Wooden yacht partly made from Jimi Hendrix’s guitar to visit Hastings

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A UNIQUE yacht made out of 1,200 pieces of wood - including a piece of rock legend Jimi Hendrix’s guitar - is set to make a splash when it visits Hastings next year during the Olympic games.

The boat is being built as part of a region-wide Cultural Olympiad initiative led by artists Lone Twin and is the second Olympic celebration being held in the town in July.

Preparations are already under way to welcome the famous Olympic torch which will take centre stage during an evening of celebration in the Old Town on July 17.

Currently being assembled at Thornham Marina at Emsworth near Havant, the yacht is due to be launched on May 7.

The team building the vessel includes yacht designer Simon Rogers and British Olympic Silver medallist and America’s Cup sailor Mark Covell.

Michelle Die’tt, 25, from St Leonards, and 48-year-old Steve Ashmore, from Hastings, will be part of the crew sailing the vessel.

The yacht will sail along the coast to Brighton, then Portsmouth, before reaching Hastings where it will be moored from July 7 to the 10th.

It will then visit Margate before being taken by lorry to Milton Keynes.

Each town and city visited will create a festival of events celebrating the boat’s arrival and mooring. There will be newly commissioned artworks, music events, dance performances, artist talks and trips out on the boat.

The boat’s name will be decided by a public vote in January.

Accompanying the crew for the maiden voyage will be a composer/musician who will produce a piece of work in five parts, one written for each leg of the journey, and which will form the ship’s log. The composition will reflect the artist’s experience of the voyage.

It is hoped that each new part of the composition will be performed by local musicians at each stop off point as part of a live performance.

Brighton-based Lone Twin won the Arts Council England’s Artist award to take the lead commission for the South East region. As part of the the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, 12 public art commissions were awarded.

Lone Twin artists visited 20 locations across the South East and invited the public to come to the boatshed on the Hampshire/West Sussex border to gift the pieces of wood that will make up the body of the boat.

More than 5,000 people visited the site and 1,200 donations of wood were made including a piece of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, relics of the Second World War and even a piece of Brighton’s West Pier.

Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan, Artistic Directors of Lone Twin said: “Joining us for the Launch and maiden voyage will truly be a moment to remember this historic year by.

“We look forward to introducing the finished boat back to the community who built her in a glorious celebration of our lives.” To follow progress on the yacht visit www.lonetwin.com