Historic yacht Gipsy Moth IV tours Britain for 50th anniversary celebration

It is 50 years since Sir Francis Chichester sailed single-handedly around the world in Gipsy Moth IV.

To celebrate, she is sailing around Britain stopping at 14 ports throughout the summer.

Even though all the legs are now fully booked, there may still be an opportunity to enjoy a 2.5-hour sail on board Gipsy Moth IV from the following ports, for £50 per person or £60 per person for the evening champagne trip:

  • 2 June: Milford Haven
  • 10 June: Douglas (IoM)
  • 18 June: Stornoway
  • 7-10 July: London
  • 19 July: Dartmouth
  • 21-22 July: Plymouth

All proceeds will go towards supporting the yacht’s maintenance as well as public viewings and free youth and charity involvement. To book your place email: info@gipsymoth.uk

The historic yacht was first sailed in 1966 by Sir Francis Chichester, who set a series of records at the time: the fastest sail around the world by a small vessel, the longest non-stop passage by a small vessel and the longest single-handed passage.

Gipsy Moth IV. Credit: Chichester Archive/PPL

Gipsy Moth IV. Credit: Chichester Archive/PPL

UK Sailing Academy (UKSA) restored the 53ft ketch in 2005 and she is now owned and run by the Gipsy Moth Trust, which was created to preserve her in sailing condition and to promote charitable activities.

Re-enactment festivities

A flotilla of boats and yachts gathered on Sunday, 28 May, to escort Gipsy Moth IV under engine across Plymouth Sound to West Hoe in celebration of her arrival in 1967.

Sir Francis’s son Giles Chichester took part in the re-enactment, which also included an air display of Tiger Moths.

Pete Rollason, operations manager at the Gipsy Moth Trust, said it was a fantastic chance for everyone to get up close to the celebrated vessel and he thanked the dedicated crew who are bringing the event to life.

He added: ‘All of the staff working on Gipsy Moth have been through the RYA training schemes and now they are in the privileged position to be a part of this fantastic journey. We hope that Gipsy Moth’s journey and Sir Francis Chichester’s legacy will inspire future generations to take to the water.’

Eileen Skinner, founder trustee of the Gipsy Moth Trust, said: ‘Just stepping on board really brings home what life was like for Chichester as he sailed, single-handedly, around the world all those years ago.’

For more information about Gipsy Moth IV’s history visit www.gipsymoth.org, of follow the voyage via Twitter @InfoIv ‏and Facebook @gipsymothtrust

Royal Yachting Association (RYA) director of training and qualifications Richard Falk, added: ‘Sir Francis Chichester is a fantastic example of human endeavour. It’s inspiring to see that kind of dedication and we hope that anyone who has ever wondered about sailing, might take that first step to do so as a result of seeing the magnificent Gipsy Moth IV first hand.’