Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: Sailing Legend | Full Documentary
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: Sailing Legend looks into the man who became the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world.
In his own words, Sir Robin explains the story behind his epic achievement over 50 years ago. Hear from Ben Ainslie Alex Thomson Racing, Sir Chris Bonington and Dee Caffari on how Sir Robin continues to inspire others to push themselves to their limits and be adventurous.
Find out what it was like to be in isolation with no communications to training ordinary people to become ocean racers.
From battling through monster waves, to being ‘lost at sea’ after losing his radio, and fighting off a shark, Sir Robin relieves the journey and shares never before seen photographs and diary entries. The documentary looks back on his remarkable life, career, legacy and his astonishing influence on the sport.
"To me, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is an iconic figure and one of the greatest sailors to have ever set foot in a boat" - Sir Ben Ainslie
"The thing that made Robin stand out so much was that he wasn't well known, he wasn't famous, he was an ordinary chap who built his own boat and did something nobody on earth had ever done before. Through sheer drive, guts and determination." - John Simpson, BBC Correspondent

  • TheSailingChannel.TV

    The best documentary yet about this extraordinary person.

    • Koa Dakari
      Koa Dakari

      @Javion Rylan Whoa! Took like 10 mins but it reallyworked!

    • Richard Ernsberger
      Richard Ernsberger

      Actually, I would have preferred that the filmmakers just concentrate on Knox-Johnston and his story---his round-the-world adventure and achievement. But they've thrown a lot of ancillary stuff in the film that, for me, muck it up. I don't need to see shots of modern sailboats and comments from modern sailors--we all realize how dramatically technology has changed in 55 years or so--or shots of Apollo spacecraft, etc. They keep interrupting the drama of his dangerous attempt with all the sidelight material.

  • Enrique Lorenzo
    Enrique Lorenzo

    Realmente extraordinario ser humano, ¿seguro que es inglés?

  • D J
    D J

    Have to admit I don't have any interest in sailing, but I always enjoy watching and reading about people like Sir Robin,who do these tremendous challenges and successfully accomplish them. Well done, Sir Robin and full marks to him for donating the prize money to Donald Crowhurst's family.

  • Peter Norton
    Peter Norton

    What a gentleman 🙏

  • Robert Rishel
    Robert Rishel

    The man is an icon and a true gentlemen. What really stood out to me, aside from his remarkable sailing accomplishment, was his donation of the round the world prize money to the family of the “lost Captain”. A true gentleman, a truly honorable man.

  • bill edgecombe
    bill edgecombe

    I am amazed at this mans achievements . If the world had more people of his character it would truly be a wonderful place for all

  • FCGline

    un eroe e un vero Marinaio , Grande Robin Legend

  • George Cumming
    George Cumming

    How did he provision and water?

  • Ian Sumter
    Ian Sumter

    Seems like a useful piece of advice for rough seas around 28:20 to use a rope - but it's not clear to me exactly what he did. I have a picture of a rope looped from the stern, round the bows and back to the stern, presumably in the water. Is that right or am I missing something? What's the physics of this?

  • MrSGhawker1

    He might be a good lone sailor and story teller, but complete moron in life and nil in business. Talk to people who worked and sailed in CV - totally demoralizing environment, company culture is based on fear punishment and submission to old f.rt who is not able to run a pub without insulting good pro ppl much better then him. Headless cost savings, exploitation of skippers and paying crews. Novice sailors died in poor safety incidents (read formal MCA report) on his boats - while he was shoving profits to Malta offshore. False hero

  • Gilles van Zeebroeck
    Gilles van Zeebroeck

    When I first saw Robin I instantly had to think about Chris Bonnington the fact that they are actually friends makes my day! These extra ordinary people who do these amazing things because not doing them is not even an option, will always be remembered. This is true for adventurers, artists, craftsmen, etc. Life is all about experiences and not about the stuff you have laying around giving you a false sense of accomplishment. This is the lesson I’m learning my children,, they are gradually understanding that a lot of people have become a slave of their own belongings and are not able to get behind the steering wheel of their lives!

  • Good Moaning Vietnam
    Good Moaning Vietnam

    I had the great pleasure of dining with Sir Robin Knox-Johnson in Dunkirk, It was the 2005 Dunkirk Little Ships return to Dunkirk, Sir Robin had sailed over on the steam tug Challenge. ST Challenge was a Thames tug and had seen action in WWII during the Dunkirk evacuation. During the war she assisted shipping in the Thames and helped prepare the floating harbour for the D Day landings. Later in life she was moored in St Katherines Dock, the marina that Sir Robin designed. Space was needed so The Dunkirk Trust bought her for a pound and then spending many years restoring her. Her attendance at the 2005 return was a great achievement. Thus I and my family together with my son in law and his parents, had a very pleasant evening in the company of such a great adventurer. Being a member of the Dunkirk Little Ships and the owner of Lazy Days, it has amazed me how those old wooden boats have stood the tests of time and tide. Great video and thanks a lot for posting it, watching it has made the evening Wizz past.

  • Robert Craig Bateman
    Robert Craig Bateman

    I couldn’t be more inspired, a solute from across the pond. Thank you so much.

  • Bastian Stange
    Bastian Stange

    Sir, you are my Hero. Thank you for your life, story and humbleness.

  • DYRBCebuCity1968 FilAm Radio
    DYRBCebuCity1968 FilAm Radio

    I don't know about sailing. I suppose water purifier had not yet been invented in 1969. So how did he manage his water supply sailing around the world none stop?

  • sailing dreams
    sailing dreams

    How do I get involved in the race around the world?

  • lecker beetje
    lecker beetje

    What stupid fool decided to add all that nasty background music to a documentary about sailing?

  • Nick Santucci
    Nick Santucci

    Did Bernard’s win?

  • ESV Arwyn
    ESV Arwyn

    Wow that's really awesome thank you! Hope you get the boats back one day xxx

  • Al


  • Al


  • Al

    Nelson Mandella, extraordinary, robert Knox johnston mmmmmeh. Self indulgnce of a man in a rich country...realy

    • Avern Costa
      Avern Costa

      Jesus Christ, extraordinary, Nelson Mandelo mmmmmeh. Self indulgnennce of a man in a richer country.... realy

  • Onebeing Everybody
    Onebeing Everybody

    This brought tears to my eyes

  • Mike Barraclough
    Mike Barraclough

    Robin is an inspiration, an explorer, an adventurer. An Absolute bloody legend.

  • Patsy Hodge
    Patsy Hodge

    Wow a great sailor and a decent man. The days when men were men and women were women. He is truly great human being. And hes still sailing!!!!

  • Stephan Winter
    Stephan Winter

    I am chocking,i love England and the Brits who ever they are

  • Stephan Winter
    Stephan Winter

    Why the Brits are so good sailors? Bad food,misarable weather agli women.An island you only can sail away!

  • Stephan Winter
    Stephan Winter

    Meutisier was there as well

  • Stephan Winter
    Stephan Winter

    Bullshit,first person was Slocum

  • PP Gedez
    PP Gedez


  • D Lamb
    D Lamb

    Genuine British hero!

  • William Drummond
    William Drummond

    Absolutely epic, I’ve met sir Robin when I did the installation and maintenance of the the clipper round the world in the late 90s and also worked on his wonderful yacht in Blagdons yard Plymouth. Great pioneer

  • Coley999

    East to west ... amazing Not, ...Come back when you’ve done it north to south

  • Mike Gannaway
    Mike Gannaway

    Brilliant, what an inspiration to us all.

  • John K Lindgren
    John K Lindgren

    *Outstanding, Merci infiniment 'Clipper Round the World Yacht Race'. However, a few remarks! The narration: voice and tone does not match the Sir Robin-Knox achievement. Also, NO METRICATION? As we all know ASIA, AUSTRALIA and EUROPE (except UK or ENGLAND formerly once known as Great Britain) officially deploys KG, and KILOMETERS LITERS. No LBS (Lot of Bull Shit) and Miles (Miles Davies), Imperial Gallons! However, your graphic designer deserves Kudos, Chapeau! **33:25** the map is world class! Regards from THAILAND (officially METRIC country, of course) "Johnnie BikeSanook" here on an iconic ex Great Britain, ex Imperial motorcycle now built in India, the former Jewel in the enormous British Colonial Crown. =R.E.= Royal Enfield Bullet 500*

  • Chuck M.
    Chuck M.

    so glad i saw this! what an extraordinary life!

  • David Irons
    David Irons

    A true pioneer whose motives leave many wanting.

  • senecadaze

    The media wrote him off. sounds so familiar to todays events.

  • Newton Adcock
    Newton Adcock

    Sir Robin Knox Johnston was an inspiration to many a sailor. Especially my brother, Captain Hal (Harold) White in Bermuda.

  • CaptC0ck5Lap

    Very glad this ended up in my recommendations. What an inspiration.

  • Aury Conceição
    Aury Conceição

    Aleixo Belov is the men.

  • Rusty Cooper
    Rusty Cooper


  • Nathan Farr
    Nathan Farr

    He donated his £5000 golden globe money to the Crowhurst family. He's tough as anything and also has compassion and seflessness.. What a cool guy !

  • wildebeest3

    Spousal Unit and myself enjoyed Robin as our Sailing Mentor during four years at the Little Ship Club.

  • Gordon Frickers
    Gordon Frickers

    The finest man I've ever met, my Dad aside. I feel very honoured to have painted 3 times for Robin and to be considered a friend. The painting of Suhali and Robin on the big wave? That painting which he named "Roaring Forties" was designed with Robin over a lunch. Original 76 x 1.22 cm, (30″ x 48″), commissioned by and owned with pride by Sir Robin Knox-Johnson. Available as a fine art print co-signed by Robin, “The Iconic “Roaring Forties“, few paintings more clearly illustrate the power of the sea…and man“, Dick Durham, Editor, Yachting Monthly. “for a brief inglorious moment there was me & two masts in sight & nothing but ocean in any direction for 2,000 miles“. ~ “I saw this grey beard approaching. It wasn’t the biggest, it looked dangerous. I leapt into the rigging to avoid being swept away” > Robin Knox-Johnston wrote that in a letter to me a few months after our first meeting.

  • Артём анов
    Артём анов

    It is amazing what we can do when we refuse to let fear run our lives.

  • Nemanja R
    Nemanja R

    I was under the impression that Joshua Slocum was the first person to sail around the world single handed..

    • John Galt
      John Galt

      Knox-Johnson was the first to do it non-stop

  • Edward Diaz
    Edward Diaz

    First Time I hear This Story, I am speechless, "WOW" Lots of courage and determination... My respect for Sir Robin Knox.

    • Edward Diaz
      Edward Diaz

      @MrGunboat78 Great, thanks for the info, I am getting them ASAP.

  • tt gy
    tt gy

    An achievement head and shoulders above Shackleton: he built the boat, then had to pay for everything and then had the skills to actually make it...not to mention his selfless donation of the prize money and an inspiration for others throughout his life.

  • Erdem Yurdanur
    Erdem Yurdanur

    I read his book, he is a very special man. His life is so inspirable not only for sailors but everyone.

  • Steve Rowe
    Steve Rowe

    Beautifully done documentary about a truly amazing sailor and adventurer. Even with my 50 years of sailing all over the world, I can barely comprehend what he has done on the open ocean.

  • Deborah Works
    Deborah Works


  • Stuart Sinclair
    Stuart Sinclair

    Great man great story

    • Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
      Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

      Glad you enjoyed it Stuart

  • Josh Reagan
    Josh Reagan

    A great and inspiring documentary

    • Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
      Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

      Thanks Josh, glad you enjoyed!

  • Swoon Drones
    Swoon Drones

    Good on him. Fantastic achievements across his career. Moitissier is my hero, but no question Robin is an exceptional man and sailor.

    • Mysti Sith
      Mysti Sith

      Being French and more into cruising than racing, Moitessier is my favorite too. But in the end, for me both won that race and got different rewards according to their personality. Staying true to yourself.

  • ocendo1

    What a seaman.And good man and good soul.I wish for all seafarers good sea and good health and long prosperous life. I want to mention that one of my college,Captain Damian Parnham ,well known circumnavigator ,left this world ,sadly on September 2018.He was my captain on multicat MCS Ailsa in Bristol in 2018 summer.Last message from him was from Nigeria on some ASD Tug Boat.After that I heard that he is passed.

  • Peter Warburton
    Peter Warburton

    A trip on a ship over water is a Voyage. A trip over land is a Journey. Get it straight.

  • Dan Harris
    Dan Harris

    I can't say I see the sense of traveling around the world and not stopping to smell the roses a little here and there. But it is impressive.

  • Marc Lawyer
    Marc Lawyer

    An achievement head and shoulders above Shackleton: he built the boat, then had to pay for everything and then had the skills to actually make it...not to mention his selfless donation of the prize money and an inspiration for others throughout his life.

  • Rodney Smith
    Rodney Smith

    Thank you Sir Robin for inspiring me.

  • Vegard Eide
    Vegard Eide

    What a great man! Highly, highly recommend documentary!

  • Space Cowboy
    Space Cowboy

    Sailed around the world in a pair of dress slacks and dress shoes.....beast

  • Cincy Recycle
    Cincy Recycle

    are men such as Sir Robin born anymore?

  • thalassanautica


  • Nice Classic Boat
    Nice Classic Boat

    So inspiring!! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful documentary about this so special man! :-)

  • dave nisbet
    dave nisbet

    Hard working, determined and awesome Man

  • Anita Taylor
    Anita Taylor

    Interesting he couldn't have achieved this if he'd focused on the family, I think more people need to follow their dreams

    • Robert Ault
      Robert Ault

      Sometimes it's a team effort even though not in the traditional sense....this is also seen when many go to war for their country and leave a spouse at home

  • Peter Dixon
    Peter Dixon

    He was a chief officer on a ship called Kenya owned by British India steam navigation co .based in London.i also worked for the company when he did this remarkable voyage .we in the company were so proud.


    A magnificent, inspirational man. I just hope that Englishmen will still have something to be proud about in years to come. I heard today that the idiots are now going after your church music. How narrow minded can you get? (I am an atheist).

  • OnBoard English
    OnBoard English

    What an inspiring story of One Man In A Boat. Thank you for sharing. :)

  • GynGeesthacht

    An Icon ! Brilliant!

  • Frank & Blunt
    Frank & Blunt

    Oh, I like how he speaks

  • BarracudaHawk

    What a Legend. !

  • hez bollah
    hez bollah

    What a legend... in truth, his achievement is the greatest testament to mans potential .... the fake moon chaps are nothing more than frauds

  • Vance Harmon
    Vance Harmon


  • David Hall
    David Hall

    Remarkable life. A true force of nature.

  • sigge saltensø
    sigge saltensø

    don't forget Slocum

  • ushoys

    What happened to his wife Sue and their daughter?

  • SV Trilogy WestSail 32
    SV Trilogy WestSail 32

    Robin was a pioneer in sailing and a selfless human being. I have to admire him as a sailor and a person.

  • Elmer Burley
    Elmer Burley

    Absolutely beautiful and amazing, great job Sir Robin. You are the real Robin Hood of the sea.God bless

  • Stephen Bradshaw
    Stephen Bradshaw

    What an amazing man and sailor, So much respect.

  • Allen McMonagle
    Allen McMonagle

    A wonderful story of a living treasure.

  • Mech Head
    Mech Head

    Thank you!

  • Scott Johnson
    Scott Johnson

    What a Badass.

  • TheMorganMonroeShow

    Absolutely amazing. I hereby declare this video #OfTheEpic 🤙🏽

  • The Nose Goblin
    The Nose Goblin

    Incredible human being. First time learning about Sir Robin.This was such an enjoyable watch. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • Solo Skipper
    Solo Skipper

    He is a role model....only 1 in 100,000 people of his determination get the press he did, lots of luck involved there...there are many, many that just don't get recognition for their feats.. Then knowing full and well that ANY freak wave or collision with a whale or tree, or amy problem with his exhausted boat behind on upkeep and tested like no boat ever for longer than usual that rescue would be as likely as inning the lotto twice. That took some balls

  • MaxGorissen

    Amazing documentary about one of the greatest sailors in the world! He’s been an inspiration since I started sailing almost 40 years ago. Congratulations on putting this together!

  • Thomas Schwab
    Thomas Schwab


  • JFB 101
    JFB 101

    Us Brits are proud, immensely so.

  • Adam Brickley
    Adam Brickley

    Didn't he get his boat built in the far east? India?

  • Troy

    Absolutely brilliant documentary. The donation of prize money. The story of the waves that swallowed the boat while he hung onto the mast. All of his achievements, a gripping life.

  • reefrunner nine
    reefrunner nine

    I ran Marathons (a handful) in my Fifties, Post being a Tobacco Smoker, Dad...Lungs have never been larger, @68 years...Scuba dude a while back too...

  • Paul Baker
    Paul Baker

    Way to go.. Captain Johnston! Check In The Box.

  • John Doubleday
    John Doubleday

    Thanks for sharing....means a great deal to another wander.

  • 1949dodgejm

    bbc is Fake news!

  • Todd Ramon Ochoa
    Todd Ramon Ochoa

    Can someone explain the solution Robin devises at 28:00? I don't understand how the line he rigged around the outside of his boat saved Suhali in the southern ocean. Thanks in advance!

    • Todd Ramon Ochoa
      Todd Ramon Ochoa

      @Slimfoli Projects Many thanks!

    • Todd Ramon Ochoa
      Todd Ramon Ochoa

      @thereisaplace Brilliant. Perfect explanation and reply. Thank you so much.

    • thereisaplace

      Here is a link to a picture of how he rigged the line. Scroll to page 8.

    • Slimfoli Projects
      Slimfoli Projects

      By running out a long length of line astern, with a loop in the end for more drag, it helped to keep the stern to the following sea. This helps to prevent the boat from broaching, getting rolled and beaten by the waves, etc. Look up ‘drogue’.

  • David Welch
    David Welch

    Absolutely amazing!!!

  • David C
    David C

    Climbed up on the mast and watched the wave hit and the boat disappeared below me and all I could see were 2 mast and water ... after what seemed ages the boat pops up and oh good .... Wow totally unreal. What a Legend! Wow and then there is the circumnavigation races when he was 70+ Amazing story and documentary. Such a generous man to take care of the Crowhurst family. Awesome. Thanks Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

  • davy arkley
    davy arkley

    absolutely fantastic documentary Truly great man.