...the global event in honour of Andrew 'Bart' Simpson has been confirmed as the Largest Sailing Race ever held

Bart’s Bash, the global sailing race organised by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, has set the new Guinness World Record for the Largest Sailing Race (24 hours).

While the Bart’s Bash technical team are still processing the data from Sunday’s big event, submitted by some 768 participating venues, the charity has announced that the threshold of 2,500 boats sailing in regattas including at least 25 boats – the key criteria to meet the record – has been reached.
This announcement comes after processing the results of 3,600 boats, who have sailed over 10,000,000 metres in total, which equals 18% of the data the organisation expects to receive in the coming days.
Richard Percy, CEO of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, said: ‘The event has proved a huge success and we are delighted to announce that, subject to ratification, we have set the new Guinness World Record.

‘And we have done it in style with 82% of the results still to be processed.

‘The turnout on 21st September exceeded our expectations and we are very happy that we provided a truly global opportunity for people to come together and enjoy sailing.

‘We hope this event will become a regular feature in the global sailing calendar.’

Making history

The event was a world-wide celebration of sailing attracting over 18,000 participants of all ages and abilities, taking part in 68 different countries. For many people it was their first time sailing. Races were held between 0.00 and 23.59 GMT on 21st September 2014 globally.
Bart’s Bash was set up to remember Olympic gold medallist Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, to inspire the next generation of sailors, to encourage clubs to open their doors and to fundraise in support of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation’s charitable programmes.

The Bart’s Bash technical team have created a system capable of handicapping several thousands of boats across hundreds of classes. The provisional results are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The processed data will be validated by Guinness World Records before the end of the year.

The Guinness World Record criteria is explained here.

Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation aims to transfors the lives of young people through sailing.

The charity was founded by Sir Ben Ainslie CBE, Iain Percy OBE and Andrew’s wife Leah following the tragic early death of Olympic gold medallist Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson in 2013, in an America’s Cup training accident.

The Foundation offers a unique combination of the challenges of being on the water with the teaching of Bart’s life skills and values to enable young people between the age of 5 and 24 to realise their potential. The Foundation’s current projects include:

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre
Opened on 9 May 2014 by Andrew’s sons Hamish and Freddie and based at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. The centre is used to provide sailing opportunities for young people and as sailing education research facility.

The Ambassador programme

Life changing visits to schools and youth groups throughout the UK to inspire children to reach their potential, encouraging them to try sailing and helping to build links with local sailing clubs.

Bart’s Bash
The inaugural Bart’s Bash is a sailing race run by sailing clubs around the world on behalf of the charity. Each sailing club will sail an individual Bart’s Bash race at their location on Sunday 21 September 2014. The aim is to raise money for the Foundation and set a world record for a sailing race.
Everything the Foundation does is driven by the belief that all young people have the ability to excel. So far the 2014 event has raised £102,084.90.

Diary date

Next year’s Bart’s Bash event will take place on Sunday 20 September 2015.

Follow Bart’s Bash
The event official hashtags are #bartsbash #sailonbart

Pictures: Clipper 70s on the Solent for Barts Bash; Sir Robin Knox-Johnston awarding the Clipper Race Yacht Club Bart’s Bash trophy to winning team Qingdao

Bart’s Bash at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy: Credit Jak Bennett

Andrew Simpson’s son Freddie racing with Olympians Iain Percy and Anthony Nossiter. Credit: Polly Durrant

Paul Goodison racing a hydrofoil Moth; Freddie Simpson, Iain Percy and Anthony Nossiter racing the London 2012 Star keelboat at Bart’s Bash on Portland Harbour. Credit: Laura Hodgetts