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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 September 2005, 14:11 GMT 15:11 UK
Gipsy Moth's new round-world trip
Gipsy Moth
The yacht will be sailed with the help of youngsters
The boat used by Sir Francis Chichester on his record-breaking journey around the globe has set off again from Plymouth where it docked 38 years ago.

Gipsy Moth IV has had a 300,000 makeover in preparation for a repeat of the historic trip starting on Sunday.

A flotilla of boats, with horns sounding and flags flying, escorted the yacht past Plymouth Hoe where hundreds of people cheered her off to Gibraltar.

Teams of youngsters will help crew her on each of 28 legs round the world.

The 53ft ketch was welcomed by thousands when Sir Francis sailed her into Plymouth after 29,630 miles and 274 days at sea in 1966-67.

The journey, which started in Plymouth, was the first true solo circumnavigation via the three Capes of Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, making only one stop.

Sir Francis Chichester
Sir Francis Chichester: Returned to Plymouth in 1967

One of the three youngsters sailing the first leg, Peter Heggie, 17, from Stoke Damerel College in Plymouth, said: "I just feel very proud to have been selected for the trip.

"I do not think it has hit me yet how big the project actually is, and probably will not until we get back. I am really excited about it."

The vessel, which has been in dry dock in Greenwich since her record breaking voyage, was sold last November for 1 and a gin and tonic to the United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA) in the Isle of Wight.

The UKSA refitted the yacht with the help of the UK marine industry and sponsors with the aim of giving youngsters the chance of a lifetime

Places on the Gipsy Moth IV circumnavigation project voyage were allocated through specially selected schools and organisations from across the country.

Sir Francis stopped only once, in Sydney, Australia to refurbish the yacht and replenish supplies, but this time his yacht will stop at 25 countries and take 22 months to complete the voyage covering more than 30,000 miles in the process.

Gipsy Moth IV is due to return to Plymouth in May 2007.

Sir Francis was knighted and the Gipsy Moth IV was put on show at the London Boat Show in January 1968, before being placed in dry berth next to the Cutty Sark, until last November.

On Sunday, the same Gypsy Moth biplane that flew out to meet Sir Francis when he returned from his record breaking voyage flew across Plymouth Sound and escorted Gipsy Moth IV out of Plymouth's water.

The plane was flown by Nigel Reid, son of John Reid who made the memorable flight back in 1967.

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