Legendary lone sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, whose life has been an adventurous inspiration to others for over 50 years, is to join the line-up for this year’s Jersey Festival of Words.
When his 32-foot yacht Suhaili arrived in Falmouth in April 1969, the former naval officer made history by becoming the first person ever to circumnavigate the globe non-stop and single-handed, battling against storms and huge waves to make his way home.
It was just one great achievement in a life lived to the full and recalled in his autobiography, Running Free, which Sir Robin will be discussing with newly appointed Jersey Festival of Words’ patron, Cathy Rentzenbrink, on stage at the Opera House on Thursday, 26 September.
The evening will be among the highlights of a richly eclectic programme marking the fifth birthday of the Jersey Festival of Words with events at a range of Island venues from 25 to 29 September. Other speakers include the incomparable television interviewer Sir Michael Parkinson, best-selling novelist Jenny Eclair, memoirist Raynor Winn, Blue Peter star Konnie Huq, poet Frieda Hughes and historian Diane Atkinson, whose work on the lives of the suffragettes will help Jersey’s festival celebrate 100 years of votes for women.
Fifty years after his historic 312-day circumnavigation, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, now 80, is still seeking fresh adventures and inspiring a new generation of sailors through his Clipper Ventures initiative. His achievements in the years since he first hit the headlines include a new record for the fastest circumnavigation in 1994, another solo round-the-world voyage at the age of 68, mountaineering with Sir Chris Bonington and Arctic trekking with Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
Jersey Festival of Words chairman Jennifer Bridge said: ‘I am particularly delighted that the legend that is Sir Robin Knox-Johnson is attending our festival. Jersey has a rich history on the sea and our maritime landscape continues to be an integral part of both our economy and leisure activities. I am sure this event will be warmly received by the people of Jersey.’
Jersey Festival of Words will take place between 25 and 29 September. More information on the festival can be found at www.jerseyfestivalofwords.org.