Love him or hate him, the first man to win a non-stop RTW race has certainly earned every sailor’s respect in his long, long life, and his history isn’t even the most interesting thing about him. Our fascination with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston comes from how little he seems to give a shit about anything that ain’t him. If you ever get a chance to listen to some of his tales at a marina or a boat show (preferably after the gin starts flowing), we highly recommend it – just don’t expect him to remember your name! We share a short excerpt below from a very well-written profile on the Clipper Race boss from Avaunt Magazine; you can share your own RKJ stories in the thread.
“I was out sailing with my grandchildren in the harbour here, they were all in lifejackets and I wasn’t wearing one, and the patrol came up and said, “You should be wearing a lifejacket. It’s the law.”
And I said “No it isn’t. The reason I’m not wearing a lifejacket is that if one of them falls in, I want to be able to swim after them. A lifejacket would be a hindrance.”
“Well our advice is that you should wear one.”
And I said, “So what qualifications have you got?”
He said, “I’ve got my Boatman’s Licence.”
And I said, “Well I’ve got a class one Masters’ Certificate, and I don’t need advice from a ruddy boatman. So fuck off.”