Great Sailors of Our Time – Part 2
The second part of our blog of the greatest sailors of our time looks at two more contemporary sailors, Robin Lee Graham and Paul Elvstrom. Then we take a look back in time at more historical figures who made history on the waves.
Robin Lee Graham
Robin Lee Graham represents the great adventurous spirit of American youth living out their dreams in California. This young sailor decided to set sail in the summer of 1965 and completed his epic journey five years later. And by the time he had done so, he had achieved the accolade of the youngest person to sail around the globe single handed. His long voyage took him over thirty three thousand miles aboard his twenty four foot boat Dove. The story about his great adventure was recorded for prosperity on film that became a Golden Globe winner, and he even met his wife along the way. Today Robin Lee Graham stands as a symbol for all youth of the spirit of adventure that sailing can bring.
Hailing from Denmark, Paul Elvstrom has the typical Viking grit and spirit that is vital to becoming an epic adventurer and sailor. He won his first sailing gold medal when he was just twenty and went on to win an amazing four consecutive gold medals within one Olympic event.
Elvstrom also has the distinction of winning the world sailing championship in five different classes. He is known among the sailing fraternity as a master sailor, and he has written several books on the art of race sailing which are now the yachting gospel for aspiring racers. He was also responsible for designing the Elvstrom Lifejacket and the Elvstrom Self Bailer which have been adopted widely in yachting around the world. Elvstrom has also been inducted into the ISAF (International Sailing Federation) Hall of Fame along with other legendary names such as Robin Knox-Johnston and Ellen MacArthur.
Leaving our contemporary sailors behind for a moment, it is now time to look at some of the great names from the past and we resume our nautical search for more great sailors of our time with Peter Blake. It was with Peter Blake that Robin Knox-Johnston achieved fame in the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994. Along with his great sailing exploits, Peter Blake was a great environmentalist and cared greatly about the planet. One of his greatest achievements was winning the Whitbread Trophy in 1989 aboard Steinlager II which announced him on the world yachting stage.
One belonging to the long production line of great British sailors, Chay Blyth is one of the greatest yachtsmen ever. He was the first person ever to sail around the world single handed in a westerly direction. This feat took place in 1971 on his fifty nine foot boat British Steel.
Blyth’s great career started when he was in the British Army when he rowed across the North Atlantic in the twenty foot English Rose III with John Ridgway. In recognition of his endeavors he achieved the British Empire Medal. In our concluding part of this blog we look at more legendary sailors that have stunned the world with their great exploits.