SAILING: Bart’s Bash

Boats taking part in Bart's Bash (picture Jo Thomas)
Boats taking part in Bart's Bash (picture Jo Thomas)

Draycote sailors join world record attempt

Draycote Water Sailing Club Takes Part in ‘Bart’s Bash’ World Record Bid

Draycote sailors joined thousands around the world in Bart’s Bash, a sailing race that looks set to break the Guinness World Record for the largest sailing race (24 hours).

More than 100 club sailors in 79 boats joined 18,000 participants worldwide who were taking part in 700 clubs in 68 countries, sailing in yachts, dinghies and windsurfers.

The final results and whether a world record has been broken will not be known for some weeks. However, the results for the Draycote segment are in and are available on the club website.

In first place was Richard Pye in a Solo, followed by Rebecca Lewis and Will Ward in a 29er and Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett in a Flying Fifteen in third place.

Perhaps the most encouraging part of the Draycote event was that 10 percent of competitors were taking part in their first ever sailing race – fulfilling the Foundation’s aims of introducing more people to sailing.

The race was organised by the Andrew Simpson Foundation, set up to remember Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson and inspire the next generation of sailors. Bart’s Bash aims to inspire sailors to raise money for charity and remember Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, Gold and Silver Olympic Medallist who died last year while training for the America’s Cup.

As well as getting people on the water for a day of fun and sailing, Bart’s Bash has so far raised more than £155,000. Draycote Water’s sailors have raised more than £1,850 towards the total.

Rugby MP, Mark Pawsey, and Rugby Borough Council Sports Development Officer, Tom Kittendorf, were on hand to act as independent witnesses as required by the Guinness World Record rules. They saw club sailors competing against the likes of Olympic champions Sir Ben Ainslie in a Finn, Iain Percy in a Star and Paul Goodison in a Moth, albeit at different venues around the country.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the club to be part of a great cause in tribute to Bart Simpson who was an inspirational sailor and ambassador for the sport on and off the water,” said Club Commodore, Phillip Hunt.

Inspired by Olympic Gold and Silver medallist Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, and founded by Sir Ben Ainslie CBE, Iain Percy OBE and Andrew’s wife Leah, the Foundation helps young people to develop the personal skills that will improve their ability to succeed in life and to improve access to jobs and careers within the maritime sector.

The Foundation already includes a sailing centre in Weymouth which has been established to help train the Olympic stars of tomorrow and also give access to the sport to youngsters who may otherwise not have the opportunity. For more information, visit

The club was pleased to welcome Mr Kittendorf since Rugby Borough Council has been a great supporter of our sailing, providing grants over the last five years which have been used to buy sails for Picos and Teras, pay for taster seasons which have encouraged participation on training courses and also supported the 2011 Sail for Gold Open Day.

Draycote Water Sailing Club is situated in the Severn Trent Country Park between Rugby and Southam and is open with safety boat cover every day of the year except Christmas Day.

The club has about 900 active sailing members, ranging in age from seven to over 70. The Club provides a range of training courses accredited by the RYA, sailing’s national governing body, to take participants from beginners up to racing in performance dinghies. It is also a specialist centre for the windsurfing training. To book courses, contact (01788) 814418 or visit the Club website