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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 July 2005, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Prince to relaunch Gypsy Moth IV
Gipsy Moth IV
The Gipsy Moth was restored at its original shipbuilder in Gosport
The boat used by Sir Francis Chichester for the first single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe is being relaunched by Prince Philip.

After nearly 40 years in dry dock, Gypsy Moth IV - which completed her epic journey in 1967 - has been given a 300,000 refit.

The Prince will conduct a royal review of the vessel at the Cowes Week sailing festival on Sunday.

She will be sailed around the world again by an amateur crew in September.

It's actually been 12,000 hours of professional shipwright work to get this boat ready to go to sea again
David Green
UK Sailing Academy
The yacht has been restored by its original shipbuilder in Gosport, Hampshire.

Sir Francis Chichester returned to Plymouth Sound on 7 July 1967, nine months and one day after leaving the historic naval city to sail single-handed round the world.

Thousands of small boats were waiting to accompany the 65-year-old yachtsmen back to port, where he was given a 10-gun salute from the Royal Artillery.

The adventurer was later dubbed by the Queen with Sir Francis Drake's sword.

'Grown men crying'

David Green, chief executive of the UK Sailing Academy, which now owns the boat, said the restoration of the yacht had been a dream come true.

He said: "I've had grown men crying and skippers in tears over the demise of the boat. A lot of them held Chichester as their boyhood hero.

"I think it was heartbreaking to see the way that fresh water ingress had rotted her from within. Of course salt water pickles the boat, but fresh water rots it.

"It's actually been 12,000 hours of professional shipwright work to get this boat ready to go to sea again."




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
The return of Sir Francis Chichester to Plymouth
"I've never seen anything like it"



SEE ALSO:
Renovation for pioneering yacht
17 Nov 04 |  Hampshire


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