Bad weather delays sailing of Australia-bound historic Sunderland ship

City of Adelaide
City of Adelaide
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BAD weather has further delayed the final journey of Sunderland’s historic clipper ship.

The City of Adelaide was due to set sail yesterday on the first leg of its trip to Australia.

The world’s oldest surviving clipper has spent the past 20 years on a slipway at Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, North Ayrshire, waiting to make the trip.

Struggling to meet renovation costs, the museum agreed to hand it over to charitable organisation Clipper Ship City of Adelaide, who want to make it part of a new maritime heritage park in South Australia.

The Adelaide was transferred to a specially-built barge and was due to begin the first leg of her 13,670-mile journey earlier this week, but bad weather continues to cause problems.

Peter Maddison is chairman of the Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Fund (Scarf), which is campaigning to prevent the ship being exported to Australia.

Mr Maddison says no attempt will be made to move the ship if there is a risk to the vessel and it could remain in Scotland for some time.

He added: “I believe they will try again tomorrow.

“These delays must be costing the Australians a fortune.

“A Dutch engineering firm are involved in the transportation and they aren’t going to risk lives just for the sake of finally getting this journey under way.”

The Adelaide is due to be taken to Greenwich, where she will be transferred to the cargo ship that will carry her to Australia.

Scarf is determined to keep the Adelaide in the UK.

They believe the ship should be returned to Sunderland, even building their own replacement rudder for the ship, replacing the one already exported.