British adventurer and Clipper Race Founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 75, has finished solo Transatlantic race the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe in third place in the Rhum class. Sir Robin crossed the finish line on his Open 60 Grey Power at Pointe à Pitre, Guadeloupe, at 4.52pm local time/8.52pm GMT Saturday after 20 days, 7 hours, 52 minutes and 22 seconds at sea.
The first man to sail solo, nonstop round the world in 1968/9 and the oldest competitor said he was happy to finish the 3,542 mile French race after the ‘intense’ contest for the final podium place.
“I am absolutely over the moon and ecstatic to get third,” he said. “I didn't expect to get on the podium when I started the race. I was up against some damn good competition with lighter, more modern boats than mine that are easier to manage. My boat is a hard boat to work. The top International solo sailors were racing and it was tough.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was quite fantastic. There were three of us battling for the second and third spot. I got competitive and that was tiring. It came down to boat speed. She's a fast boat I've got. I managed to hold onto my lead but I couldn't beat Andrea Mura (second) despite catching him up.
“I was beaten by two very good people. I congratulate Anne and Andrea.”
Sir Robin also thanked his friends, family and the public for their support. “It's been fantastic. It has helped me push on harder than I might otherwise have done. I have had a wonderful reception in Guadeloupe too and look forward to spending a few days here after a good shower and rest.
“If I said in Saint Malo I felt 48 then perhaps tonight I feel 50, but no more than that!”
Sir Robin also said he will be back for the next race in 2018 with a smaller boat.
– Clipper Ventures