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Record-setting yacht runs aground

MAY 3 -- A historic yacht once sailed around the world by Sir Francis Chichester ran aground in the Pacific on Saturday.

Gipsy Moth IV, a 53-foot ketch, was on a passage from the Marquesas when she grounded on a reef off a tiny island about 150 miles from Tahiti, news reports say. The boat is said to have sustained damage to the starboard side above the galley.

Three teenagers aboard Gipsy Moth IV as part of Blue Water Rally — a two-year charity project to sail around the world — were removed from the boat and flown to Tahiti, according to reports. The skipper, first mate and another crewman remained with the boat and were awaiting the arrival of a salvage company. It was not immediately known why the yacht ran aground.

Chichester, at the age of 65, sailed Gipsy Moth IV on a 274-day solo circumnavigation in 1966-’67. He is recognized as the first person to sail alone around the world with just one port of call (Sydney, Australia). He was knighted for the accomplishment.

— Jason Fell