Francis Chichester and ‘Gypsy Moth’, 1967

On 29 May, 1967, Francis Chichester sailed into the record books as he completed his solo circumnavigation of the globe on ‘Gypsy Moth IV’. This is how the Guardian reported his homecoming:

Sir Francis Chichester sailed home tonight with a good West wind behind him and a hullabaloo all around. Gipsy Moth IV crossed her finishing line by the breakwater at 8.55 precisely, 119 days out of Sydney. She came, not lonely any more but, with an armada of boats and aircraft to chivvy her along and with a huge crowd – not half a million, but plenty – on the Hoe to cheer her in. It was almost dark and these people had waited all day, and no man could have had a warmer welcome than that.

The ketch came in bravely, with 14,750 miles on her log, four large patches on her staysail, and many long rust stains down her sides. She came in amid a firefly glow of navigation lights and in a stench of paraffin from the gas turbines of Naval patrol boats to hurry her along. For nine months and a day Chichester has been away from Plymouth and for almost all of that time, for all of 28,500 miles, he has been alone with his boat.

Watch ‘Gypsy Moth’ arrive in Plymouth on Pathé News.

Created at the beginning of the 20th Century by the Pathé brothers, the newsreel was the world’s first televised news platform. Pioneering the technology and methods of cinema, British Pathé stayed at the forefront of filmed news for decades. Releasing three newsreels a week during that period, British Pathé was the way the people of Britain experienced world events until the advent of television.