YM readers buy Chichester's yacht 'to preserve her for the future'

The new owners of Gipsy Moth IV, who bought her from the UKSA to save her for the nation, are Yachting Monthly readers Rob Thompson and Eileen Skinner, who own and manage the company that manufactures and markets Cambridge weight management programmes.

The business partners, from East Anglia, stepped in to buy Sir Francis Chichester‘s 53ft ketch after fears that she might be sold abroad. They are both keen sailors.

Gipsy Moth will continue to be managed by UKSA, the Cowes-based sailing academy which, with YM and others, saved the yacht from rotting away in Greenwich dry dock in 2004.

She sailed around the world in 2005-2007 on the 40th anniversary of Chichester’s famous solo circumnavigation.

Mr Thompson, 61, told YM: ‘We want to keep Gipsy Moth IV sailing in the UK and to preserve her for the future.

‘She will be based in Cowes and we want the public to have maximum access.

‘We plan to raise the profile of the yacht and continue work with UKSA involving disadvantaged youth.’

Mrs Skinner, 62, has owned a 27ft Sabre and a Hunter Horizon and in 1997 won the ladies’ British Moth championship.

She said: ‘We are looking to sustain Gipsy Moth for the rest of our lives and beyond.’

A steering committee will meet in January to plan Gipsy Moth’s programme for 2011, which is likely to include high-profile events, such as the Round the Island Race, Cowes Week and regattas in the West Country and East Anglia.

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