MORE than 30,700 people made the first Bart's Bash was a record smashing success.

Since the sailing event in September, the organisers have been busy compiling and processing thousands of results and can now confirm that 30,717 participants took to the water, many for their first time, around the world, for the event in memory of Olympic sailing star Andrew Simpson.

Affectionately known as 'Bart', he sadly died last year while training with his America's Cup team in San Francisco Bay.

The team behind the inaugural event was organised by the Weymouth and Portland-based Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, and hundreds of boats took to the water at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy event.

Each sailing club sailed an individual Bart's Bash race at their location. Race details were set locally by each club, but the course needed to be over 1km and sailed for more than 15 minutes.

Dorset Echo:

The final figures show that 16,870 boats collectively sailed a staggering 87,072,769 metres - roughly the equivalent of sailing twice around the world.Initially organisers had hoped for 50 clubs to sign up with 2,000 participants in the UK. As the day drew closer, organisers said it became apparent that clubs all over the world were using the opportunity to get as many people sailing as possible on the day.Event Manager Tim Anderton said: “At no point could we ever have expected over 500 clubs in over 60 countries to embrace the idea of getting on the water, racing, having fun and celebrating everything Bart stood for.

“This has to be one of the largest sailing participation events in the world. We would like to thank all those who took part in the event and a special thank to the volunteers, over seven thousand of them, who made it possible.”To see the final results table visit

Dorset Echo:

DORSET sailing hero Andrew 'Bart' Simpson has been remembered with a mural in San Francisco.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Councillors Ian and Hazel Bruce were recently on holiday in the city and spotted the mural.

The work was completed in May last year and was recently dedicated to 36-year-old Simpson by a group of Academy of Art University artists.

Mr and Mrs Bruce said: "We were awe struck to see how the students of San Francisco have commemorated Bart and now with the success of Bart's Bash we know his memory will inspire future generations of sailors."

The 116-by-50-foot mural was painted by 18 fine art students on the side of a university-owned building at Hayes Street in the city. It shows three boats sailing near the Golden Gate Bridge, and was completed in late May 2013 after about four months of design work.

After Simpson's death, a message was added at the bottom of the mural that reads: 'In memory of America's Cup sailor Andrew 'Bart' Simpson, Double Olympic Medalist, Artemis Racing.'

The students gathered to dedicate the mural to the Olympic champion and were joined by Simpson's sailing team-mate and friend Iain Percy.