A sailor who was the first to sail solo, nonstop round the world — in 1968-69!— could be expected to rest on his accomplishments a bit. But not Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who at age 75 was battling for third place yesterday in the solo Transatlantic Route du Rhum race aboard his Open 60 Grey Power. On Monday Knox-Johnston was just three miles from the third-placed yacht, having dropped down a place this morning after holding onto third for almost 36 hours. The Route du Rhum runs between Saint-Malo, France and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.
In his statement yesterday, Knox-Johnston said: “The fight for third is very exciting. It has been a frustrating week at times though. The North Atlantic depressions pushed the Azores high south after the big yachts had passed through.
“This meant I had to go deeper south to avoid it, which means a greater distance to the finish. We have all been battling lighter than forecast winds, rain squalls and big shifts in the wind, but we are in the Tropics after all.
“I have had little sleep the last few days as I constantly need to keep my boat moving, but things have improved with the wind backing overnight and making more favorable conditions today.”