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The dream of the modern Titanic - interview

It has been 105 years since disaster of “unsinkable“ Titanic, surely the most famous maritime disasters. Ondřej Vrkoč met with this iconic story for the first time before twenty years. "I saw a color photo of the Titanic in magazine and children's imagination began to work hard," looks back with a smile now almost twenty four years old Ondřej Vrkoč. And when his parents allowed him to watch Oscar-winning film directed by James Cameron, everything was decided. Adventurous dreams began to revolve just around the phenomenon of Titanic. And it continues to this day.

It has been 105 years since disaster of “unsinkable“ Titanic, surely the most famous maritime disasters. Ondřej Vrkoč met with this iconic story for the first time before twenty years. "I saw a color photo of the Titanic in magazine and children's imagination began to work hard," looks back with a smile now almost twenty four years old Ondřej Vrkoč. And when his parents allowed him to watch Oscar-winning film directed by James Cameron, everything was decided. Adventurous dreams began to revolve just around the phenomenon of Titanic. And it continues to this day.

XANTYPA

text Jindřich Rosendorf, 

 

It has been 105 years since disaster of “unsinkable“ Titanic, surely the most famous maritime disasters. Ondřej Vrkoč met with this iconic story for the first time before twenty years. "I saw a color photo of the Titanic in magazine and children's imagination began to work hard," looks back with a smile now almost twenty four years old Ondřej Vrkoč. And when his parents allowed him to watch Oscar-winning film directed by James Cameron, everything was decided. Adventurous dreams began to revolve just around the phenomenon of Titanic. And it continues to this day.


Ship with four funnels
"As a child I forced my parents to read about the Titanic instead of fairy tales. To all this I still drew this boat with four funnels. Later with help of my teacher of English I tried to correspond with capacities in this field " said Ondřej.
Letters of school-aged admirer traveled to the address of the American oceanographer Robert Ballard, whose exploratory expedition discovered shipwreck in 1985, also to the address of Roger Long, who described the breaking of the hull of the sinking Titanic to  nearly four kilometers depth in North Atlantic and the painter Ken Marschall, who worked on the film with director Cameron. "These people are my big idols. In addition, they exchange all new information about Titanic and work like one big family. They did not know, how old I was then, I hushed up, but they willingly took me up to the imaginary family of Titanic fans," said Vrkoč.
At fifteen Ondřej began to organize lectures about Titanic at schools, also contribute about it to the media. And two years later he shocked by the statement that he wants to build a replica of the famous ship. In original size!" „At the lectures I asked people what they would most like to see from the Titanic - luxury cabins, propellers as large as house, or funnels, among which could rode two locomotives? And then I realized it would be great if there existed a copy of this boat, a sort of sailing Titanic museum. "

From Chvaletice to Saint-Nazaire

In 2009 Ondřej visited Czech largest shipyard in Chvaletice. "At first, I was just looking around; I said I was student in technical field. The shipyard boss, Mr. Samák, showed it to me" told Ondřej. "Whole year I was really hard working, even secretly and even my parents did not know it, on a new plan for Titanic. After a year I again hurried to Chvaletice where I introduced my plan to Mr. Samák. He asked me jokingly if I'm crazy, but then he began to read, became serious and invited me to his office. Later that day, we agreed to do it together."

 

In the first days of 2011 Ondřej Vrkoč with his father Zdeněk established company named Revival of the Titanic and in January he went to another shipyard, one of the largest in the world - to STX France in Saint-Nazaire, where a few years ago there built a giant transatlantic Queen Mary 2 and last year also currently the largest ship in the world Harmony of the Seas.

 

Ondřej, Ivan Samák, translator František Remta and Ondřej's grandfather, who drove family car, hit the road with a little hope, whether this expedition to iconic colossus on the west French coast of Atlantic will be successful. "There accepted us Vice President STX France Alain Buck, " said Ondřej enthusiastically. Plans for a new Titanic immediately impressed him and he was excited by so young, only seventeen years old enthusiast man from Czech. "Later, he even curiously arrived on a visit to our home in Dolní Měcholupy and he recommended as project manager to our team world famous British naval architect Stephen Payne, chief engineer and designer of Queen Mary 2. A visionary who is for shipowners somebody similar, as was Steve Jobs for Apple! "