Raymond Knobbe, 48 years of age formerly from Brisbane Australia and presently residing in Sydney has succeeded in sailing solo around the world.
Nowadays it is quite normal to read about sailors succeeding in achieving this marvel but Raymond Knobbe stands out for one reason he did it singlehandedly.
Thirty five years ago to the day he completed his monumental voyage Raymond was involved in a tragic car accident in which he lost his parents and only brother Mark. He did not escape this accident without it leaving its tragic physical reminder as well. Raymond had his left arm amputated and unfortunately lost sight in his left eye also.
Raymond lived with his Uncle Samuel and his aunt in law Betty Taylor. Betty described Raymond as somebody who represents courage itself. He mourned for two years the lost of his family and was very down but with the help of counseling from a local psychologist Raymond begin to take the first vital steps towards self recovery.
He also joined a local self help group in Brisbane called ‘ORPHANED ‘. It was here he met his now wife Shirley Coulter who had experienced her own personal trauma when a crazed killer murdered in cold blood her parents and two sisters while she was in her uncles home.
Raymond attributed his success in achieving this journey to the support and love of Samuel and Betty combined with the solidarity of his self help group members whom he counts as his extended family. He said that his wife Shirley is his rock and that she has been steadfast in her support of him succeeding in achieving his goal to sail around the world.
Shirley commenting said to me, Raymond did this journey not just for himself but for all his brothers and sisters in ORPHANED.
He has continued to work with this group as a Counselor and he was adamant that he would prove that where there is life, there is hope. It would be anathema to Raymond to have done this journey just for his own ego. He did it also for me and our four beautiful children. I am so proud of him and our love is so endearing and special.
Raymond who is a introvert was not anxious to speak much only adding:
“Shirley is the past, present and future. I thought of her when the journey got difficult. In life if I am the sailor then Shirley is without doubt my first mate.
Our children are the future and I hope that what has happened will prove to them that no matter what blows life deals you, that you must always rise again and overcome the obstacles mental, physical or whatever form they are”.
The local sailing club president John Malttens said that Raymond Knobbe was one of their most active and involved members. “He shows courage and mental strength overcomes all adversity. He has embraced the ethos of CAN DO and he is a fantastic example to us all. We are privileged to have Raymond as a member”.
Already locals are clamoring to have Raymond conferred with the honor of freedom of the city of Sydney but he quipped when asked about this possibility ;
“Well I have always moved around this city freely”.
For now Raymond plans to holiday for one week in the Maldives with his entire family which has been paid for by a local businessmen.
Raymond told us he is looking forward to travelling by plane on this occasion!!!