began to barge into its rudder. This eventually broke a steering connecting rod.

The engine was switched off and the boat lay hove-to whilst the emergency steering was rigged. After ten minutes the Orcas moved away, no longer finding a hove-to yacht interesting … but that is only an assumption. The boat sailed to Vigo for repairs.

Sail GP

No one can explain these sudden spate of attacks. A yacht was rammed and holed then sank 3-4 weeks ago, and who wants to be in a liferaft with large aggressive Orcas about.


Also known as killer whales, they are not considered a threat to humans, though the past few years has seen their disdain for sailboats. With a mature length up to 26-feet and a weight of 8000 pounds, they win the battle.

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