Lively Lady set for triumphant return into Portsmouth
SHE is a slice of Portsmouth'sÂ illustrious maritime history. And now a small boat that once sailed round the globeÂ will be making her triumphant return home.
Lively Lady will be sailing back into Portsmouth on Saturday afternoon after a majorÂ renovation projectÂ to restore her to her former glory wasÂ completed.
The homecoming comes just weeks after 50thÂ anniversary of the historic end of her first world-the-world voyage in 1968.
Sailed by Southsea greengrocer Sir Alec Rose, Lively Lady was greeted by more than 250,000 who lined the walls of the harbour to welcome her back.
Now, those behind her restoration are hoping the city will once again turnout to support her latest arrival '“ even if the crowds don't quite hit the heady heights of 50 years ago.
Alistair Thompson, spokesman for Around and Around '“Â the sailing charity behind the overhaul andÂ led by ocean racing legend Alan Priddy '“Â said: '˜I would love to see lots of people coming to cheer her on, either from the sea front or from Port Solent, for what is a true icon of our city.'
The 36ft yachtÂ has spent months being refurbished, having her deck replaced, engine overhauled and a new paint job.
She is due to enter the water for the first time in months today toÂ see if she is watertight.
If all goes to plan, Lively Lady will make the short trip to Eastney Cruising Association's base on Friday before beginningÂ her sail into Portsmouth on Saturday.
A small flotilla is expected to accompany her when she leaves Eastney, at 11am.Â
Sailing into Portsmouth Harbour, Lively Lady is thenÂ expected to cruise into Port Solent atÂ 3pm, which will be her new home.
Between 2006 and 2008, Lively Lady sailed round the world, crewed by a team of children and volunteers.Â Organisers at Around andÂ Around have ambitions toÂ one day repeat this feat.Â