By his own admission in his latest book ‘Running Free’ Sir Robin Knox-Johnson owns to ‘a life that has not always been easy but has usually been interesting’.
For somebody who has sailed single-handedly round the world; competed in the Velux 5 Oceans Challenge; mountaineered with Sir Chris Bonnington; and trekked through the Arctic with Sir Ranulph Fiennes and John Simpson that, we feel, is an exceedingly modest and unassuming statement. And between those events he has, we read, had many other adventures.
Destined for a life at sea
We learn from Running Free, published just prior to his 80th birthday that Sir Robin was eight years old when he decided he wanted to go to sea.
His first attempt at sailing was on a raft made from a box which had once contained oranges.
It sank. He has subsequently been involved with building other boats, including his obviously much loved Suhaili, with much more successful results thank goodness.
Today Sir Robin,an executive chairman of Clipper Ventures designed to introduce people to competitive sailing and the challenging Clipper Round the World race is still sailing and packing as much into his life as possible. Inspirational.
Running Free. Robin Knox-Johnston. ISBN: 978-1-4711-7762. £20.