Please select your home edition
Edition
Spinlock 728x90

World's oldest sailing clipper in London for final farewell

by Chris Rann on 3 Nov 2013
City of Adelaide on barge - so far so good .. .
After a 14-year campaign, the world's oldest clipper and the only surviving purpose-built passenger sailing ship to bring migrants from Europe to Australia is in historic Greenwich, London, for its formal farewell prior to its final voyage back to Adelaide. A renaming and farewell ceremony was attended by the Duke of Edinburgh.

The City of Adelaide, atop a large barge, moored for several days in the Thames near her younger ‘sister’– the world famous Cutty Sark, a Greenwich landmark for decades - before continuing her journey via a quarantine and 'preparation stop' in Europe. She is expected to arrive in Port Adelaide between February and April next year (2014).

The voyage will end an extraordinary 14-year campaign by engineers, maritime historians, ship enthusiasts, descendants of the ship’s migrants and supporters.


This project to save the 1864 vessel has received worldwide support. The Australian government contribution (announced yesterday) of $850,000 towards the transport of the clipper, together with contributions and support from the Scottish and South Australian governments, private business and individuals will now see the ship preserved for future generations.

'The saving of the City of Adelaide is a most significant maritime heritage achievement. It has been an extraordinary outcome achieved by an Adelaide based group of volunteers supported by the community and governments,' said Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Ltd. (CSCOAL) director and spokesperson Peter Christopher.

'The ship will form part of a seaport village in Port Adelaide, South Australia, enabling future generations from across the globe to be part of living history.'

The City of Adelaide was regarded as unrecoverable from the banks of the Irvine River in western Scotland. For many years the ship was stranded by a heavily silted river and experts feared she could never be extracted as the adjacent delicate wetlands prevented the option of dredging the river to rescue her.


Despite being listed as part of the UK’s National Historic Ships Core Collection, the Trustees of the Scottish Maritime Museum were being forced to vacate the site where the clipper sat. With the ship stranded, they in turn had to request permission to demolish the A-Listed ship. That is until CSCOAL, the Adelaide-based volunteer organisation, stepped in.

'Our group essentially identified that there was a feasible solution to recover the ship that did not require dredging near important bird breeding-grounds. We were supported in writing by none less than former Prime Minister Bob Hawke and a number of former Premiers and Lord Mayors,' Mr Christopher said.

'We even had letters of encouragement and support, over a number of years and as recently as this year, from the Duke of Edinburgh who has so willingly and graciously agreed to be part of today’s (Friday’s) event.

'Recognising the opportunity of saving the world-heritage ship, Scottish culture minster Fiona Hyslop took the positive decision to call a study into any options for saving the ship. The Australian team’s strategy stood out, and offered the additional advantage of enhancing Scottish and Australian cultural ties in the process.

'But we still had to convince heritage authorities the length and breadth of the UK that South Australia had the expertise and knowhow to pull off an intricate piece of work.'

Intricate is something of an understatement. Engineering firms from across South Australia worked together to create a prefabricated steel cradle that would allow the ship to be rolled across a temporary bridge over river mudflats and onto a low-draft barge.

She will now embark on the first stage of a voyage half way around the world – back to SA for the first time in more than 125 years.

Weighing 100 tonnes and worth more than $1.2million, the cradle was shipped to Scotland in five shipping containers, before being assembled and tested, and then disassembled again for installation beneath the 450 tonne clipper piece by piece.

'This has been a team project from the start, and the level of commitment and passion has been quite extraordinary. We are volunteers; not amateurs. The expertise and access to resources within the team is demonstrated by the work carried out to date,' Mr Christopher said.

'We have had great support from the Australian and Scottish governments and local councils, but nearly a third of the money required to get her back has come from public donations and a similar amount from South Australian industry.

'Once she is safely in South Australia we will be establishing her as the flagship of a non-profit Seaport Village in Port Adelaide, to be run along similar lines to Sovereign Hill in Victoria.'

About the City of Adelaide:
The clipper City of Adelaide was renamed HMS Carrick when purchased by the Royal Navy in 1923. This was to avoid confusion with the new cruiser HMAS Adelaide that had recently been commissioned in the Royal Australian Navy. In 2001, the clipper's name reverted to 'City of Adelaide' after a Conference convened by HRH Duke of Edinburgh to discuss the future of the historic ship. The formal renaming ceremony will take place today (Friday 18/10).
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
The City of Adelaide clipper weighs over 450 tonnes. In her sailing days she would have weighed 1500 tonnes. In its current state (hull only), the clipper is 54 metres long, which is longer than an Olympic swimming pool (50 metres). Originally - with jib-boom - she was 74 metres – 4 metres longer than a 747 aircraft.
.………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
The City of Adelaide was built in 1864, five years before the Cutty Sark. She is one of only four surviving sailing ships to have taken emigrants from the British Isles to any destination in the world, and the last survivor of the timber trade between North America and the United Kingdom. She is the world’s fifth oldest surviving merchant ship, and was designed and built specifically to serve the colony of South Australia.
……………………………………………………………………………………………..
The City of Adelaide is famous for being specially designed as a passenger ship. Over a quarter of a century the City of Adelaide carried thousands of English, Scottish, Cornish, German, Danish, Irish and other migrants to South Australia. Today, the descendants of her passengers can be found throughout Australia.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………
Greenwich has played a key role in the story of Britain's sea power for over 400 years and today its many museums celebrate its maritime history. Greenwich, at the world’s Prime Meridian, is on the portion of the Thames from where the City of Adelaide departed for each of its 23 annual voyages from London to South Australia. These attributes, combined with close links to England 's Tudor and Stuart sovereigns, give Greenwich an unrivalled symbolic presence.

Barz Optics - FloatersWildwind 2016 660x82Pacific Sailing School 660x82 1

Related Articles

Knowing Harken takes years and years (Pt.II)
We looked at how Grant Pellew became the MD here in Australia, and how they rigorously go about testing their gear In Part One of getting to know Harken, we looked at how Grant Pellew became the MD here in Australia, and how they rigorously go about testing their gear. We also looked at some of the other brands Harken distributes in Australia and so we move on to the last category.
Posted on 25 Sep
Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
Amel - Do you fit the bill?
Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 It is certainly an interesting set of criterion. Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 and make them a definitive part of the quintessential bluewater cruiser armada. We’ll come to all of those in due course, but firstly we’ll tackle the hero image and why in so many ways, this explains, so, so much.
Posted on 21 Sep
Knowing Harken takes years and years (Pt.I)
You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. So if you were going to be the person at the top in Australia, it would be best for you to have immersed yourself in sailing from an early age. When you grew up, being one of the technical service team would be more than a handy apprenticeship, as it were.
Posted on 19 Sep
Brookes and Gatehouse Videos with Knut Frostad
Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos with Knut Frostad, the legendary Volvo Ocean Race sailor and former CEO. See him talk about sailing in general, the B&G product choices and placement he made for his own boat, and then why he loves his Outremer 5X.
Posted on 8 Sep
Boat Books of the Month - How to Read Water and False Flags
How to Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns from Puddles to Sea & False Flags: Disguised German Raiders of World War II. This month the Boatbooks Australia: Boat Books of the Month are How to Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns from Puddles to the Sea and False Flags: Disguised German Raiders of World War II.
Posted on 6 Sep
Soft Padeyes – light, strong and versatile
Several types of soft padeyes are now available and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel pa Several types of soft padeyes are now available on the market and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel padeyes. They all capitalise on the incredible strength to weight ratio and abrasion resistance of Dyneema® which offers a reliable, robust, flexible and safe termination.
Posted on 6 Sep
The X Factor starring X-Yachts
X-Yachts do indeed have plenty to sing about. X-Yachts do indeed have plenty to sing about. Testament to that is the three-year-old Xp38 on display at the recent Sydney International Boat Show still looked brand new. This was no mooring minder either, but rather a boat that had gone up to Hamilton Island Race Week for each of those years and campaigned hard.
Posted on 31 Aug
The C Beetle Project
Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Such is Phil Smidmore’s tale of Mick Miller and if I could be so bold as to implore you to read, then I know your life will be the better for it!
Posted on 30 Aug
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug