April 22 marked 50 years since the day sir Robin Knox-Johnston on Suhaili, the yacht returned to Falmouth after spending one in the ocean almost ten and a half months. It was the first ever single non-stop circumnavigation under sail.
Nine sailors started the race, Golden Globe, established the Sunday Times. Nine. To complete it successfully could have one and only Knox-Johnston. He walked the path length of almost 30 thousand miles over 312 days on a small 32-foot Suhaili ahtoska, and that his voyage remains one of the most significant achievements in the history of sailing.
“The night of 21 April 1969 was restless for me. I went in the direction of Cornwall, trying to come to him at dawn on 22 April, but my swimming was seriously complicated by a couple of hundred French fishing vessels “danced” in front of me. Half of Brittany, as it seemed, out to sea to the coast of Cornwall.
In the last few days I was very busy with boats full of reporters began to appear from all directions, and with them I demanded comments: what a huge contrast to the solitude of the previous 310 days. At times I began to wonder: should I turn back and escape from them? I was after ten and a half months, “a creature of the sea” and not feel they need the company of other people.
All I wanted was a cigarette (my supply ran out 40 days ago), a pint of bitter, a steak, (I lived on canned food the entire race and wanted something to chew on normal) and a bath – strictly in that order”.