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David Green, driving force behind Gipsy Moth restoration dead at 52

by Barry Pickthall on 15 Oct 2013
David Green aboard Gipsy Moth IV PPL Media © http://www.pplmedia.com
David Green, who was found dead at his home on the Isle of Wight on October 7, was a driving force behind the restoration of Sir Francis Chichester's yacht Gipsy Moth IV, and her second circumnavigation with disadvantaged youngsters in 2005/7.

The famous yacht had been rotting in a concrete grave at Greenwich, alongside the Cutty Sark, for 37 years, when Paul Gelder, then Editor of Yachting Monthly magazine, launched a campaign to restore the 53ft ketch so she could be sailed around the world to commemorate the magazine's 100th birthday and the 40th anniversary of Chichester's epic voyage. After a 12-month search for a suitable sponsor, he met David Green, then CEO of the UK Sailing Academy at Cowes, and they joined forces.

David Green saw the project as a fantastic promotional vehicle for the UKSA. Not only would it save an iconic vessel, it would celebrate a legendary sailor and give young people a life-changing voyage. It helped that royalty was also involved, for Princess Anne was not only an ardent supporter of Gipsy Moth IV, she was Patron of the Academy!

Green put his considerable energy behind Yachting Monthly's project. He helped raise funds for the restoration and the UKSA selected 10 skippers and over 100 young crew for the 31 legs of the voyage. The project cost well over £1m – double the original budget, but despite losing his job at the Academy after the yacht was run aground on a reef in the Pacific, he was there in Plymouth to see GMIV safely back home exactly 40 years to the day after Chichester's glorious return in 1967.

'David was a driving force behind the Gipsy Moth IV project. Without him and the UKSA it would never have happened,' says Paul Gelder.

In more recent times, Green had the vision to make the Isle of Wight a beacon of sustainability, and formed the community company Ecoisland in an effort to make the Island energy self-sufficient.

Earlier this month, the company went into into voluntary liquidation and Green was arrested on suspicion of fraud, following a report from the Isle of Wight County Council that £115,000 of Government funding, given to the Company, remained unaccounted for.

PPL holds the complete Chichester photo Archive covering his air and sea record achievements. To view the pictures click here

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