FOUR time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Ben Ainslie, will be on hand for the special unveiling of Sir Edward Heath's former yacht which was destroyed in a storm in 1974.

The restored bow will be shown off in a ceremony held on Friday, May 15 in the gardens of Arundells, Sir Edward’s home in Salisbury and will serve as a memorial to the two crew members who died in the incident.

Morning Cloud III sank in heavy weather close to Selsey Bill on September 2, 1974 with the loss of Christopher Chadd, who was Sir Edward’s godson, and Nigel Cumming.

Sir Ben, the most successful sailor in Olympic history will be joined at the unveiling of the bow by the Right Rev Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury.

Sir Edward was the only British Prime Minister to win an international sporting trophy – winning the Admiral’s Cup, the equivalent of the sailing World Cup of its time for Britain in 1971.

During his sailing career he had five yachts named Morning Cloud.

On the fateful day the Morning Cloud set off from Cowes with a delivery crew of seven on board with an intended destination of Crouch in Essex when it encountered Force 9 gales.

The boat sank close to Selsey Bill after being hit by a large double wave. Sir Edward was not on board.

Having been swept overboard Mr Cumming, 43, and Mr Chadd, 23, tragically drowned. Ironically, the same severe weather tore Sir Edward’s first Morning Cloud off her moorings in Jersey, and she too was wrecked.

Many years later, after languishing in a broker’s yard, the bow section was bought by Sally Tattersall, owner of an Isle of Wight sailing business and a member of The Friends of Arundells, who support the house.

She offered it on permanent loan to the Trustees of the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation, which manages Arundells in the Cathedral Close, Salisbury and restoration work, funded by The Friends was carried out at Hythe Marina by James Dickens Marine and completed by Clare Lallow, the yard that originally constructed the yacht in 1973.

Much of Sir Edward’s yachting memorabilia is on display at Arundells, including paintings, photographs and models of the five Morning Cloud yachts.

Visit the website for further information.