The excitement was due to the vibrant artwork on the sail - a huge dappled horse rising up on her hind legs, clearly visible across the expanse of the grand hall. 

The response was hugely positive by sailors and non-sailors alike. According to stand host, Richard Earland, one visitor commented that for her this sail "was the best thing at the show", another - an art teacher exclaimed "How exciting and so very clever", and a third said "I have heard so much about this boat with an arty sail I had to see it for myself - oh it is so beautiful".

Others enquired whether if they bought the boat it came with the horse sail and where they could buy such a sail. Several younger sailors were heard asking parents if they could have a sail like this for their topper.

The sail was the result of a collaboration between artists Tracey Falcon and Andy Evans, and Richard Earland of Whitstable Yacht Club (WYC). The project, known as Prosper, was funded by Canterbury Festival,  working in conjunction with Workers of Art and The Map Consortium. 

Large view of Laser Sail Art

The purpose of the Prosper funding was to create an experiment between creative professionals and non arts partners. The team are  currently applying for further funding and sponsorship to continue their activities and would welcome approaches from interested partners.

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Richard says of his hopes for the project: "Just imagine a whole fleet of dinghies each with giant original and wonderful art work on their sails racing just off the beach. It could be that each sail is a character from Alice in Wonderland or a chess piece. Imagine the scene as the story (always a unique and new tale) unfolds on the sea before your very eyes."