The Triple Solo Sailor blog has commemorated the 30th anniversary of Jon Sanders’ record breaking triple circumnavigation of the world for the past 658 days. Today, on 13 March 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of his return.
Sanders sailed into Fremantle at 10.17am on Sunday 13 March 1988, completing his triple circumnavigation of the world. The voyage took 658 days and he had travelled 70,000 nautical miles.
The yacht was dressed in the Bicentennial, Curtin University, RAC, Royal Perth Yacht Club and Australian flags. An estimated 350 craft and 130,000 people were on the sea and shore to greet Sanders.
WA Premier Peter Dowding presented a welcome speech and a parade was held in Sanders’ honour throughout Perth streets the following Thursday. This day of the parade was proclaimed ‘Jon Sanders Day’ by the local newspapers and the State government gave all WA school children the day off school.
The Guinness Book of Records recognised him as the first person to single-handedly complete five circumnavigations, and as the first person to single-handedly complete three non-stop circumnavigations. The triple-circumnavigation was the longest distance sailed continuously by any vessel (131,535 km).
After all the calms and fickle winds, after all the tempestuous gales – frightening sometimes – after clearing mighty Capes – more than once – after crossing a lot of oceans more than once, after hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of days at sea – 658 in all – you can imagine my moment, you can imagine my hour, when I stood on the cockpit ladder step and looked forward as I have done so often before and there dead ahead of the yacht was the Rottnest Island Lighthouse. Home, once more.
– Jon Sanders, speaking at the official welcome home celebrations, 13 March 1988.
More recently, Sanders completed his 10th circumnavigation of the world. His mostly solo ‘Swan Song’ voyage was completed at a leisurely pace, departing on Sunday 16 October 2016 and returning on Sunday 11 February 2018.
Sanders took a teddy bear dressed in Curtin University graduation attire and a Curtin flag on his journey. He came to the JCPML to present these to University Librarian Catherine Clark.
The teddy bear will be added to the Library’s archive.