Sir Chay Blyth was the first person to sail non-stop westwards around the world, taking 292 days, for which he was awarded a CBE. He openly admits that when he set off in 1970 on the 59' yacht, British Steel, he knew nothing about navigation or sailing and thought he would teach himself as he went along. The Times in London later described his voyage as ‘the most outstanding passage ever made by one man alone', and thousands came to greet him on his return.
Blyth's next challenge was the inaugural Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973-74, winning line honours with his 77' yacht, Great Britain II and setting a benchmark record for the circumnavigation of 144 days. He skippered the same yacht again in the third Whitbread race in1981-82, this time renamed United Friendly, which then went on to compete in five consecutive Whitbread races, something that is hard to imagine in today's professional era.
Sir Chay is very much looking forward to the event in Spain next year. "I am delighted to be invited to be part of Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta. It will be a wonderful opportunity to reunite many old friends and recall the days when racing round the world was an adventure, with the ocean providing one of the last great challenges," he said.
The Volvo Ocean Race Legends will celebrate the long and varied history of the world's premier ocean race and includes racing and social events in November this year for all those who have competed or been involved in the event since its inauguration in 1973. It promises to be an occasion not to be missed, with many ex-sailors travelling from all over the world to take part.
By Volvo Ocean Race Media.