All UK school pupils are invited to design sail artwork in memory of Andrew Simpson

A Sail Art competition for school children has been launched in memory of double Olympic medallist Andrew Simpson.

Simpson died in May this year in a tragic accident while training for the 34th Americas Cup.

The Fine Art Sails and the National Schools ‘Sail Art’ competition aims to keep his memory alive by giving every child in the 28,000 UK schools the chance to create artwork for the Star keelboat sails.

Simpson, who was nicknamed Bart, sailed with skipper and best friend Iain Percy in the two-man Star class, winning gold for Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver at the 2012 London Games.

Fine Art Sails

The Sherborne-based Olympian also took part in the inaugural Fine Art Sails UK Championship Regatta, held in January 2013 during the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show – the first-ever pairing of world class sailors and internationally renowned artists.

The competition featured original artworks painted onto Star class sails that were then raced in the regatta.

After the Star class was dropped for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the 36-year-old Simpson moved to San Francisco in March 2013 to begin training for the America’s Cup.

The father-of-two died in May when the 72-foot catamaran he was aboard capsized, trapping him underneath for 10 minutes.

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF) has been established by his wife Leah, Iain Percy and Sir Ben Ainslie to honour Simpson’s life and legacy by encouraging youngsters into sailing.

This week Ainslie attended a school assembly at Ferndown First School in Dorset to name the first-ever Andrew Simpson Sports Ambassadors – Harry Burton and Sydney Tabor, both in Year 4.

Legends of the Sea-themed art competition

The Sail Art competition invites students aged seven to 17 to design a 10-metre main sail to be raced by Ainslie, Percy and other Olympians during the London Boat Show on 4-5 January, 2014.

The competition for the best artwork is in three categories – 7-10 years; 11-14 years; 15-17 years.

Schools must choose and submit only one entry per age category. The closing date for entries is 2pm on Friday 29 November 2013.

The theme is ‘Legends of the Sea’ intended to unleash imaginations and art materials.

The three winning students’ artworks will join that of four artists from last year’s regatta: Goldie, Julian Opie, David Begbie and EINE.

The first prizes also include a day sailing with Olympic sailors, £250-worth of art materials for the winning schools, and a special invitation to the London Boat Show.

Click here for more competition details

Pictures: Images from the 2013 Fine Art Sails event; Andrew Simpson