Her second circumnavigation is complete

More than 200 boats sailed alongside Gipsy Moth IV as she entered Plymouth Harbour on Bank Holiday Monday and over five thousand people watched her homecoming up on the Hoe via huge video screens.

Lifeboats, harbour launches, tugs, RIBs, yachts, power boats, rowing gigs and classic gaffers all joined the 53ft ketch as she tacked into the harbour deeply reefed against a north-westerly 5 gusting 7.

Most poignant spectator was Giles Chichester, son of the legendary Sir Francis Chichester, who wiped a tear from his eye, as the yacht which carried his father solo around the world in 1966-67, sailed back in to Plymouth exactly 40 years to the day of her first circumnavigation.

Hooters went off, fire tugs sprayed an arc of hose water, and spontaneous applause broke out among the thousands watching as GMIV moored up to a buoy beneath the Hoe. On board for her final leg was YM’s Dick Durham while editor Paul Gelder joined the masses ashore. Yachting Monthly’s campaign to save the yacht from rotting away any further in her Greenwich tomb was praised by VIPs at a reception in the Royal Western Yacht Club. The YM plan had succeeded in both saving the yacht, and celebrating the magazine’s centenary which ended in May this year.