Lively Lady sets sail to recreate Portsmouth homecoming of 50 years ago

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A YACHT famed for circumnavigating the globe has recreated its famous Southsea homecoming of 1968. 

Sir Alec Rose's iconic boat Lively Lady left Eastney Cruising Association (ECA) this morning and made the four-hour journey along the entire length of the city seafront.

Lively Lady sailing as she recreates her homecoming of 1968. Picture: Byron Melton

Lively Lady sailing as she recreates her homecoming of 1968. Picture: Byron Melton

After entering Portsmouth Harbour, her final destination was Port Solent, where she will take up residence – 30 years after she became the first boat in the destination’s lock when the it opened.

The nostalgic journey follows a major programme of refurbishment of the Lively Lady, undertaken by volunteers at the Hayling Yacht Company.

Currently being sailed to Port Solent by Around and Around charity chairman Mark Smith and founder Alan Priddy, the 36ft yacht was made famous after Southsea greengrocer Sir Alec completed his single-handed trip around the world on her 50 years ago.

Years later between 2006 and 2008, the boat was crewed in stages by a group of 38 disadvantaged youngsters when ocean racer Alan Priddy took it around the globe.

Lively Lady sailing near Spinnaker Tower as she recreates her homecoming of 1968. Picture: Byron Melton

Lively Lady sailing near Spinnaker Tower as she recreates her homecoming of 1968. Picture: Byron Melton

And having it return to ECA today was a no-brainer, the association’s commodore Barry Pragnell said.

‘This is wonderful. I wasn’t here when she did it the first time, but when Alan called to say he wanted to bring her back so she was ready to go back to Port Solent, we were only too pleased to have her on our moorings again – after all these years,’ he said.

‘It’s amazing that a bloke on his own [Sir Alec Rose] had the foresight to go out and do the job he did and get it done.’

Alan Priddy said: ‘There’s more people here (at Port Solent) than there were 30 years ago.

Lively Lady sailing as she recreates her homecoming of 1968. Picture: Byron Melton

Lively Lady sailing as she recreates her homecoming of 1968. Picture: Byron Melton

‘People just believe in Lively Lady and Sir Alec Rose.

‘The guys and the girls who’ve fixed her up and brought her here deserve their moment now. 

‘It’s heartwarming to be part of and it makes all the aggro worthwhile.’

Following an Around and Around announcement in 2011, more than 450 days have been spent refurbishing the Lively Lady to mark the 50th anniversary of her historic voyage. 

Lively Lady returns to Port Solent

Lively Lady returns to Port Solent

The charity also announced the yacht would one day retrace Sir Alec's footsteps and sail around the world.

On the windy conditions she will face today, Mr Pragnell added: ‘That’s sailing. She’ll have no problem getting round.

‘She’s been round the world, so going up the Solent with a bit of a chop is neither here nor there.’

She is expected to arrive at Port Solent Lock at about 3pm.