Ben Ainslie and Fellow Olympians Open Sailing Centre in Memory of "Bart" Simpson
3:11pm 9th May 2014
Sir Ben Ainslie and Olympic sailing champ Iain Percy have paid an emotional tribute to their friend, Andrew Simpson, in Dorset today (Friday 9th May).
The pair officially opened a new sailing centre in Andrew's memory at Weymouth and Portland's National Sailing Academy in front of a huge crowd of dignitaries, special guests and athletes.
Affectionately known as "Bart" Andrew was killed in a sailing accident whilst training for the Americas Cup stateside a year ago.
The new centre is the brainchild of the Andrew Simpson Foundation charity that aims to inspire the next generation of young people through sailing.
Sir Ben Ainslie said the new sailing school for youngsters is a fitting tribute;
"He would be very proud because he was passionate about bringing youngster’s through the sport and helping young people. So he would've loved to see the kids getting out onto the water and of course we wish he was here to see it, but he would be very proud."
Bart’s former teammate and Olympic Medallist Iain Percy with told us it was hard coming to Portland to open the centre knowing his good friend Bart wasn't going to be there;
"It was quite a hard decision to do something today but I think we all felt that we wanted to celebrate Andrew again a year on. It's an amazing celebration because we're here representing everything he was about and doing all the work that he was doing in his life here, he would've been the life and soul here and all the kids would've been hanging around him."