World record attempt in honour of sailor

South Staffordshire Sailing Club was one of 750 clubs around the world which participated in a simultaneous race as part of the inaugural Bart’s Bash.

It was organised by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, which was set up after Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson died when his catamaran capsized in San Francisco Bay while he trained for the America’s Cup.

Champion Andrew Simpson

He had won an Olympic gold at Beijing 2008 and silver at London 2012.

Fellow sailors Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy, Simpson’s widow and sister Amanda were behind the charity to promote youth sailing.

In all 14,000 sailors from around 65 countries were taking part in the event with the aim to break the largest sailing race in 24 hours at multiple venues.

Members of South Staffordshire Sailing Club take part in the world record race.

Neil Hawkins, event organiser at the club in Gailey, said: “There were people from as young as eight involved in the race which was on a five-mile course around Gailey Reservoir.

“This is all for a good cause because Andrew Simpson’s death really shocked the sailing community around the world. Now we’re all uniting and there’s a feeling of excitement being part of a world record attempt.

“There were 33 boats out on the water and their times were recorded and sent to the foundation and then we’ll see who is the overall winner.”

Members of South Staffordshire Sailing Club, take part in a world record race, as Chris White and Nicola Booth, of Penkridge, chase Steve Baker and his wife Lyn Baker, of Lichfield, at Gailey Lea Lane, Gailey.

To be a part of the record attempt boats had to sail on a course of at least 1km and be on the water for no fewer than 15 minutes.

South Staffordshire Sailing Club, which is in its 60th year, raised around £500 for the Andrew Simpson Foundation. Across the world the figure was more than £120,000.

Mr Hawkins added: “The foundation was set up in Andrew’s memory to get the next generation out on the water. That’s exactly what we are doing here and we are only happy to support a charity that does the same.”


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