Prince Philip and Cowes vicar attend Gipsy Moth ceremony

Gipsy Moth IV was in the limelight again on Sunday when Prince Philip came to look over the boat.

The Prince, along with Yachting Monthly editor Paul Gelder and UKSA chief executive David Green, looked on as local vicar Richard Emblin blessed the yacht prior to her round the world voyage.

The ceremony took place at the UKSA’s Cowes headquarters and after the blessing His Royal Highness was introduced to the young crew members chosen to take part in various legs of Gipsy Moth IV’s global voyage, which will start on 25 September 2005. More than 20 shipwrights and workers from Camper & Nicholsons also attended the event, arriving on a specially chartered ferry from Gosport.

Prince Philip toured the yacht and the UKSA boatyard. The Duke was “surprised and delighted” with the restoration of the Gipsy Moth.

As Founder of the Maritime Trust the Duke was interested to hear that 80% of the yacht is original after her extensive £300,000 restoration.

He toured the yacht below, signed the visitors’ book and unveiled a plaque to commemorate his visit.

The last time the Duke was on the yacht was when he and the Queen were invited onboard for champagne after knighting Sir Francis at Greenwich.

Following the blessing, David Green and Paul Gelder sprayed the bow with champagne.

Gipsy Moth IV was saved from rotting in her Greenwich dry dock following a campaign by Yachting Monthly magazine. Her restoration was possible due to the help and organisation of the UKSA.