Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble, UK

On Monday, at Geoff Holt’s launch, I got to meet one of my personal heroes – Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who in 1969 completed the first non-stop circumnavigation of the globe.

Just a week ago, at the age of 68, he finished another circumnavigation, as a competitor in the Velux 5 Oceans race.

Sir Robin reacted the way that most sailors do when they hear what I’ve done, and am planning to do. “You’re mad”, he declared. I, on the other hand, cannot see why anybody would want to face 50 knot winds and freezing temperatures in the Southern Ocean, on the kind of boat that seems utterly vulnerable to dismasting or ripping a mainsail.

Evidently sanity is a relative concept….

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