More than 450 venues have already registered for 2015’s Bart’s Bash and the race is on to make this year's event even more successful than its world record-breaking debut.
This Sunday, 20 September, sailors across the world will be taking to the water in boats of all shapes and sizes in memory of Olympian and America’s Cup sailor Andrew “Bart” Simpson.
Father-of-two Simpson tragically died at the age of 36 in an accident onboard the Artemis AC72 yacht in San Francisco Bay in May 2013 – but his legacy lives on.
The charity, set up in Simpson’s memory by his widow Leah and life-long friends and fellow British Olympians Iain Percy and Sir Ben Ainslie, is working to transform young people’s lives through sailing.
More than 450 venues have already registered for 2015’s Bart’s Bash and £17,201 has so far been raised – the race is on to make this year’s event even more successful than its world record-breaking debut.
Sir Ben Ainslie, Land Rover BAR skipper and five-time Olympic medallist, said: ‘I’m really looking forward to Bart’s Bash again this year on 20 September.
‘Last year we managed to set a Guinness World Record! It was an incredible day out for everybody who took part for a fantastic Foundation in memory of an incredible guy, Andrew Simpson, who we all knew and loved so much.
‘The Foundation in his memory is doing great things in the world of sailing, so wherever you are in the world we hope you are able to join us once again to remember Bart and help raise more money, so the Foundation can continue inspiring more children and young people into sailing.’
- Sailing champion Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson laid to rest
- Thousands set sail for Bart’s Bash
- Andrew Simpson’s sons prepare for Bart’s Bash
- Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation launches
- Tributes pour in for Andrew Simpson following America’s Cup training tragedy
Bring a buddy to this year’s bash
Bart’s best friend and sailing partner Iain Percy said: ‘The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation was set up to provide opportunities for youngsters to try sailing, to break down barriers to entry, and to encourage clubs to open their doors.
‘When the original idea for Bart’s Bash was presented to the Foundation, its potential was clear. I knew right away that it would be a success because I knew how close the sailing community is, and I knew the respect that people held for Bart all around the world. If anyone could bring everyone together it would be him.’
Last year, Percy took part in the event at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the venue for the London 2012 Olympics.
He said: ”I was going to be sailing our Star, with good friend Anthony Nossiter, and Freddie, Andrew’s oldest son. It would be my first time sailing the boat since the Olympics, and Freddie’s first race, and I knew it was going to be a day of mixed emotions.
‘When I arrived there was a buzz around the place that I hadn’t witnessed before – at any sailing event. I could tell it was going to be a great day.’
He added: ‘One thing that has stuck in my mind since Bart’s Bash, is the constant theme of people telling me that it was the best day their sailing club had ever had, and never had there been so many smiling faces and so many boats out on the water. Everyone felt part of something so much bigger.
‘This year we want to build on that momentum and to encourage people to sign up a ‘Bart’s Buddy’, to sail with a non-sailing friend, to introduce them to this incredible sport that has given us so much pleasure, and pain, over the years.’
Find out more at: www.bartsbash.com