Eighteen sailors from Britain’s biggest warship lined the waterfront at Greenwich to applaud legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston as he carried the Olympic Flame on the latest leg of its 8,000-mile odyssey.
Pictures: LA(Phot) Guy Pool, HMS Ocean
THE ship’s company of Britain’s biggest warship HMS Ocean applaud one of the nation’s greatest sailors as he carries the Olympic Flame through the streets of Greenwich, redolent with Naval and maritime history.
Back in 1968-69 Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the first mariner to sail single-handedly non-stop around the world – and, at the age of 67 in 2006, was also the oldest yachtsman to complete a solo circumnavigation.
So he was an obvious choice to be among the torchbearers carrying the flame past the newly-restored Cutty Sark and along the Greenwich waterfront.
A Royal Navy Lynx flew overhead while an 18-strong contingent of sailors lined the route alongside cadets from the Metropolitan Police, helping to give a distinctly nautical feel to the proceedings.
The Cutty Sark and the Old Naval College also provided a stunning maritime backdrop Sir Robin – also an honorary lieutenant commander in the Royal Naval Reserve – carried the Olympic Flame through the Royal Borough.
HMS Ocean herself sat quietly on the River Thames, where she is acting as a support and logistics hub for the Venue Security Force as well as providing aerial support to the Olympic security effort.
Captain Andrew Betton, HMS Ocean’s Commanding Officer, said: “It’s been a real pleasure to be part of the Torch Relay, especially in a location as iconic as Greenwich.
“The Royal Borough has always had a great wealth of nautical tradition, and being invited to help showcase that history during this once-in-a-lifetime event is a real honour for the ship and her crew.”