Sailor and adventurer, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was the first person to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe. Robin's incredible explorations and ability to overcome the impossible ignite and inspire audiences to dream big and achieve the unimaginable. His motivational tale is an ideal choice for an after-dinner audience.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is a great motivational speaker and one of the most well-known sailors and explorers in the world today.He demonstrates through his actions that age should not be a hindrance to achieving your goals, whatever they may be.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston competed in the VELUX 5 OCEANS round the world yacht race. At that time he was 67, and the oldest – and the most experienced - competitor in the race and proves that age is no barrier to achieving your goals.
In 1969 Sir Robin became the first person to sail non-stop around the world when he won the Sunday Times Golden Globe. Back then this journey took a monumental 312 days.
Sir Robin was born on 17th March 1939, in Putney, London, the eldest of 4 brothers. He went to school at Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, the same school as Bill Tilman and Graham Greene and was a team mate of Michael Meacher MP. His main interests included long distance running, swimming and boxing. Not very good at team sports, indeed, he chose tennis as opposed to cricket, Sir Robin usually slipped away to his Grandparents house to work on a 1927 Austin 7 car instead of playing either sport! Sir Robin went to sea in the Merchant Navy in 1957 as a Deck officer. In 1962, he married childhood sweetheart, Suzanne, who passed away in November 2003 as a result of ovarian cancer. They had one daughter, Sara, born in Bombay 1963, and now 5 grandchildren. His interests include; sailing, exploring by boat, maritime history, the marine environment, youth development, shooting.
In 1992 RKJ was invited to become President of the Sail Training Association, a youth development organisation which operated two topsail schooners “Sir Winston Churchill” and “Malcolm Miller” and also organised the annual Tall Ships races. Before he retired in 2001 £11 million had been raised to replace these two vessels with two larger brigs “Prince William” and “Stavros Niarchos” respectively left and right below.
Also in 1992 he became a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, London, serving as Chairman of the Friends for 3 years, before being appointed a Greenwich representative for the projected Maritime Museum in Falmouth, Cornwall. His ten years at Greenwich expired in 2002, but he remains a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum – Cornwall, at Falmouth which opened in 2003.
RKJ was appointed to the Sports Lottery Panel at its inception in 1995, initially distributing £250 million a year, and from 1999 until 2002 served as a member of the English Sports Council
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is a truly inspirational speaker and author, having written numerous books from Beyond Jules Verne, to Force of Nature in 2007. In 2007 he was also UK Yachtsman of the Year (for the third time) and in 2008 he was inducted into the International Sailing Federation ISAF Hall of Fame. In 2010 he was awarded the prestigious Cruising Club of America Blue Water Medal, for the advancement of youth development and sailing training, a truly phenomenal achievement.