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Last Updated: Monday, 20 June, 2005, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
New adventure for Gypsy Moth IV
Plymouth Hoe
Gypsy Moth IV will set sail from Plymouth on 25 September
The boat used by Sir Francis Chichester to sail around the world is returning to Plymouth in September to begin a second circumnavigation of the globe.

After nearly 40 years in dry dock in Greenwich, Gypsy Moth IV has been given a 300,000 refit.

In September the famous yacht will set sail again from Plymouth where, in 1967, more than 250,000 people welcomed her home from her epic journey.

This time the yacht will be crewed by groups of young people.

I've had grown men crying and skippers in tears over the demise of the boat
David Green, UK Sailing Academy

The yacht has been restored by its original shipbuilder in Gosport, Hampshire, where it will be relaunched on Monday.

David Green, chief executive of the UK Sailing Academy, which now owns the boat, says it will be an amazing adventure.

Mr Green said: "It's all about celebrating the spirit of adventure and it's about young people and raising their aspirations.

"We're going to take youngsters from schools all round the country and put them on this iconic boat over 28 different legs of a voyage, starting in Plymouth and coming back to Plymouth."

Saltash student

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.

One of the three young people who will be taking part in the first leg of the journey on the rejuvenated Gypsy Moth is 17-year-old Pete Heggie from Saltash, a pupil at Stoke Damerel Community College.

He said: "I've always wanted to sail round the world, so being a part of this project is just amazing."

The teenager said the adventure is more special because it begins and ends in Plymouth.

Gipsy Moth IV
The Gipsy Moth was restored at its original shipbuilder in Gosport

Mr Green 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."

Gypsy Moth IV will undergo engine and sail trials before appearing at Portsmouth's Festival of the Sea, Cowes Week and the Southampton Boat Show.

It is due to set sail from Plymouth on its second global voyage on 25 September.


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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