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Olympic 'boat of memories' sets sail

Artist Gary Winters with wooden items donated to the Olympic Boat Project at Thornham Marina Photo: Chris Ison/PA Wire

More than 1,000 people turned out to see the launch of a boat crafted from 1,200 pieces of wood, including fragments from the Mary Rose and Jimi Hendrix's guitar.

The boat, named Collective Spirit, was built to mark the Olympics as part of a national art project.

We have had an absolutely superb day and, despite the weather, it's gone brilliantly. More than 1,000 people have come to see the boat with many of them trying to spot the pieces they have donated. People have also been desperate to have a go on the tiller because that's where the Jimi Hendrix bit is.

– Project spokeswoman Tracy Jones
Olympic boat crafted from 1,200 pieces of wood, including fragments from the Mary Rose and Jimi Hendrix's guitar Credit: Ben Mitchell/PA Wire

Described as a "floating collage of memories", The Boat Project has been funded by the Arts Council England's Artists' Taking the Lead project as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

The artists who came up with the idea, Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan, visited 20 locations across the region seeking contributions to be used in the building of the craft, which was constructed at Thornham Marina, near Emsworth.

Visit ITV Meridian for more on the boat's maiden voyage.