Pair join crew to sail yacht across coast for Olympics

Pile of wood used for Lone Twin boat project
Pile of wood used for Lone Twin boat project

TWO lucky crew members have been chosen from hundreds of people to sail a yacht across the south coast during next year’s Olympic games.

Michelle Die’tt, 25, of Copse Close, St Leonards, and 48-year-old Steve Ashmore, of High Street, are part of a six-man team who will be in the 30-foot seafaring vessel made from pieces of discarded wood.

The yacht is the main focus of The Boat Project, a region-wide Cultural Olympiad initiative led by artists Lone Twin.

Mr Ashmore said: “When I heard about The Boat Project it immediately captured my imagination. To build a boat from people’s stories is a wonderful idea illustrating a fascinating aspect of our relationship with the sea. To have been chosen to be part of the crew is a unique gift, a great opportunity and a real privilege.”

Ms Die’tt, who has been a Sea Cadet since she was 13, and is a qualified sailing instructor, said: “I feel very privileged and honoured to have been chosen to sail on this truly amazing vessel.”

Lone Twin and the build team, who include the yacht designer Simon Rogers and boat builder, British Olympic Silver medallist and America’s Cup sailor Mark Covell, are currently building the yacht in Thornham Marina, Emsworth, Hampshire.

It is fashioned from more than 1,200 wooden objects, which have been donated by people from communities in the south east and further afield.

Lone Twin asked the public to nominate people they thought deserved the opportunity to be a crew member for the boat’s maiden voyage next summer. Hundreds of nominations were received with just six places to be filled

The crew will work under various experienced skippers as the boat embarks on its maiden voyage, stopping at locations across the south coast where a festival of events will mark its arrival. The six successful seafaring cadets will be fully trained and equipped for the journey which will begin after the launch in Emsworth and the route of which will be officially announced next month.

Gregg Whelan and Gary Winters, of Lone Twin, said: “We were bowled over by all the nominations and pairing down to six was incredibly difficult but the chosen crew stuck out as making a great team.”