The Boat Project visits Margate
The Boat Project vessel, Collective Spirit, has its final waterside stopover on her maiden voyage in Margate this weekend with boat side gatherings, stories, singing and performances before a blessing and departure on Monday 16 July at 12 noon. The weather has played havoc with the sailing schedule for the project, but despite high winds and rain this summer, there has been an enthusiastic welcome at the ports and harbours along the South Coast where the boat has stopped.
Margate on the eastern tip of the South East Arts Council region is the final waterside stop before Collective Spirit makes her way by road to Weymouth via Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire. The boat, made up of 1,221 items donated by people in the region, is a fabrication of stories. Designed by Simon Rogers, who is more used to designing Open 60s for round the world racing, Collective Spirit is described by boat captain Mike Barham as, "a Ferrari of the sea." With a novice crew, and a boat capable of averaging 15 knots, Mike says one of the challenges of skippering the boat is to keep everyone safe and happy.
Lone Twin, the artists behind this combination of sailing and performance art, wanted to build a boat out of donated wood but it wasn't until they were introduced to Mike Covell, former Olympic silver medallist in the Star class, who teamed up with Simon Rogers, that the dream started to take shape as a thoroughly modern, high performance vessel fit for the 21st century.
If you're in Margate this weekend visit the boat on the Harbour Arm, by the Turner Contemporary gallery. Full details and timetable are at: www.margatehoststheboat.org