All aboard a nation-wide racing day for charity

Sailing clubs

across the country are being urged to take part in a day of

record-breaking dinghy racing in memory of Olympian Andrew Simpson.

The

sporting event, dubbed ‘Bart’s Bash’, aims to make it into the Guinness World

Records book as the largest dinghy sailing race in the world ever.

It

is due to launch on 1 February 2014 with a full briefing for participating

clubs and competitors. The big event will take place on Sunday 21 September

with racing being held simultaneously at hundreds of sailing clubs across Great

Britain.

The

Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation is organizing Bart’s Bash in memory of the

America’s Cup sailor and double Olympic medallist, who was nicknamed ‘Bart’ by

his friends and colleagues.

The

36-year-old from Sherborne, Dorset tragically died in May 2013, while training

for the 34th Americas Cup.

The

idea for Bart’s Bash was born from an article by sailing journalist Andy Rice

who wrote: ‘I have been wondering if there is a way of having a club race

simultaneously across the whole country. Pretty much every club in the country

has a race on Sunday morning, with all kinds of boats taking part, why can’t we

get all the race results mashed together to create one big national race on a

Sunday morning?’

Andrew’s

sister Amanda Simpson, event director, said: ‘There is a strong team behind

Bart’s Bash with tons of enthusiasm to make this a ‘must do event’ and at this

stage we are planning to make an official launch with race specifics on 1

February, 2014.

‘The

foundation will be looking to engage all RYA affiliated clubs and centres with

the race which could generate interest from several hundreds of clubs across

the country.’

Jez

Payne from ‘The Bart Project’ added: ‘It is one of those ideas that has huge

potential to be a major, major event that absolutely honours the core of what

Andrew was about.’

Sir

Ben Ainslie said: ‘We have been overwhelmed with the support from the sailing

community for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.

‘We

firmly hope this event will inspire sailors young and old, beginners to

professionals with clubs getting involved to capture people’s imagination and

create thousands of Guinness World record holders.’

The

foundation is a sailing charity that was set up in Andrew’s memory tto benefit

children.

Andrew’s

best friend, the triple Olympic medalist, Iain Percy added: ‘I am positive that

it will not only receive enormous support from the UK but worldwide support

too, it’s going to be a colossal event and a great fun way to get thousands of

people on the water at the same time whilst raising money for the foundation.’

Find out more at www.bartsbash.co.uk