At the ripe old age of 75, with sextant in hand, Robin Knox Johnston is, at the time of writing, fourth in the Route du Rhum (Rhum class) behind Andrea Mura aboard Vento di Sardegna. An incredible comeback that saw him move from 11th position to the top of the class standings led at the moment by Frenchwoman Anne Caseneuve (who is expected to cut the finish line tomorrow morning). Robin Knox Johnston, one of the all-time great myths in the sailing world, is immortalized in this photograph that speaks for itself. The true sea dog who still relies on the sextant to tackle the Atlantic on the mythical Rhum route that is taking him from St. Malo to Guadeloupe, where he is expected to arrive on November 25. The London sailor, aboard theOpen 60 Grey Power (hull that was of John Soldini, aboard which he won the All Round Alone in 1998) is the only one who in the 1968 Golden Globe (the first in history) managed to complete the 27,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe (nonstop) in 312 days aboard his Suhaili, the 32-foot ketch he had self-built. In 1971 he won the Cape to Rio with Peter Blake; in 1977 he triumphed in two stages of the Whitbread; in ’94, again with Blake, he won the Jules Verne trophy for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe. Sir Robin Knox Johnston last participated in the Route du Rhumfu in 1982, aboard the 70-foot catamaran Olympus, and he is the oldest sailor ever to participate in this regatta, which motivated his decision this way, “Participating in the 2013 Sydney to Hobart reminded me how exciting ocean racing is. Also, solo regattas are the ones that make me feel most at home, because everything is in my hands.”
THE POINT ABOUT THE ITALIANS IN THE REGATTA
Andrea Mura ( Rhum category) – Mura is in third position, about 60 miles ahead of Sir Robin and 20 miles behind Wilfrid Clerton who is currently in second position.
Giancarlo Pedote (Class 40 category) – Pedote is currently in ninth position 470 miles behind first Alex Pella.
Alessandro Di Benedetto (Imoca category) – In the class that has already seen the victory of Francois Gabart, Alessandro Di Benedetto occupies the sixth position.