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Historic ketch runs aground

MAY 18 — Gipsy Moth IV, the yacht once sailed solo around the world by Sir Francis Chichester, is now being transported from Tahiti to New Zealand for repairs after it struck a reef in the Pacific earlier this month.

The 53-foot ketch was amid another circumnavigation, being sailed by a small crew from the UK Sailing Academy and a group of volunteers with Blue Water Rally — a two-year charity project — when it ran aground off a tiny island about 150 miles from Tahiti, news reports say. Sailing Academy skipper Richard Baggett will manage the repairs in New Zealand.

“She has a reasonably large hole in the side of her and various other damage to other parts, so we’ve put her on a ship and she’s winging her way down there,” Baggett says in a news report.

Round-the-clock repair work on Gipsy Moth IV is scheduled to take place on the Team New Zealand (America’s Cup) property, according to reports. “New Zealand was our first choice to come to because of the quality of workmanship here and the can-do attitude, and I’ve been amazed by the response,” says Baggett.

Gipsy Moth IV caretakers are hoping to fix the boat and get her back on the water for a June 23 departure to Sydney, Australia, a report says. The cause of the grounding was not immediately released.

— Jason Fell