A WEIRD and wonderful wooden boat setting sail along the south coast next year is looking for crew members to help man its maiden voyage.
Artists Lone Twin are building the unusual vessel from pieces of wood donated by members of the public, each of which has a story attached to it. The 30-foot boat will be taken along the coast and up the River Thames to arrive at the Olympic site in east London in time for the 2012 games.
The boat will be stopping in 1066 Country en route after the people of Hastings and St Leonards donated the most pieces of wood of any town or city in which Lone Twin held open days, and so it would be fitting if a local person joined the crew.
The artists are currently accepting nominations for crew members and are sending Olympic silver medallist Mark Covell, one of their team, to town later this month to search for suitable seamen (or women).
The artists said: “This project is literally changing lives as our brilliant volunteers roll up their sleeves and learn a whole host of new skills - everyday is a school day in the boat shed. The big story at the moment is that we’re looking for the boat’s crew - nominate someone, we’ll train them if they don’t already have their sea legs and then off they go on the voyage of lifetime, sailing under some very special, and very well known, skippers. It’s an amazing opportunity.”
Nominees must be over 16 and available for training and the month-long journey itself in the spring and summer next year. Other than that though anyone can be nominated, whether it be a charity champion, a sporting or cultural star or an unsung hero.
Mr Covell will be at the new Stade Hall on Tuesday, July 12 between 3.30pm and 7pm to receive nominations and will be giving a talk about the project at 6pm. Nominators will be asked why their chosen perosn should get a place on the crew and what they would get out of this adventure.
More than 3,000 pieces of wood have been donated including bits of Hastings Pier and family heirlooms and Sally Abbott, regional director for the Arts Council, said: “There is definitely a sense of pride and ownership from local communities emerging as the boat takes shape and the donations days that have already taken place have been very popular.
“I am sure the enthusiasm for the nominations process will be just as great.”
Anyone unable to make it on the day can nominate by visiting www.theboatproject.com before July 30.