THE first man to sail single-handed around the world is to launch a high-profile public lecture series to mark the importance of Liverpool's relationship with the sea.
Sir Robin Knox Johnston is among three of the country's most distinguished seafarers who will visit the city to talk about their exploits next month.
His appearance will be followed by explorer and author Tim Severin, who has reconstructed some of the world's most epic and terrifying journeys, including sailing across the North Atlantic in a leather boat, and Commodore Ronald Warwick, captain of the world's largest luxury liner, the Queen Mary 2.
The series, called Sea Liverpool, aims to celebrate the port's relationship with the sea as part of the Capital of Culture team's 2005 programme of more than 1,000 nautical events, being promoted under the banner: Year of the Sea.
Sir Robin was appointed patron of Sea Liverpool 2005 in March. His talk will focus on his life at sea and the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race, which he founded after he was knighted in 1995, and will start and end in Liverpool in 2005/6.
He will also recount memories of becoming the first person to sail single-handed non-stop around the world in the Golden Globe Race in 1968-9, and winning the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest circumnavigation in 1994.
Commodore Ron Warwick is captain of the world's largest and most expensive luxury cruise liner, the Queen Mary 2, which yesterday re-enacted the role played by its predecessor in announcing the end of the Second World War.
The Cunard Line flagship's whistle, which could be heard for ten miles from its berth at Southampton, Hants, was sounded at noon, commemorating the same action by the Queen Mary on August 15, 1945.
At the celebration, the ship's master, officers and crew also received the Freedom of the City of Southampton from the Mayor, Cllr Edwina Cooke.
Commodore Warwick, also a former Captain of the Queen Elizabeth 2, made Cunard history in 1990 by commanding the same ship as his Wirral-born father, the late Commodore William E. Warwick, the first Captain of the QE2.
Commodore Warwick, who grew up in Crosby, navigated the QE2's first world cruise in 1975 and was master when she was visited by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh during Cunard's 150th anniversary in July, 1990. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Liverpool in July this year in recognition of his contribution to the shipping industry........."
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