Offshore sailor Mike Golding follows in the footsteps of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston at the Little Ship Club in London

One of the world’s most successful offshore sailors, Mike Golding, has been named president of the Little Ship Club.

He takes over from Sir Robin Knox-Johnston at the London cruising and training yacht club, which is based on the Thames in the heart of the city.

“I’m delighted and honoured to accept the role of president of the Little Ship Club,” said Golding.

“Following Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s presidency gives me some giant footsteps in which to follow and I hope also I can bring some fresh perspectives to the position,” he added.

The 56-year-old sailor has won numerous podium places, and held several world records, including the first person to race around the world in both directions, and winning the IMOCA (Open 60) World Championship twice.

As president of the Little Ship Club, he will take on a largely ambassadorial role as well as duties akin to a non-executive chairman of a board of directors.

Commodore Anne Billard said the club “could not be prouder” to be associated with a sailor of Mike Golding’s calibre.

“He will be a worthy successor to those presidents who came before him (not least Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, our president of the last 20 years) and a wonderful beacon for the Little Ship Club as it enters its 10th decade,” she said.

A former firefighter, Golding came to prominence when he broke Sir Chay Blyth’s world record for sailing around the world single-handed, non-stop against prevailing winds and tides by 125 days in 1993/4.

A few years later he won the BT Global Challenge, a round the world race crewed by amateur sailors, before going on to claim third place in arguably one of the most gruelling events, the Vendée Globe, in 2004/5.

But, perhaps, Mike Golding will be best remembered for rescuing fellow competitor Alex Thomson in the Southern Ocean during the Velux 5 Oceans in 2006/7.

“His rescue of Alex Thomson is the stuff of legend,” added Billard.

“I remember watching it live: it was nail-biting stuff.

“Although he did the only thing any sailor would do, it still has an enormous romantic appeal,” she stated.

Eric and Susan Hiscock

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