World’s Oldest Clipper to Set Sail for Australia

The world’s oldest surviving clipper ship will take to the seas for the final time on Friday, making the long journey from Scotland to Australia.

The City of Adelaide, which is five years older than London’s Cutty Sark, is set to head Down Under 149 years after she first transported European settlers to Australia and is set to open as a tourist attraction.

The battle for the historic clipper has gone on for 14 years as both Sunderland, where the ship was built and Adelaide in Australia appealed to the Scottish government to be given ownership.

She was built in 1864 on the River Wear and plied the waters between Australia and Europe, transporting settlers and aiding Australia’s wool and copper exports.

Her sailing days ended in 1893 but she was later used as a floating hospital and a training ship named HMS Carrick.

The historic clipper sank in a Glasgow dock in 1991 and despite being raised a year later and moved to the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, North Ayrshire, she languished on a slipway as the cost of repairs was put at £10million. Experts said the cost would be the same as building a new ship and recommended she was scrapped – but two rival campaigns were started to save her.

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