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Historic clipper ship finally arrives home in Adelaide

The world's oldest surviving clipper has completed its final voyage from Scotland to Australia almost 125 years after it last made the trip.

The City of Adelaide arrived Down Under yesterday after three months being carried across the ocean on a container ship.

The clipper, built in 1864 in Sunderland to carry passengers and cargo to Adelaide and formerly known as The Carrick, left the care of the Scottish Maritime Museum at Irvine, North Ayrshire, in September last year.

During the trip the venerable vessel endured rough seas and the occasional storm, but has arrived undamaged at her new home.

City of Adelaide Preservation Trust director Peter Christopher, who led the team of volunteers that worked tirelessly for 14 years to return the ship to South Australian waters, said: "You just hope like anything that nothing goes wrong in those final few weeks. Now she's finally arrived there's a real sense of achievement added in with a big dose of relief.

"It's absolutely terrific after a long campaign to see a successful conclusion and to finally see the City of Adelaide back in the city of Adelaide. We never gave up, we always believed it was going to happen.

Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia, was among a crowd of around 100 dockside to welcome the ship.

He said that the volunteers' work had been "nothing short of miraculous", adding: "They have delivered for Adelaide a showpiece, a museum piece even, that speaks so deeply to South Australia's history, indeed the nation's history."

City of Adelaide made 23 return voyages between London and Adelaide and 250,000 South Australians can link their roots to her.

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