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ANTIGUA JOINS BART'S BASH SAILING RACE
Thursday 25th September 2014

Photo by Kevin Johnson, www.kevinjohnsonphotography.com.

Bart's Bash is a global sailing race and fundraising event that was held at local sailing clubs around the world on Sunday, September 21, 2014.  It joined together thousands of worldwide sailors in a race to set a new Guinness World Record, raise money for charity and inspire the next generation of sailors.

Bart's Bash was created by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, a charity set up in 2013 in memory of Andrew (Bart) Simpson who died last year while training for the 2014 America's Cup.  In addition to being an America's Cup sailor, Bart was a Gold and Silver Olympic medallist.

Photo by Kevin Johnson, www.kevinjohnsonphotography.com.

Antiguan sailors were delighted to be able to take part in this Guinness World Record attempt and do some fundraising at the same time.  Antigua Yacht Club and Antigua's National Sailing Academy donated the use of their boats for Bart's Bash and also sponsored their instructors (all local youngsters/and not so young!) to participate.  Local yacht charter company Ondeck did the same with its boats and instructors.

Ondeck's two Dehler 39s sailed a course off Antigua’s south coast from Falmouth up to English Harbour, down to Rendezvous and back to the finish.  The dinghies sailed a "Triangle and Sausage" course inside Falmouth harbour.

Twenty-two boats in total took part including 10 Lasers, 2 Laser Picos, 5 Optimists and 3 Sport 16s.  Antigua Yacht Club's Chief Instructor Karl James won the Laser Class, River Andrews won the Optimist class, Bernie Evan-Wong and his daughter Sarah won the Sport 16 Class, and Rocco Falcone won the Laser Pico Class.

Photo by Kevin Johnson, www.kevinjohnsonphotography.com.

Three of the more "mature" keel boat sailors decided to take out the Sport 16s as their keel boats are spending the summer out of the water in Jolly Harbour.  It started off a very competitive class but sadly Antigua Yacht Club's Commodore, John Duffy, had a "blond moment" and forgot the centreboard when attempting to go to windward.  As a square rig captain, Race Officer Clare Cupples-Leader was able to empathise with the going sideways feeling and said:  “but there again they do say that gentlemen never sail to windward!”

The local organisers of the event were very proud to be able to put on the results sheet that out of 22 boats, two were sailed by Olympians - Karl James and Rhone Kirby.  Not bad for a little yacht club in the Caribbean.

Click here to view full results.

Article compliments of Clare Cupples-Leader with edits by the Editor. Photos by Kevin Johnson, www.kevinjohnsonphotography.com.


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