Rúnar Óli Karlsson

Solo around the world – 40 years anniversary

on the 22 April 1969, Robin Knox-Johnston the previous owner of Aurora, stepped off his hand-made yacht Suhaili
and into the record books.  The first ever solo, non-stop
circumnavigation was complete, and the world got that much smaller. 
Only a relative handful of sailors have finished this same Southern
Oceans course, and considering the recent Vendee Globe around the world race – where
two-thirds of the fleet couldn’t complete the race – the reasons for
this are obvious.  Racing around the world non-stop and alone is damned
difficult, even when you know it can be done.


But neither Knox-Johnston nor anyone else knew what was possible
until he’d made land.  Being the first means going where others have
feared to tread.  Said Sir Robin:  “Forty years ago nobody knew whether
sailing alone around the world was even possible – but it was a time of
change and adventure, as man landed on the moon and we extended the
frontiers of possibility. Of the nine starters in that inaugural race,
I was the only one to cross the finish line. Completing the race on
board Suhaili was an important moment in pushing the
boundaries of our sport. So much has changed since then, in terms of
the size and speed of the boats, as well as the technology. However,
the harsh realities and dangers of the challenge of sailing non-stop
solo around the world remain the same.”