Sanders says ninth trip around globe is his last
SAILING great Jon Sanders was welcomed home on Friday after completing his ninth circumnavigation of the globe on a yacht that was once sinking in its pen.
The 74-year-old Nedlands resident was met by friends and family two nautical miles off Fremantle before being escorted into the Fremantle Sailing Club.
Once described as “someone who always gets there” by Australia’s first Olympic sailing medallist Rolly Tasker, Sanders said there was a certain element of luck involved when sailing solo.
“I wouldn’t have thought I’m any different, I wouldn’t think I’m very special but Rolly kept saying ‘there’s something about someone who always gets there’,” Sanders said.
Long-time friend Rohan Lewis, who was part of Sanders’ welcoming party, said there was far more than luck involved in Sanders’ achievements, which include the first double solo circumnavigation of the globe.
“I think his sailing is a culmination of a man born to the sea, who’s spent so many years on the sea, that he’s become one with it; he’s incredibly modest,” Mr Lewis said.
“I just think he’s a man who’s very comfortable with the ocean and he knows that below him is a boat that he can trust.”
Sanders, who grew up sailing on the Swan River with his brother Colin, said he had learnt something new from the ocean on each circumnavigation.
He said he did not mind the isolation of sailing alone, but was happy to be back in Perth.
“I get on well with me, I’m good friends with me, I think you’re in a bit of a bad way if you’re not friends with yourself,” he said.
Perie Banou II,
on which Sanders completed the Sydney to Hobart and the past two circumnavigations, was close to complete disrepair in 2008 before friends and colleagues fundraised more than $300,000 to upgrade the 40-year-old yacht.
Sanders, who has Jon Sanders Drive named in his honour, said he was humbled to be recognised for his achievements.
“I feel a bit embarrassed to think about that, because I can never believe it, it’s sort of surreal,” he said.
Sanders said his ninth trip around the world, which took over a year, would probably be his last.
Solo sailor Jon Sanders is welcomed home after his ninth circumnavigation of the world.