This film is part of Free

Robin Knox-Johnston and the Golden Globe Win

Merchant Officer Robin Knox Johnston is the first person ever to complete a solo single-handed round-the-world yacht race.

Non-Fiction 1969 5 mins

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Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Merchant Navy Officer and yachtsman Robin Knox-Johnston arrives in Falmouth after a ten-and-a-half-month non-stop solo circumnavigation of the globe in a William Atkins design Bermudan ketch named Suhaili. Elated Robin is overwhelmed by the welcome and the win; he was one of nine sailors to sign up to the first ever Sunday Times Golden Globe race in 1968 and this is the moment he goes down in history for setting the standard for solo round the world yacht racing of the future.

The teak boat Suhaili was one of the smallest to enter the race and RKJ’s book A World of My Own details the voyage. RKJ was the only one to complete the race which took its toll on fellow competitors including Nigel Tetley, Bernard Moitessier and Donald Crowhurst. RKJ retired from sailing in 1989 and was knighted in 1995. A year later and while President of the Sail Training Association he set up the first Clipper Round the World Yacht Race introducing a whole new generation to the art of competitive team sailing on lighter faster yachts known as Clipper 70s. The competition is staged in legs and run very two years. Solo sailing continues with new Golden Globe challenges although the technology has changed much.