VETERAN sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has set off on a solo Transatlantic race today at the age of 75 – 45 years after he became the first man to sail alone non-stop around the world.
The grandfather-of-five, who lives in Portsmouth and founded the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in Gosport, is returning to his solo ocean-racing roots by entering his Open 60 yacht Grey Power into the Route du Rhum competition which started yesterday in St Malo, France.
The pensioner, who is the oldest participant to have entered so far, last competed in the 3,500-mile race from to the Guadeloupe in the Caribbean in 1982.
Speaking ahead of the race, Sir Robin said: ‘I am doing this because I bloody well want to.
‘I have been working hard with the Clipper Race the last year.
‘I did the Sydney-Hobart and loved it. I looked around to see what was coming up and here we are. It is a race I have done before.
‘There are more people here now than in 1982, the age and profile of the people who visit is much the same.’
Sir Robin set his circumnavigation record when he competed in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race on April 22 1969.