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21 September 2014, 08:23
Sailors in Southampton and Gosport are joining up to 18,000 others around the globe - to pay tribute to Olympic sailor Andrew 'Bart' Simpson.
They're trying to break the world record for the biggest sailing race, during Bart's Bash. Olympic gold medalist Andrew, from Sherborne in Dorset, died in an accident in San Francisco Bay in May 2013, while training for the America's Cup. He was 36.
The inaugural event, organised by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, will take place globally with races scheduled to be held between 0.00 and 23.59 GMT on 21 September.
The event is set to break the world record for the Largest Sailing Race (24 hours) with as many as 18,000 sailors from more than 700 clubs in 60 countries signed up.
The aim of Bart’s Bash is to remember Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, to inspire a new generation of sailors, to encourage clubs to open their doors and to fundraise for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. All the funds raised through Bart’s Bash will support the development and delivery of the Foundation’s charitable programmes internationally. These programmes have Bart’s and the Olympic values at their heart, and are currently being developed and tested at the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre. Pilot programmes are also being tested in Bermuda and South Africa.
Events today include:
Queen Mary Sailing Club, Queen Mary Reservoir
11:00 Bart's Bash Race with Lymington sailor Sir Ben Ainslie
13:00 Mass Photo, prizes giving Club race, Fundraising Medals and Rookie race briefing
14:00 Rookie Race
Clipper Race Yacht Club, Gosport
The annual Red Socks 5 (Colin de Mowbray Memorial Regatta) will be held to coincide with ‘Bart’s Bash’. Nine of the twelve Clipper 70 yachts are taking part in Bart’s Bash, with 114 CRYC members, including former race skippers, crew and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, currently signed up to take part in the event. It will be the biggest use of the fleet since the Clipper 2013-14 Race ended in July.
Battle of the Classes Pursuit Race, PSP Southampton Boat Show
Competitors will launch from the Southampton Water Activities Centre and will be competing on a course laid just off the boat show marina.