Jon Sanders is an old sailing friend of Rolly Tasker, who had always helped him fitting out with sails. “There is no better or tougher test for the quality of my sails, than to drive Jon nonstop around the world!”, Tasker used to say. His friend and successor in the firm Rolly Tasker Sails, Sven Cornelius from Germany, is happy to continue with this tradition. He travelled to Fremantle to wish Jon Sanders all the best shortly before his departure: “I am deeply impressed with this wonderful man of the oceans!”, he said. Jon Sanders left Fremantle on November 3, you can find updates and a live tracker here.
This time, however, Jon will not be sailing complete nonstop. He will deliver his water samples at various stopovers en route. All in all, he plans to take just under one year for the complete round-the-world trip. Will the then 81-year old ever set off again afterwards? Never say never…
This will already be your 11th circumnavigation. After the last one, you said: not again. What made you change your mind?
Ah, I always say never ever say never. After the last circumnavigation I said: Just for the moment can I imagine going again? Probably not. But never say never….
You have done it all, seen it, experienced it – what is your motivation to do it again?
Yes and no. This is an interesting route, not a lot of shipping or fishing. That is good for the samples I intend to take for the university.
Is it not a shame to sail past all these nice places, harbours, islands?
I have nonstop records going back a long time but now I am stopping. I have to stop to put water samples ashore for the university so I will be stopping at eight foreign ports.
Do you like the solitude at sea?
I don’t mind being on my own but I also do yacht races with crew. Solitary confinement would not be much of a punishment for me but I also like company.
Would you have liked to compete in the Golden Globe Race, then or now?
I certainly would have liked to at the time, I knew all about it then, but not now. I think I have reached an age where I would leave that to the younger.
Which type of yacht are you sailing?
I have an S&S 39 that was originally built in 1971 for the One Ton Cup where it came second by just a few points, but they did make pretty good sea-boats also for racing in those times, the going to windward is very good. I do experience the occasional thump, while a modern boat smacks every wave, my boat does not do that.