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Gypsy Moth

This picture resulted as a consequence of a casual conversation I had with a UKSA (United Kingdom Sailing Academy) representative whilst attending the Southampton Boat Show in September. Whilst I was looking at a picture of Gypsy Moth IV, I was approached by one of their representatives who asked me about my interest in this boat. In reply I told her: I was just seventeen and had recently joined a company located in Clerkenwell, London, they were stockholders and distributors of non-ferrous metals, a very old company, first established in 1780 that's the year Horatio Nelson was first made up to the rank of captain. One of my first memories was taking an order from Camper & Nicholson (Boat Builders) located in Portsmouth, more importantly, C & N were the builders of Gypsy Moth IV which had recently set off to sail around the world.

Having listened to my story, I was asked if I would like to travel to Cowes on the Isle of Wight and board this historic boat, something I was more than ready to do. Upon my arrival at UKSA centre, I was told that a total of five plus two qualified officers from the UKSA would be boarding her. After an hour, it became clear that just two delegates had turned up, myself and a chap from Yorkshire. The two UKSA guys suggested that since we were just a small party, it would be possible to take Gypsy Moth IV out into the Solent where we could take the helm. We crossed from Cowes over to Portsmouth harbour, spinning her around outside the boatyard where she was built. The featured photo was taken at dusk as we pointed her back towards Cowes.

Before I left to make my return journey back to Crawley, West Sussex, I discovered they were looking for a small piece of aluminium sheet for use in the galley, pleased to say that I arranged for a small piece of aluminium to be sent to UKSA for Gypsy Moth IV.

Ken Burgess

Date Published 26th Mar 2011