Yesterday (Friday the 9th of May) was the one year anniversary of the death of Andrew Simpson. It was an event that shocked the sailing world, and Jimmy Spithill described it as sailing's "Ayrton Senna moment".
"To see such a universally loved friend and competitor lose his life in the pursuit of speed and competition on the same waters that we would subsequently fight for the America's Cup forced us all to stop and think. Such a tragedy has to be a turning point for us all."
The silver lining to this cloud has been the incredible work done in his name in the last twelve months:
- by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, which opened its Sailing Centre in Weymouth on the anniversary.
- by the Bart Project, which "was set up in honour of the great daddy Andrew 'Bart' Simpson so that his sons, Freddie and Hamish, can feel closer to him as they grow."
- and, of course, Bart's Bash.
Bart's Bash is already guaranteed to be an amazing event. Set to take place on the 21st September 2014, the aim is to have the "largest sailing event in the world", and already nearly 550 clubs have signed up. You can check if your club is signed up by having a look at the list of clubs on their website, or by having a look at their map. If your club isn't signed up then talk to the relevant people at your club and get them to fill in the very simple form so that your club can also take part in what promises to be a great event that should raise the profile of sailing all across the globe. It really is going to be an international event, and loads of the best sailors in the world are already set to take part:
And, once you've taken part in the race on September 21st, you can add to your CV that you are a world record holder. That can't be bad.