Legendary sailor proves age no barrier

25 November 2014: Sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is celebrating coming third in his class in the Route du Rhum single-handed transatlantic race.


Aided by Inmarsat satellite communications, 75-year-old Sir Robin made light work of being the oldest competitor in the 3,542-mile race from Saint Malo, France to Guadeloupe in the French West Indies.

He said he was “ecstatic” to be third across the line on Saturday after 20 days of solo racing – and told BBC News in an interview via FleetBroadband that he had no intention of abandoning competitive sailing just yet.

Latest adventure

The British sailor was the first person ever to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world, in 1969. Back then he only had a radio on board, but for his latest adventure Sir Robin had Cobham SATCOM SAILOR 250 FleetBroadband and 6150 Mini C Distress satellite terminals installed on his Open 60 boat, Grey Power.

The technology, provided by Marine Camera Solutions, allowed him to send photos, blogs, and video footage from the middle of the ocean, as well as conduct live interviews with the BBC.

“You can’t take part in competitive sailing these days without satellite services. They’re crucial. I’m using them for everything; navigation, weather, and sending updates back every day,” Sir Robin said before he set off from Saint Malo on 2 November.

After taking his place on the podium next to Rhum Class winner Anne Caseneuve and second-placed Andrea Mura, Sir Robin commented: “The competition was excellent, I loved watching to see how I was gaining or losing, that made it really fun. If I said in Saint Malo I felt 48 then perhaps tonight I feel 50 but no more!”

Route du Rhum: www.routedurhum.com