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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy Australian National Maritime Museum

Souvenir poster 'The Incredible Voyage of Sir Francis Chichester'

Date: 1967
Dimensions:
Overall: 385 x 570 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Lola Hickey
Object Copyright: In copyright. Permission required.
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Poster
Object No: 00050211

User Terms

    Description
    This poster was produced as a commemorative souvenir of Sir Francis Chichester's historic circumnavigation in GYPSY MOTH IV and his visit to Sydney to undertake repairs to his yacht.

    Naval architects Warwick Hood and Alan Payne worked with shipwrights at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron to modify the keel for the treacherous leg home via Cape Horn. Chichester left Sydney with a present of miniature bales of wool on board.

    In August 1966, 64 year old aviation pioneer and sailor Francis Chichester set off in his yacht GYPSY MOTH IV from Plymouth, England to make the fastest passage alone around the world by the clipper route. His one stopover was Sydney, where he spent seven weeks repairing his ketch.

    Chichester returned to Plymouth after a nine month voyage. He was knighted by HRH Queen Elizabeth and died in 1972. For 40 years the yacht stood in dock at Greenwich near the CUTTY SARK. With a massive fundraising effort by the United Kingdom Sailing Academy, a charitable trust which takes deserving young people to sea, the yacht was restored.

    In 2006 GYPSY MOTH IV sailed around the world to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Sir Francis Chichester's voyage - no longer geared for solo sailing but crewed by six sailors and trainees.
    SignificanceThis poster is a contemporary souvenir of Chichester's voyage in GYPSY MOTH IV.
    HistoryFrancis Chichester (1901-1972) a pioneering aviator made his first solo flight in 1929 to Australia. In 1931 he became the first to fly solo across the Tasman Sea from East to West in a de Havilland Gypsy Moth plane fitted with floats and was the first to land a plane at Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island. Chichester attempted to circumnavigate the world in his Gypsy Moth plane ended in disaster when he collided with overhead cable when taking off from Katsuura Harbour Wakayama in Japan. During World War II he pioneered fighter pilot navigation techniques that did not require the use of maps. He later adapted these methods to sailing. He took part in and won the first Solo Transatlantic Sailing race in GYPSY MOTH III after being diagnosed with cancer. In 1962 he again won the Solo Transatlantic Sailing race with a time of 33 days beating his previous record.

    Chichester planned his race against the record voyages of great wool clippers like CUTTY SARK. He arrived in Sydney after 14,100 miles (22,691 kms) via the Cape of Good Hope with his yacht in need of repair. Naval architects Warwick Hood and Alan Payne worked with shipwrights at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron to modify the keel for the treacherous leg home via Cape Horn.
    Chichester left Sydney with a present of miniature bales of wool on board. Against 100 day passages for the fastest clippers, he averaged 131 3/4 miles (218.5) km a day over 107 days out and 130 1/4 miles (209.6 km) over 119 days back.

    GYPSY MOTH IV was 54 ft (16.4 m) long and built of six skins of mahogany plywood. designed by Illingworth and Primrose it has a light hull for speed with strength to withstand knock-downs at sea. The boat and the self-steering gear were damaged in heavy seas on the way to Australia. With constant sail changes it was a wet and tiring voyage. Chichester sailed in the era before satellite navigation using sextant, chronometer, charts and tables.




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