Incredibly, only a few months after being lifted from her 'concrete tomb' a completely renovated Gipsy Moth V will sail to Greenwich to be re-dedicated before leaving on her planned circumnavigation
Londoners will be treated to an impressive sight on Wednesday 7th September, when Sir Francis Chichester’s famous vessel Gipsy Moth IV returns to Greenwich for the first time since she left the capital aboard a lorry last November.
For nearly 40 years, Gipsy Moth IV sat in concrete dry dock at Greenwich, but on 17th November last year, after a campaign by Yachting Monthly editor Paul Gelder, she was sold by The Maritime Trust, for a £1 and a Gin & Tonic, to the United Kingdom Sailing Academy who have waged a relentless campaign to raise the money for an extensive restoration in order to get the vessel back on the water and sailing again.
On Wednesday 7th September, Gipsy Moth IV, back to her former glory, and close to the hearts of many Greenwich residents, will sail up the Thames and berth alongside the Cutty Sark pontoon at 12 noon. Skipper Richard Baggett of UKSA will be joined by an impressive crew including Olympic gold medallist and London 2012 campaigner, Shirley Robertson, together with a member of Sir Francis Chichester’s family and some young people who have won competitions connected with the history of the Gipsy Moth IV project.
At 1.00pm, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, will visit Gipsy Moth IV and meet young people from Peckham, Scarborough and the Isle of Wight who are involved with the project, some of whom will sail on a leg of the vessel’s second global circumnavigation which departs from Plymouth on 25th September. The Princess will re-dedicate Gipsy Moth IV before the yacht is blessed by The Dean of Chichester, who has strong links with Gipsy Moth IV?s history.
Her Royal Highness, who re-commissioned Gipsy Moth IV for active service at the Festival of the Sea in June, will view the satellite communications equipment installed in preparation for the voyage. The equipment is crucial for the educational aspect of the voyage as it will offer young people a window on the world and provide a medium for young people to communicate across cultures. A sextant will be donated by The Maritime Trust and chronograph for the voyage provided by Corum Swiss Timepieces, the project’s official timekeeper, both crucial for the navigation of the vessel using traditional techniques.
A Gypsy Moth bi-plane representing Sir Francis Chichester’s aviation history, will be situated in front of The Cutty Sark. Members of the public will be able to view the very plane that flew out to meet Chichester as he completed his record breaking circumnavigation in 1967.
Further information on the Gipsy Moth IV project can be found on wwww.gipsymoth.org