It was not just British sailors and the British public who took Sir Francis Chichester to their hearts when he successfully sailed his boat Gipsy Moth IV around the world in 1966-7. He has been forever pinned on the world's honour board of those who led the world in adventure cruising.
by Jessica Padley
Now, the current owners of Gipsy Moth IV Rob Thompson and Eileen Skinner announce the launch of their new charity The Gipsy Moth Trust.
Conscious of the fact that the boat is part of British maritime heritage, Rob and Eileen want to give the boat to charity as a gift to ensure it is safeguarded for the nation and can continue to provide opportunities for the public to learn about her historic significance.
Rob Thompson says 'We both remember Chichester coming home, the glory and the pride it made us feel. We want Gipsy Moth to have a higher profile again. The Gipsy Moth Trust will not only do that but also preserve the history and memories of her for future generations to enjoy.'
Since purchasing Gipsy Moth in October 2010, Rob and Eileen have worked in partnership with maritime charity United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA) to begin to ensure that the boat is both available to the public to view and is used as a tool to give disadvantaged or disabled young people the chance to broaden their horizons and change their lives through sailing.
The Trust aims to continue this work, with Gipsy Moth regularly attending events such as Panerai British Classic Week, Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and the ASTO Small Ships Race.
At each event there will be opportunities for schools, youth groups and members of the public to view Gipsy Moth, including getting onboard and below decks.
The Trust will also continue to work with UKSA to engage with young people through schools and youth groups to provide opportunities to learn to sail or to link a visit to Gipsy Moth IV to the schools' curriculum.
'The other important thing for us as we launch The Gipsy Moth Trust is the continuing relationship with UKSA. We want Gipsy Moth IV to be part of the inspiration and work they carry out to help change young people's lives.'
In order to contribute to the running costs of the boat for the future and its charitable work, Gipsy Moth is available for businesses, groups and individuals for charter during the events she attends, as well as throughout the year.
Whether the goal is team building, impressing clients or have something to celebrate with friends and family, sailing on Gipsy Moth offers a day to remember with this unique experience. And it's not only for British patrons - what a great insertion for a London based incentive trip.
To learn more about the project, about chartering Gipsy Moth IV or would like your school or youth group to spend time aboard or sailing the boat, please visit www.gipsymoth.org
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
. About UKSA:
UKSA is the UK's leading youth maritime charity, working to change lives through maritime education and personal development. 7,222 individuals benefited from UKSA's charitable activity in 2010, of which 17.6 per cent received assisted funding from UKSA.
As a globally recognised professional training provider in yachting and watersports, UKSA has a strong alumni network in the global maritime industry. Its graduates include the world-renowned sailor Dee Caffari.
UKSA was founded by the retail entrepreneur Noel Lister. The charity will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2012.
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9:26 PM Thu 21 Jul 2011 GMT
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