Olympic medallist teams up with artists

Olympic medallist Mark Covell has unveiled the design for his latest sailing venture – The Boat Project – at the London Boat Show.

Covell has teamed up with performance artists, Lone Twin, to build a 30ft boat that is made from wood donated by the public in time for 2012’s Cultural Olympiad.

Lone Town, who are duo Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan, and Covell are not just looking for people’s wooden junk, they want items with a story behind them.

So far donors include Lady Pippa Blake, who gave a wooden figurine from the Easter Islands (similar to the one above) that she acquired when crusing there with her husband Sir Peter.

Simon Rogers has been enlisted by Covell, a former boatbuilder himself, to design the vessel.

Covell said: ‘It really won’t look like lots of bits of junk glued together.

‘We’re not trying to build a classic boat. It will be a very, very sexy displacement boat.’

The plan is to moor the boat in the heart of London, during the 2012 Olympics, although Covell said he would also like to take it to Weymouth, venue for the sailing events.

A crew of young people will be funded through the RYA syllabus so that they can sail the boat from its base at Thornham Marina, West Sussex to London via three arts festivals in the south-east.

Covell added: ‘After the Olympics the boat will be given to a trust to be sailed for as long as it has a life.’

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