The yacht 'Gypsy Moth IV' running before a heavy quartering sea

Oil painting. A representation of the ketch-rigged 53-foot (16 m) yacht, built by Camper & Nicholson, which Francis Chichester commissioned for his successful attempt to become the first person to sail single-handed around the world by the clipper route, and the fastest circumnavigator, in nine months and one day overall, in 1966–67. He made one brief stop in Sydney, leaving Robin Knox-Johnson to claim the honour of being first to do it non-stop in his boat 'Suhaili', in 1969. On his return, Chichester was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his achievement, in an open-air ceremony at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

After Chichester's death in 1972, 'Gipsy Moth IV' was put on permanent display at Greenwich, in a land-locked purpose-built dry dock next to 'Cutty Sark'. Originally it was open to the public in the hands of the Maritime Trust, but eventually general deterioration and other practical factors led to it being closed, though remaining as an exhibit. In 2003, Paul Gelder, editor of the magazine 'Yachting Monthly', proposed its restoration for a new voyage round the world in 2006, to mark the 40th anniversary of Chichester's voyage and the centenary of the magazine. It was removed in 2004 for restoration by Camper & Nicholson and subsequently took part in the 2005-07 Blue Water Round the World Rally, during which it was badly damaged by grounding in the Tuamotu Islands and had to undergo a second restoration in New Zealand before continuing home. It reached Plymouth on 28 May 2007, forty years to the day after Chichester first did so. Since then it has remained actively afloat in other care on the south coast of England. The most recent restoration and refitting work was in 2017. The exact date of Wood's painting is unrecorded but the Museum acquired it by purchase from a third party in 1981. [PvdM 2/18]

Object Details

ID: BHC2485
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Wood, Peter Macdonagh
Vessels: Gypsy Moth IV 1959
Date made: Mid - late 20th century; circa 1970
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Painting: 609 mm x 914 mm; Frame: 730 x 1020 mm

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