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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 December 2006, 14:55 GMT
Knox-Johnston lands in Fremantle
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
Knox-Johnston arrived in Fremantle after 67 days at sea
British solo sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has finished leg one of the Five Oceans around-the-world race on board his yacht Saga Insurance.

The 67-year-old, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, took 67 days to sail from Bilbao, Spain to Fremantle, Western Australia.

Knox-Johnston finished the leg in third place at 20:57.15 local time (11:57.15 GMT) on 28 December.

He was hampered by a host of problems during the 12,000 mile crossing.

Equipment damage, malfunctioning technology, poor weather and stray fishing nets combined to delay Knox-Johnston on the Southern Ocean leg, which forced fellow Britons Alex Thomson and Mike Golding to retire.

"It's been 68 days since we left Bilbao, far too long, and compares unfavourably with the 147 days it took me in Suhaili from the UK to being off Melbourne 38 years ago," said Gosport-based Knox-Johnston.

"Nice to finish third but we should have been here in well under 50 days, much closer to the two leaders.

"Still, it will be nice to get in and start working to prepare for the next leg."

Switzerland's Bernard Stamm won the leg in 43 days, with Japan's Kojiro Shiraishi second.

Knox-Johnston won the Sunday Times Golden Globe solo around-the-world race in 313 days in his 32ft ketch Suhaili in 1969.

The fleet is set to leave Fremantle on 7 January bound for Norfolk, Virginia, with the final leg back to Bilbao arriving late April.

SEE ALSO
Stamm wins leg as Golding quits
04 Dec 06 |  Sailing
Golding blow after rival rescue
24 Nov 06 |  Sailing
Sailor frees his yacht from nets
06 Dec 06 |  Hampshire
Britons battle on in world race
03 Nov 06 |  Sailing
Knox-Johnston back on race track
28 Oct 06 |  Sailing
New challenge for sailing legend
22 Sep 06 |  Hampshire


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