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Yachting legend’s torch bridges Olympic host cities

16July2012_Clipper_Round_the_WorldPhoto by Clipper Round the World.

16-July-2012. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (73), the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-9, says he is honoured to carry the Olympic Torch in Greenwich on Saturday, 21 July. His Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which arrives back in the UK the following day, includes an entry from Qingdao - the host of sailing events at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

“It’s a great honour to be selected as a torch bearer for the London 2012 Olympic Games,” said Sir Robin, who was announced as an official torchbearer today. “As a trustee during the re-build of The Cutty Sark it is a fitting location to carry the flame. It’s particularly poignant for me to be carrying the Olympic Flame the same weekend as my Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet returns home to the UK after 40,000 miles at sea.

“One of the yachts represents Qingdao in China which hosted the sailing events of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Members of their Olympic Sailing Committee will be joining us at the race finish in Southampton.”

The Qingdao yacht will also be carrying a present from the City of Qingdao, a scroll with an illustration of Qingdao harbour which will be presented by their delegation at the race finish on Sunday 22 July.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race was established by Sir Robin in 1996 to create the opportunity for people from all walks of life to experience ocean racing and, ultimately, a circumnavigation. At 40,000 miles it has become the world’s longest ocean race.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is the Executive Chairman and founder of Clipper Race organiser Clipper Ventures Plc. He has been involved in sailing all his life and was named RYA/YJA Yachtsman of the Year an unprecedented three times.

In 2007 he completed his second solo circumnavigation when he competed in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race. He participated in the 2010 Sydney-Hobart race at the age of 71.