Ahhh! Just had a totally unexpected second or two of fame having been mistaken for part of the Olympic Torch cavalcade! After cycling to see the torch passing through Chichester, my husband and I (wearing full-on fluorescent jackets) started pedalling behind the procession heading towards nearby Oaklands Park, only to find the crowd starting to cheer and wave – at us!
Twigging what was happening, I swiftly leapt off my bike and, having had my slightly awkward moment to shine, quickly mingled into the melee of equally soaked but happy onlookers.
The incident reminded me of Jesse Loynes – an inspirational boat-builder – who is experiencing not just a moment to shine but a whole year!
I met Jesse last week during an interview for the forthcoming Chichester Harbour News & Guide – a publication that I thoroughly enjoy writing for.
Jesse, who runs Arbor Yachts Ltd, at Thornham Marina, has been deeply involved with the fascinating Boat Project in conjunction with the Cultural Olympiad. Billed as ‘a living archive of people’s stories and lives’, this 30ft vessel, named Collective Spirit has been lovingly constructed from donated wooden items – each with its own very special story.
Collective Spirit has been built by Jesse, and his dedicated colleagues plus dozens of enthusiastic volunteers, all led by Olympic sailor Mark Covell.
Collective Spirit is currently sailing along the south coast of England in the run-up to the Olympics. It will arrive at the sailing venue in Weymouth and Portland, Dorset, in time for the Games.
Meanwhile, Jesse and his team are working flat out to build the first Arbor 26 – a four-berth high-performance cruising yacht designed by internationally-renowned Rogers Yacht Design and inspired by Collective Spirit.
You’ll be able to see both this sleek new yacht and Collective Spirit at this year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show which runs from September 14-23.