Clipper Venture's VELUX 5 OCEANS solo round the world yacht race started last Sunday in Bilbao, Spain. One of the seven yachtsmen competing is former owner of AURORA, the legendary Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. Sir Robin was the first man to ever sail single-handed, non-stop around the world in 1969 when he won The Sunday Times Golden Globe race on board his yacht ‘Suhaili’. Back then, his record-breaking circumnavigation took a monumental 312 days, during which Sir Robin lived off rain water caught in a bucket. This time, at the age of 67 he hopes to take around 200 days off his 1969 record in his state of the art Open 60 ‘Saga Insurance’.
The VELUX 5 OCEAN racers headed straight into a bad storm off the coast of Spain with winds gusting to 70 knots. Four of the seven boats are now heading to various ports in Spain for repairs after being damaged in the weather and the waves.
The following was on the race website this morning: "Sir Robin Knox-Johnston reported this morning that he has suffered damage to his yacht SAGA Insurance overnight whilst sailing in over 60 knots. In a message to his shore team, Sir Robin explained that it was impossible to race in the strong winds and he was attempting to keep himself and the boat comfortable and limit any further damage. Describing the conditions, Knox-Johnston wrote; "The wind sounds like the BBC sound effects for Antarctica.""