San­ders says ninth trip around globe is his last

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By TOM RABE

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.

Pic­tures: Tom Rabe

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