Reshuffle brings Hat Trick of Gold winners together for the first time

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9 January — 5 February 2009

The major changes for 2009 are well under way at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.

Reshuffle brings Hat trick of Gold winners together for the first time

The major changes for 2009 are well under way at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.

This week has seen the Museum's Set Sail gallery emptied of its precious cargo as it is transformed into a new temporary exhibition space called The Hold. This new gallery will become the home to the Museum's hugely popular Under the Sea exhibition, where it will be enhanced by a custom built lighting rig.

And the reshuffle has given the Museum the opportunity to display a hat trick of Olympic gold winning boats together for the first time, as part of the iconic flotilla of "flying boats". The Finn that Ben Ainslie sailed to victory in Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004 and his Laser from the Sydney 2000 games are now sailing alongside Rodney Pattisson's Superdocious, which took gold in Mexico City in 1968.

As well as this, many of the Museum's most popular boats have seen the light of day for the first time in five years, including the beautiful steam launch Waterlily. Built in 1866, Waterlily is one of the earliest steam launches in existence. Designed and built by John Thornycroft for his father, the famous sculptor Thomas Thornycroft. Waterlily helped set the fashion for wealthy people to be seen boating and holding river parties on the Thames in the late-Victorian period.

Museum Director Jonathan Griffin says: "The reorganisation at the Museum has given the team here a fantastic opportunity to vary our displays, bringing together boats which have not been displayed together before, such as our wonderful Olympic winners."

"We're also taking some of our most special boats that have been somewhat hidden away and displaying them where people can get close enough to touch them and really experience their maritime heritage."

The reorganisation of the Museum is on schedule to be completed by the beginning of February.