Thousands of peope took to the water in boats of all designs yesterday to take part in Bart’s Bash, the global sailing event in aid of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF).

The second annual Bart’s Bash saw sailors of all abilities joining big-name stars including Iain Percy, Tom Slingsby, Sir Ben Ainslie and Freddie Loof who all took part in the inaugural event in 2014.

Bart’s Bash was conceived in 2014 as a participation event in memory of Andrew “Bart” Simpson. It grew beyond all expectations and officially became the largest sailing race in the world, raising over £360,000 for the charity started in Bart’s name.

Father-of-two Simpson tragically died at the age of 36 in an America’s Cup training accident in San Francisco Bay in May 2013.
Freddie Simpson with Olympians Iain Percy and Anthony Nossiter having completed his second Bart's Bash at his Daddy's Sailing Centre. Credit Bart's Bash

Freddie Simpson with Olympians Iain Percy and Anthony Nossiter having completed his second Bart’s Bash at his Daddy’s Sailing Centre. Credit Bart’s Bash

All Bart’s Bash participants are being encouraged to raise funds for the foundation which is already undertaking a range of sustainable projects, using sailing to transform the lives of children and young people globally.

This year 9,165 participants have so far taken part in the event at 468 venues in 62 countries, raising £31,608-and-counting for the charity.

ASSF trustees Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy took part on Weymouth and Portland’s Olympic waters in the UK at the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre, the centre set up in Andrew’s name. Oracle Team USA Sailors took part in their Moths in Bermuda and Artemis Racing sailors at Encinal Yacht Club, San Francisco.

British Olympians also raced for Bart’s Bash at the 2016 Olympic sailing waters of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Percy said this year’s Bart’s Bash ‘all started in New Zealand’ on Saturday night and ‘has been a tidal wave of the sailing community coming together ever since.’

Ainslie said: ‘It’s very much about getting people out, getting families out on the water and particularly young kids and supporting them and making them realise that sailing is a fun sport.’

Results and fundraising proceeds will continue to come in over the next few days.

A Bart’s Bash spokesman added: ‘Just a little reminder that on October 1st the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation will be opening the second round of formal grant giving.

‘These grants would not be possible without the funding raised during Bart’s Bash. We are so grateful to everyone who puts all the effort to fundraise for us and allow us to carry on supporting amazing causes and continue Andrew’s legacy.’