World record attempt for Bart’s Bash
Andrew Simpson: He was a special person says Olympic hero Ainslie as new world record is
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