With more than 3,860 sailors already signed up, Bart’s Bash is once again shaping up to be a massive event in memory of sailor Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson.
The global sailing race will be taking place at hundreds of venues this weekend, from Saturday 17 September to Sunday 18 September – to coincide with the end of the Rio 2016 Paralympics sailing event.
Bart’s Bash will involve hundreds of different types of boat, ranging from Optimists to America’s Cup catamarans and from small keelboats to ocean-going giants.
You can put yourself in the same race as Olympic medallists and America’s Cup winners, whether you have two people or 100 people ready to go sailing, all are welcome to be a part of the 2016 Bash.
Organisers are inviting sailing clubs, yacht clubs, scout groups, sea cadets, windsurfing clubs, individuals and any venue globally that can host a race to unite in one colossal global sailing event.
Bart’s Bash is an annual fundraising and participation campaign promoted by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF). Each individual event is organised by a venue which is the organising authority for all activities at their site.
Supporting disabled sailing
With the decision being made to remove sailing from the Paralympics, this year the ASSF has pledged to use the funds raised through Bart’s Bash in 2016 to help promote and develop disabled sailing globally.
The funds raised from the event will be distributed via national sailing federations or through the official ASSF grants process, with the aim to support grassroots disabled sailing projects and make disabled sailing more accessible.
Since being founded in 2014, the foundation has been using sailing to promote health and wellbeing, and to develop personal skills that will improve a young person’s ability to succeed in life and work.
What is Bart’s Bash?
Put simply Bart’s Bash is the day the world goes sailing. It’s a day the sailing community remembers Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, a double Olympic medallist who tragically lost his life whilst training for the Americas cup in 2013.
The event was founded in 2014 and was verified by Guinness World Record as The Largest Sailing Race in the World. Sailing venues around the world engaged with the campaign by agreeing to organise a sailing event during the Bart’s Bash period (17-18 September 2016).
Bart’s Bash has seen more than 45,000 sailors participate in the event in 62 countries across the two years. Organisers hope to grow this year’s event to be even bigger and continue to help raise awareness of the sport.
The foundation recognises that sailing as a sport is not always accessible to all due to; financial, physical, learning disability, mental health or social barriers. The charity, therefore, works to breaks down these barriers by working with sailing providers by offering financial and practical support.
To date, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation has pledged funds of over £600,000 on a range of inspiring sailing projects across eight countries. Some of the projects supported in 2016 include: A UK national project with Blind Sailing, Chicago Park Districts Community Sailing Program, The National Schools Sailing Association, Hungarian Yachting Association and Leicestershire and Rutland Youth Sailing Association.
Grafham Water Sailing Club is one of the venues signed up for 2016. Peter Saxton Commodore of the club said: ‘For us it would be odd not to take part in such a fun and worldwide event. It gives us a good opportunity to help others whilst enjoying our own sport and to work with those who share our water including Graham Water Centre with their younger RYA OnBoard sailors and Grafham Sailability.
‘We’re hoping to have another successful event -there are lots of potential disabled sailors without the means or connections to get out on the water so we want to help them as well.’
ASSF founding trustee Sir Ben Ainslie said: ‘We as a Foundation are delighted to see Bart’s Bash continue to grow as an event, and we’re all looking forward to getting on the water to have some fun in Bart’s name.’
Visit www.andrewsimponfoundation.org to find out more.
Bart’s Bash club and venue sign up has now opened and you can register at www.bartsbash.com
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