Weather delays City of Adelaide journey to Australia

City of Adelaide The City of Adelaide is on a pontoon barge at Irvine ahead of its final journey to Australia

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High winds off the Ayrshire coast have delayed an operation to transfer the oldest surviving clipper ship in the world from Scotland to Australia.

The City of Adelaide has been at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine since it was salvaged in 1992.

An Australian group saw off competition from Sunderland, where the ship was built in 1864, to secure ownership.

It plans to start the ship's final journey to Adelaide, via London, on Thursday if weather conditions improve.

The City of Adelaide was built on the River Wear to carry people emigrating to southern Australia.

Rival bids

In 1893 it became a hospital ship, but in 1924 was converted into a training ship at Irvine, and renamed HMS Carrick.

In 1991 the ship sank at the Princes Dock, Glasgow, and lay on the bottom of the River Clyde for a year before being raised and taken to Irvine.

For years it lay rotting on a slipway at the Scottish Maritime Museum, with the cost of repairs put in excess of £10m.

A rescue campaign mounted by rival consortiums from Adelaide and Sunderland saw the Australian group win the bid for ownership.

It formally took control of the Adelaide two weeks ago.

Since then the ship has been loaded on to a pontoon barge for an initial journey to London.

High winds off the Ayrshire coast on Wednesday have delayed this until Thursday.

Once the Adelaide gets to London it will be loaded into the hold of a giant cargo ship to be transported to Australia.

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