Barts Bash Set To Break World Record
12:51pm 22nd September 2014
Thousands of people from around the world took part in Bart's Bash yesterday, which looks set to break the World Record for the largest sailing Race.
18,000 people from 700 sailings clubs in 68 countries were involved.
The race was set up in memory of Dorset's Olympic gold medallist Andrew Bart Simpson.
In Weymouth, Foundation Trustee, Iain Percy took to the water with Andrew's oldest son, four year old Freddie.
He said: "It has been an incredible day. It has never happened in any other sports that so many people have come together to remember one person; it's very special. And it was special for Freddie and I to sail together here on these waters, for the first time after the Olympics. Today is a celebration of Bart but most importantly a celebration of our sport. It's been such a success; many people today were inspired to sail for the first time. It has been a great fun race, and that's why it will last into the future."
As well as getting people on the water and enjoying a day's sailing, Bart's Bash has so far raised more than £155,000 of donations for the organising charity, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation which was set up last year by friends and family of Andrew to honour his life and legacy. All the funds will support the development and delivery of the Foundation's charitable programmes nationally and internationally. These programmes, conceived with Bart's and the Olympic values at their heart, are currently being developed and tested at the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre, which was opened on 9th May 2014 on the Olympic waters of Weymouth and Portland. Pilot programmes, designed to enhance sailing activities and encourage participation, are also being tested in Bermuda and South Africa.
"Inspired by Bart, this event has been driven by people all over the world," said Event Director and Foundation Trustee Jez Payne, who has sailed today for the first time. "Alongside the many, many sailors, thousands of volunteers have also stepped up to enable this race to be delivered. We are overwhelmed and humbled by the way the sailing community has come together to create the legacy event in Bart's name. It's a magical day that befits this fantastic man.'
The results of the event are currently being received from all the race venues; the Foundation's technical team, which has created a system capable of handicapping several hundreds of boat classes, expects to announce the provisional results in the coming weeks. Once the data has been submitted and processed, it will be validated by Guinness World Record before the end of the year.