Jimi Hendrix’s Guitar Sets Sail

This is one of the cooler boat building projects we’ve seen. We’d love to see it in person.

More than 1,000 people saw the launch of an Olympic boat built from 1,200 pieces of wood, including bits from the Mary Rose and Jimi Hendrix’s guitar.

The 30-foot yacht, named Collective Spirit, will sail along the south coast of England from July in the run-up to the Olympics.

The boat will arrive at the sailing venue in Weymouth and Portland, Dorset, in time for the Games in August.

It took to the water in Emsworth, Hampshire.

The artists who came up with the idea, Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan, visited 20 locations across the region seeking wooden donations to be used in the building of the craft.

The pair, known as Lone Twin, also invited members of the public to bring wooden pieces to their boatyard at Thornham Marina, Emsworth, from where it was launched.

The only criteria were that the items were made from wood and had a story behind them.

Donations included a section of Brighton’s West Pier; a plank from the London 2012 velodrome; several hockey sticks; a Victorian police truncheon; large crates used to transport gold as British securities to Canada during World War II and a hairbrush used by a make-up artist at Pinewood Studios in the 1960s.

Tracy Jones, project spokeswoman, said, “We have had an absolutely superb day and, despite the weather, it’s gone brilliantly. More than 1,000 people have come to see the boat with many of them trying to spot the pieces they have donated. People have also been desperate to have a go on the tiller because that’s where the Jimi Hendrix bit is.”

She said of the building process, “People from all walks of life responded by giving treasured items from all parts of the world and, more humbly, their garages. Each and every fascinating back-story was digitally recorded and photographed with its donor.”

Jones explained that the name was chosen by public vote and the honor of naming the vessel was given to Emily Covell, the 13-year-old daughter of boatbuilder and Olympic silver medallist sailor Mark Covell.

For the complete story, go to www.bbc.co.uk.

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