Ellen MacArthur and Giles Chichester aboard Sir Francis Chichester's famous vessel, Gipsy Moth IV have officially opened Skandia Cowes Week 2005
Dame Ellen MacArthur and Giles Chichester aboard Sir Francis Chichester’s famous vessel, Gipsy Moth IV have officially opened Skandia Cowes Week 2005. In bright sunshine and a good working breeze, MacArthur and Giles Chichester (son Sir Francis and MEP for the South West) sailed into Cowes aboard the 53ft ketch and were welcomed by excited onlookers lining the waterfront to witness this historic occasion.
This was the first time ever that Skandia Cowes Week has had an official opening and it was befitting that the actual Gipsy Moth bi-plane – that flew out to the Western Approaches off Plymouth to greet Sir Francis Chichester as he neared the finish of his circumnavigation – today flew over Cowes to accompany Gipsy Moth once again. Commenting on what his father would have thought of Ellen MacArthur, Giles Chichester said: ” He always had an eye for the ladies so he would have approved; she epitomises the sort of spirit he displayed when he was combating the elements in his time.”
After nearly 40 years in dry-dock Gipsy Moth has made her sailing debut and, for the first time since she left Greenwich for restoration work, she’s officially open to the public once again. Now owned by, and based at the UKSA, the boat will be open for viewing from 0830-1030 and 1530-1800 each day at Skandia Cowes Week. There’s also a chance to visit the Gipsy Moth IV Exhibition Unit in Cowes Yacht Haven and discover more about the history and future of this unique vessel.
This evening, yachts continue to pour into Cowes in preparation for the start of racing tomorrow morning. There are now 1,036 official entries to Skandia Cowes Week and the stage looks set for a very exciting week with a good breeze expected for tomorrow afternoon. According to Chris Tibbs, the latest weather forecast shows the winds starting off light from the south-west but increasing to a Force 4 by midday. It might build a fraction more by mid afternoon but will have a tendency to veer to the north/north-west later in the day.