Sir Alec was the Southsea Green Grocer who with a tight budget but pure grit and determination sailed the 36ft yacht with one stop in Melbourne Australia around the world single handed and returned back to Portsmouth to a Hero’s Welcome with 250,000 people standing along the beach front cheering him back. He was knighted by the Queen the following day but still remained Alec from Portsmouth.
More recently between 2004 and 2008 Alan Priddy and a team of supporters of Lively Lady carried out an extensive refit so she could sail around the world again but this time with an ever changing crew of disadvantaged youngsters from the Portsmouth area. Setting sail from Portsmouth on July 28th 2006 with a crew of two adults and two youngsters Lively Lady made her way across the Atlantic for her first stop in St Johns Newfoundland. At each stop the youngster would change and Lively Lady would set off towards her net destination. Over the two year voyage Lively Lady followed a course between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator and went the “Fat Way” Around the World with very little repairs except the mast track needing repairing in Jamaica after a particularly tough passage from Wilmington.
Unfortunately a long and drawn out legal case followed over the previous Charity that looked after her for Portsmouth City Council which eventually was sorted and Lively Lady was awarded to Around and Around the Sailing Charity set up by Alan Priddy and a group of Portsmouth Based Businessmen to ensure she is looked after for many years to come.
This inspired the team to move onwards in their sailing challenges and during July and August of 2010, the Around and Around charity undertook their first circumnavigation of Britain, this time in another historic yacht Robertson’s G. Leading the team of young people were two young adult co-skippers, themselves graduates of the 2008, Raymarine Lively Lady Project.
The sailing trips may be the highlight for the young people but the real focus of the project is the life-skills they must acquire to get to that point. It is these life-skills that are so important in broadening the opportunities of these young people as they move forward in life.
Since then, the project has gone from strength to strength. The charity’s has custody of both Robertson’s G and Lively Lady and the team are eager to get going on a new project to sail Lively Lady around the world again.
Lively Lady is now one of the centre features in the newly opened Boathouse No 4 situated in Historic Portsmouth Dockyard where she is being completely rebuilt by the apprentices who are learning the old skills of boat building. The Rebuild is being run by the International Boatbuilding Training College and supervised by skilled Boat Builders. The facilities are free to visit with an excellent viewing platform, cafeteria and plenty to do for the kids.
All things being well she will set sail in late 2016 and return back to Portsmouth on July 2018 to celebrate Sir Alecs 50th Anniversary of his epic circumnavigation and Around and Arounds 10th.
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