Offshore sailor Mike Golding follows in the footsteps of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston at the Little Ship Club

Mike Golding, one of the world’s most successful offshore sailors, has been named president of London’s cruising and training yacht club, the Little Ship Club (LSC).

Mr Golding, OBE, takes over from Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, famous for being the first man to sail solo non-stop around the world.

Mr Golding said: ‘I’m delighted and honoured to accept the role of president of the Little Ship Club. Following Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s presidency gives me some giant footsteps in which to follow and I hope also I can bring some fresh perspectives to the position.’

The 56-year-old sailor has won numerous podium places, and held several world records, including the first person to race around the world in both directions.

As president of the LSC, he will take on a largely ambassadorial role as well as duties akin to a non-executive chairman of a board of directors.

The LSC is a cruising and training club, with a comfortable clubhouse in a prime location overlooking the Thames, in the heart of the City. It has been a training pioneer, with links to the Royal Navy, and has an active winter and summer sailing programme, including rallies with the Corinthians, whose fleets are located along the east coast of the United States.

Anne Billard, LSC Commodore, said: ‘We could not be prouder to be associated with a sailor of Mike’s calibre.

‘He will be a worthy successor to those presidents who came before him (not least Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, our president of the last 20 years) and a wonderful beacon for the Little Ship Club as it enters its 10th decade.’

Mr Golding came to prominence when he broke Sir Chay Blyth’s world record for sailing around the world single-handed, non-stop against prevailing winds and tides by 125 days in 1993/4.

A few years later he won the BT Global Challenge, a round the world race crewed by amateur sailors, before going on to claim third place in arguably one of the most gruelling events, the Vendee Globe, in 2004/5, a single-handed, nonstop round the world race.

But, perhaps, he will be best remembered for rescuing fellow competitor Alex Thomson in the Southern Ocean during the Velux 5 Oceans in 2006/7.

Ms Billard added: ‘His rescue of Alex Thomson is the stuff of legend.

‘I remember watching it live: it was nail-biting stuff. Although he did the only thing any sailor would do, it still has an enormous romantic appeal.’