The Andrew Simpson Foundation (ASF), the UK-based sailing charity with a global reach, has launched the sign up for the biggest sailing event in the world, Bart’s Bash.

The 2017 edition of Bart’s Bash, now in its fourth year, will take place over the weekend of 16-17 September. So far 564 venues from 75 countries have signed up to take part.

Last year, more than 7,290 sailors took part in the third annual Bart’s Bash, which coincided with the Rio Paralympic sailing finale in support of disabled sailing. More than 360 sailing clubs and venues in 58 countries signed up to participate in the 2016 Bart’s Bash event with races taking place throughout the weekend.

The global participation and fundraising event in aid of the ASF is held in memory of double Olympic medallist, America’s Cup sailor and father-of-two Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson who tragically died in 2013.

Barts Bash 2014. Credit: Jak Bennett

Barts Bash 2014 at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. Credit: Jak Bennett

Charity day at Lendy Cowes Week

The Bart’s Bash team is already busy fine-tuning plans to promote Bart’s Bash at Lendy Cowes Week where on Monday 31 July, the official charity day, they will be running the ‘Cowes Bash’, a race for all competitors. At registration they can get decals and buy their ‘Simpson Sunnies’. All the race results from the first race of the day will be pooled in the same way as for Bart’s Bash to identify an overall winner for the day.

Following on after racing, everyone is invited to join in at The Big Bash, a huge party in Cowes Yacht Haven starting at 7pm and designed entirely around putting the FUN into FUNdraising with Olympic medallist and DJ Mark Covell on stage as master of ceremonies.

The Bart’s Bash website includes the video, the whys and the wherefores behind this extraordinary event, how and where to sign up, useful resources about how to fundraise and also information about how your donations and the monies raised is spent.

More below…

Message from Bart’s friends

Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson at the London 2012 Games. Credit: onEdition

Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson at the London 2012 Games. Credit: onEdition

Trustees Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy OBE, multiple Olympic medallists and America’s Cup sailors, said in a statement: ‘It’s humbling as we look back over the last three years and think about the incredible number of clubs and their amazing event makers who have made Bart’s Bash what it is today, all of us using the event to help encourage new, and ever -younger, enthusiasts all over the world to get on the water.

‘We’re keen to reiterate that this is YOUR CLUB’S BASH! Bart has provided us with a unique platform and opportunity to unite the world of sailing, bringing together some of the world’s sailing legends and heroes with Club sailors, grass-roots youth programmes and even total novices, all combining to produce this one extraordinary event. Bart would be so proud of what is being accomplished.

Sir Ben Ainslie

Sir Ben Ainslie

‘Personally it’s a very special day for us and last year we both enjoyed a fabulous day at Hayling Island Sailing Club Bash in Hampshire. This brought back so many great memories of when we were kids; huge fun ashore and afloat. We’ll soon be sharing news of what we’ll be getting up to this September. Watch this space!

‘The theme in 2016 was to support disabled sailing and we must all continue to lobby to get Sailing back into the Paralympics. As a charity, the number of projects and the spread of impact that the Andrew Simpson Foundation has been able to achieve continues to grow. We want to take this opportunity to say thank you; it is your extraordinary fundraising feats and support for Bart’s Bash that in turn helps us to maintain our focus to support disadvantaged young people, expand their horizons and improve young lives around the globe through sailing.

‘Wishing you all the best for the sailing season and together let’s make our fourth Bash in September another magical moment in memory of Bart.’