Olympic boat arrives in Weymouth for sailing events

Collective Spirit - the Olympic boat Collective Spirit took a year to build and is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 20 knots

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A boat made from donated timber to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad has arrived in Weymouth, Dorset, after its maiden voyage.

The 9m (30ft) vessel, built at Thornham Marina in Emsworth, Hampshire, is made from about 1,200 pieces of wood.

One of Jimi Hendrix's guitars makes up the tiller while a leftover plank from the London 2012 velodrome was also utilised.

Collective Spirit is on display at the Sand Jetty until 11 August.

The craft was built by Mark Covell, a Portsmouth boat builder and Sydney 2000 silver medallist, and Lymington yacht designer Simon Rogers.

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Professional skipper, Captain Mike Barham has lead the maiden voyage along with a crew picked from people nominated by the public.

The craft includes wood from the Mary Rose and the Ark Royal along with everyday items including paddles, spoons, and drum sticks.

Members of the public were also invited to bring wooden pieces to their boatyard at Thornham Marina, Emsworth, from where 1,000 people saw it launched on its two-month journey.

The project was run by performance artists Gregg Whelan and Gary Winters, who work under the name Lone Twin.

The artists visited 20 locations across southern England seeking wooden donations to be used in the building of the craft.

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

They plan to gift the boat back to the region as a permanent resource for the public.

Described as a "floating collage of memories", Boat Project was funded by the Arts Council England's Artists' Taking the Lead project as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

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