This time last year, GMIV was stuck on a coral reef. Now, she's on her way home.
A year ago on Saturday April 29 2006, Gipsy Moth IV struck a coral reef with a sickening crunch. Just hours earlier, she had been motoring through the cobalt-blue South Pacific waters, now she lay high and dry on a coral shelf, at the mercy of the elements surrounding her.
She lay there for six days and nights while an international rescue plan was formulated; ironically, it was during this time that Yachting Monthly won the PPA’s award for the best campaign of the year – for saving the vessel. Suddenly, her future looked uncertain.
Five days later, the rescue team were in the midst of a tricky and expensive salvage operation made with limited resources. Using a JCB to lift the yacht, a plywood patch was fixed to make the damage watertight; GMIV was then slowly pulled off the reef and back into deep water by a tug. A day later she was safely lifted out in Tahiti, and the £300,000 restoration project began in earnest.
One year on, and GMIV has almost completed her second successful circumnavigation. She is currently en route to Gibraltar, exactly one month away from a triumphant homecoming to Plymouth. If you want to be a part of history, make sure you’re down at Plymouth docks on Bank Holiday Monday 28 May to welcome Chichester’s hardy ketch back to the country. For the chance to win her original mizzen mast winch, don’t miss next month’s Yachting Monthly, on sale Thursday 10 May.