Follow us as Bart’s Bash kicks off this weekend

19 September 2014

This weekend, over 100 former Clipper Race crew members will take to the water to compete in the first ever Bart’s Bash in a bid to set a new Guinness World Record and raise money for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF).

Dubbed as ‘the largest sailing event in the world,’ Bart’s Bash is organised in memory of Gold and Silver Olympic medallist and America’s Cup sailor Andrew 'Bart' Simpson, and out of 643 clubs taking part across the globe, the Clipper Race Yacht Club (CRYC) holds the third largest number of participants.

The event comes as part of a weekend of CRYC festivities. On Saturday it is the annual Red Socks Regatta, named in honour of the club’s first Commodore, former Clipper Race skipper, Colin de Mowbray MBE, who was famous for always wearing red socks. Those participating in the regatta will stay on overnight to compete in Bart’s Bash.

CRYC events coordinator, and Clipper Race training skipper, Emily Caruso said: “This is the largest event we have held as a yacht club.

“We have 840 members worldwide and it is so exciting to have so many former Clipper Race crew members come together. One of the crew taking part in this weekend’s celebrations is flying over from Hong Kong. It’s buzzing here as we prepare for the weekend, we have a marquee ready for a charity auction we are holding for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation and The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and everyone has come together and shown their support to make this a successful regatta, its set to be an amazing event.”

The CRYC is competing on nine of the twelve Clipper 70s, making it the largest participation of the fleet since the Clipper Race Finish earlier this year. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston will join alumni crew and skippers spanning seven race editions, with teams racing against each other on a local course specially created for the Bart’s Bash event.

Founded by Sir Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy OBE, and Andrew Simpson’s wife Leah, in Andrew’s memory, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation aims to create transformational life opportunities for young people through sailing, in the UK and around the world, a philosophy shared closely by the Clipper Race.

Earlier this week, in the lead up to Bart’s Bash, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston announced the donation of a crew spot for Leg 6, the Pacific Ocean crossing in the Clipper 2015-16 Race to the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, with patron Sir Ben Ainslie joining him to reveal the contest details. Open to all UK based 18-24 year olds, regardless of previous sailing experience, they just need to be nominated for the challenge. The contest closes on 14 November. For more information, and how to apply, click here. .

The Clipper Race Yacht Club’s participation in the Bart’s Bash regatta starts from Gosport Premier Marina and will commence at 11:00 UK time this Sunday.

You can follow the race updates from @ClipperRace and via Clipper Race Facebook.

If you are participating in the race, Tweet your photos to @BartsBash and @ClipperRace using #BartsBash #SailonBart and #ClipperRace.

You can also find out more about the event on the Bart’s Bash website here

If you have competed in the Clipper Race and would like to join the Clipper Race Yacht Club, click here

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