Great Sailors of Our Time – Part 1
There are many great sailors from across the globe that have achieved magnificent deeds, grand captains that have been part of great naval battles, sporting heroes that have sailed around the world, racing yachtsmen and intrepid explorers. In this blog we look at the greatest sailors that have ever unfurled canvas, some of them are passed and gone but their brave deeds live with us forever more. Some of them are still living today, and this is where we start our nautical adventure with four of the greatest sailors living today.
This antipodean has a great future in the sporting arena of sailing, Jessica Watson became the youngest sailor to ever circumnavigate the globe single-handed at the age of sixteen. This remarkable feat took two hundred and ten days and she was completely unassisted. National Geographic magazine heaped praise on the young sailor for her achievement as well as her government in Australia. Jessica also was awarded the Jane Tate trophy in 2011 for her speed completing in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
The amazing tally of for Olympic gold medals has elevated Ben Ainslie to the most successful Olympic yachtsman of all time. This British sailor is one of their best Olympians and many people connected with the sport believe he is the greatest presently active sailor in the world today. Ben Ainslie is far from your average sailor, much of his success is due to the ground-breaking techniques he has used, many of which have been adopted by other contemporary sailors around the world. One of the biggest sporting comebacks even took place when Ainslie won the 34th America’s Cup aboard the Oracle Team USA.
Our second British sailor and second woman on our list is the great Ellen MacArthur. Her quest to be the greatest solo long-distance yachtswoman ever made her the greatest sailor in the world when she broke the record for the fastest time by a man or woman to circumnavigate the globe single-handed. MacArthur smashed the previous record by an entire day, and her struggle with sleep deprivation during the voyage endeared her to many all over the planet. In her retirement Ellen MacArthur has formed two very admirable charities which are the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
Another modern solo adventurer is Robin Knox-Johnson, again hailing from Britain he became the first person in 1969 to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world. And then almost a quarter of a century later in 1994 Knox-Johnson, together with Peter Blake, won the coveted Jules Verne Trophy for their collaboration of joint fastest team to sail around the world.
Then in 2006 he broke yet another record when Knox-Johnson became the oldest sailor to successfully complete a solo voyage around the globe. This unbelievable yachtsman is still sailing, and it would not surprise anybody if he has yet another world record in his sights. In part two of our blog we look at even more great sailors that have taken the world by storm and we also include some more historical figures.