Gipsy Moth IV under way (Photo Mike Golding)

A father and son who both belong to Penarth Yacht Club have had the honour of crewing “Gipsy Moth IV” – the famous 54 foot yacht  which was sailed singled-handed around the world by Sir Francis Chichester.

Mike Tarver and his son Sean crewed “Gipsy Moth” on the final leg – from Dartmouth to Plymouth – of the historic yacht’s 50th Anniversary Round-Britain voyage.

Sean Tarver of Penarth Yacht Club on board Gipsy Mopth IV

Gipsy Moth (named after the late Sir Francis Chichester’s early bi-plane)  bore the famous solo sailor around the world starting out from Plymouth in 1966 and returning to  Plymouth 226 days later . Fifty years ago he received a huge welcome with live tv coverage on his arrival – becoming the first solo sailor to circumnavigate the world on the old sailing clipper routes.

The late Sir Francis Chichester (Photo Chichester Archive)

Afterwards Sir Francis said of Gipsy Moth the boat held no sentimental value for him:  “I only own the stern while my cousin owns two-thirds. My part, I would sell any day. It would be better if about a third were sawn off. The boat was too big for me. She is cantankerous and difficult and needs a crew of three – a man to navigate, an elephant to move the tiller and a chimpanzee  to get about below and work some of the gear.”

However after Sir Francis’s death at the age of 71 in 1972 – Gipsy Moth IV was put on public display but later acquired and saved for posterity by the Gipsy Moth Trust Ltd of which Mr Michael Tarver is a member.

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  1. cogan nomen says:

    You lucky devils ! How I regret not being with you .

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