On Monday, the United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA) team of Richard BAGGETT and skipper John JEFFREY and their young crew, Kerry PRIDEAUX who was nominated for the voyage by the Sir Francis Chichester Trust, Grant MCCABE from Plymouth and Glen AUSTIN from the Isle of Wight, will sail into Plymouth marking the completion of Gipsy Moth IV's second global voyage. Giles CHICHESTER, son of Sir Francis will welcome the yacht home along with the Deputy Lord Mayor of Plymouth. The city has organized a fantastic welcome, with live music, archive footage, aeroplane displays and street entertainment.
The crew has had a difficult passage from Gibraltar, with storm force winds and raging seas, but sailing aboard Gipsy Moth IV has been a truly thrilling experience according to AUSTIN, 'The rough weather sailing or should I say motoring is interesting to say the least but the experience is quite welcome, the feeling I get from coming on to watch at dawn with wave after wave crashing over the bow and sometimes into the cockpit in a force seven or eight is fantastically exhilarating, an experience I'm sure is only shared by a few people.'
The original idea to restore Gipsy Moth IV and sail her around the world came from the project's founder, Yachting Monthly editor Paul GELDER who approached the UKSA in Cowes with his plans. UKSA saw a huge opportunity not only to save a key part of Britain's sailing history but to create a project to combine the yacht's history with a new generation and inspire young people to engage in maritime activities, helping to revive and grow Britain's great maritime heritage.
The project has received a huge amount of support from companies, organizations and individuals, without whom the project would never have been possible. The project's premier partner the 'Isle of Wight', got involved with the project at an early stage assisting in both the restoration and funding a number of voyage places for young people from the Isle of Wight. Mike KING, Chief Executive of the Isle of Wight Economic Partnership says, 'When we were asked to become the premier partner of Gipsy Moth IV's restoration and global voyage it was obvious she would be the perfect vehicle to help achieve some of our aims for helping to inspire the young people on the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight 's support for Gipsy Moth IV meant that 120 young Islanders got the chance to take part in training and skills development at UKSA and of those, 15 young people actually took part in a life changing leg of the voyage.'
Gipsy Moth IV has touched the hearts and minds of thousands as she has sailed from port to port, enabling the young crew and followers via the web to learn about different cultures and environments. Jon ELY, Chief Executive of UKSA says, 'The project has been a tremendous success, not only because we have sailed Gipsy Moth IV around the world but because of the way we have done it. We have enriched and developed young peoples' lives, not just the 90 that took part in the voyage but the thousands more who have been inspired through project's website and by visiting the boat as she stopped at ports of call around the world.'
Following the global voyage, Gipsy Moth IV will join UKSA's fleet of yachts in Cowes and continue to take young people on adventurous sailing experiences. UKSA will still be actively fundraising to cover the cost of these sailing trips and the yacht's ongoing maintenance costs. One way in which funds will be raised is by opening the yacht up to the public, UKSA will be selling Gipsy Moth day, weekend and five-day trips around the south coast with proceeds being put towards the charitable works.
For more information about the voyage, the yacht's future and the sailing opportunities, visit www.gipsymoth.org.