World record at­tempt for Bart’s Bash

An­drew Simp­son: He was a spe­cial per­son says Olympic hero Ainslie as new world record is

Surrey Herald/News - - FRONT PAGE - By Eleanor Davis

THE largest sail­ing race in the world was held in mem­ory of Chert­sey-born An­drew ‘Bart’ Simp­son – the dou­ble Olympic medal­ist who died in a train­ing ac­ci­dent in San Francisco Bay last year.

Bart’s Bash, broke the Guin­ness World Record for the largest sail­ing race, tak­ing place in 677 lo­ca­tions world­wide dur­ing a 24-hour pe­riod to raise money for the An­drew Simp­son Sail­ing Foun­da­tion. Sir Ben Ainslie was the star at­trac­tion at Ash­ford’s Queen Mary Sail­ing Club on Sun­day where 237 peo­ple raced in 184 boats – mak­ing the club’s gath­er­ing thethe sec­ond largest on the day. After tak­ing part in the morn­ing race on board a RS400 along­side his girl­friend Ge­orgie Thomp­son, Sir Ben re­called his mem­o­ries of An­drew. “We were life­long friends, I re­mem­ber sail­ing here with An­drew as kids and his par­ents still live close by. “I re­mem­ber go­ing there many times,” he said. “He was a very spe­cial per­son. I think that this [event] shows a very pow­er­ful mes­sage. “We had a great day. It was a lot of fun and bril­liant to see so many peo­ple out on the wa­ter, and the con­di­tions were great.” The An­drew Simp­son Sail­ing Foun­da­tion was set up to support young peo­ple to de­velop the skills needed to suc­ceed in a ca­reer in the mar­itime sec­tor. By Sun­day af­ter­noon, the Queen Mary Sail­ing Club had raised more than £8,000 and the whole event more than £170,000. Two races were held on the club’s reser­voir, due to the huge num­bers who signed up to par­tic­i­pate. Sophie Jezier­ski, vice com­modore at the club, said: “It was chal­leng­ing weather but good enough for young­sters to get out onto the wa­ter as well. “It was fab­u­lous. The wind came in – there was slightly more wind than fore­cast – but it wasn’t too much. “It was com­pet­i­tive but ex­tremely friendly as we raced against each other. “It was a day of cel­e­brat­ing sail­ing. “An­drew was an ex­tremely in­spir­ing man,” she added.

Splashdown: ac­tion at Queen Mary Sail­ing Club in Ash­ford

Mak­ing it look easy: Sail­ing su­per­star Sir Ben Ainslie shows how it’s done.

Lead­ing the trib­utes: Sir Ben Ainslie.

An in­spi­ra­tion: An­drew

‘Bart’ Simp­son.

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