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Sir Alec Rose

Sir Alec Rose (13 July 1908 – 11 January 1991) was an English fruit merchant who developed a passion for amateur single-handed sailing after serving in the Royal Navy during World War II. He went on to circle the globe with just two stops, was knighted by the Queen and his yacht Lively Lady is now used for sail training by a charity led by Alan Priddy.

When Rose heard that Francis Chichester intended to sail single-handedly around the world, he was keen to compete. He attempted to start at approximately the same time as Chichester sailing Gypsy Moth IV in 1966, but mechanical failures and a collision off Ushant meant he had to postpone the start until the following year.

The voyage began on 16 July 1967. and Rose arrived in Melbourne after 155 days at sea. Among the people who came to watch Rose’s arrival was Prime Minister Harold Holt, who disappeared later the same day after going for a swim. Rose stopped once more, an unplanned call into Bluff Harbour, New Zealand, to repair a damaged mast.

The voyage was closely followed by the British and international press and Rose’s landfall back in Portsmouth UK on 4 July 1968, 354 days after he set off, was met by huge crowds. Knighted on 10 July 1968, he was also made a Freeman of the City of Portsmouth the same year and Freedom of the City of London in 1969.

Rose’s voyage is detailed in his book My Lively Lady. He wrote a children’s version, Around the world with Lively Lady (1968) and another book My favourite tales of the sea (1969).

The yacht Lively Lady is now managed by the Around and Around charity founded by Alan Priddy and is currently undergoing a major refit to get her coded before circumnavigating Britain with a crew of youngsters. Another round the world voyage is planned.

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