HUNDREDS of sailors took to the waters around Portland once again as part of an international fundraiser.

Bart’s Bash is the headline event of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, and remembers the Olympic sailor whose name is now immortalised in the charity.

Mr Simpson, known fondly as ‘Bart’ after the Simpsons’ character, died in 2013 while in training for the Americas Cup.

The foundation held an extra event, Biking for Bart, this year, but it’s the sailing event that is embraced by sportsmen around the world.

In Portland harbour on Saturday 120 boats lined up at the startline, with more than 200 sailors involved, some for the very first time.

There were at least 250 scheduled races in clubs and venues worldwide.

Richard Percy, ASF CEO, sailed in the event with his family. He said: “Once again it was a huge spectacle out on the Olympic Waters of Portland Harbour with so many different classes of boat taking part and sailors of all ages and abilities enjoying the fifth Bart’s Bash event here. It was great to be joined by my family who absolutely loved it, and this year we were blessed with a great 18-20 knot breeze which provided some exciting sailing conditions.

“The Foundation’s mission is to try and encourage more people into the sport and to improve people’s lives through sailing, and Bart’s Bash is just an example of that. As the World’s Largest Sailing Event, we can connect people across the world, people who are first time sailors, all the way through to Olympic Champions and America’s Cup sailors. The main draw for us as a Foundation is to see so many people coming together and connecting through sailing, doing a sport that Bart loved and taking part at an annual event each year.”

Bart’s Bash unites the sailing community in memory of Andrew “Bart” Simpson. Over the past 5 years, the event has engaged over 700 venues across 86 countries and has had tens of thousands of people sailing thousands of different boats.

The fundraising focus of the event this year was on helping clubs use the scale and power of this event to raise funds for their own project. We may never know the extent of the fundraising done over the weekend but with clubs raising for, amongst other things, the victims of the Genoa Bridge collapse, training dinghies to increase participation at a local level, to fund instructor courses for their volunteers and of course for the Andrew Simpson Foundation to continue it’s fantastic work both locally and internationally.

All funds raised from Bart’s Bash for the Andrew Simpson Foundation will enable them to continue to increase participation and improve lives through sailing. Visit

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