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Bart’s Bash, the Guinness World Record attempt for the Largest Sailing Race in the World, will take place globally between 0.00 and 23.59 GMT this Sunday 21 September 2014.

The inaugural fundraising event, on 21 September 2014, is being organised by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.

It looks set to break the world record for the Largest Sailing Race (24 hours) with 13,247 sailors, from 748 clubs across 65 countries already signed up online at

So far the event has raised £102,084.90 for the charity, which aims to inspire young people into the sport of sailing.

Registration for Bart’s Bash will remain open until the day of the event. To find out which clubs are taking part in your country, click here.

The aim of Bart’s Bash is to remember Britain’s Olympic gold and silver medallist Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, who tragically died during an America’s Cup training accident in May 2013.

All the funds raised through Bart’s Bash will support the development and delivery of the Foundation’s charitable programmes internationally.

These programmes have Bart’s and the Olympic values at their heart, and are currently being developed and tested at the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre. Pilot programmes are also being tested in Bermuda and South Africa.

Big name participants include Sir Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy OBE, Paul Goodison MBE, Jimmy Spithill, Nathan Outteridge, Max Sirena plus many other Olympians and world sailing stars.

So far 471 sailing clubs have signed up to take part across the UK, including the new Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre, based at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

Each sailing club will sail an individual Bart’s Bash race at their location (with certain requirements to meet the world record criteria).

What’s happening?
At the Weymouth and Portland venue, the first race will begin at 11am, with Olympic gold medallists Iain Percy and Paul Goodison competing alongside local clubs and sailors. Iain will be racing with Andrew Simpson’s young son Freddie.

The event will include a youth race,  a prize giving ceremony at 4.30pm, plus a Pico Challenge – open to anyone, children’s entertainments, a barbecue and bar.

Sir Ben Ainslie will be competing at Queen Mary Sailing Club, Queen Mary Reservoir from 11am, while in Gosport at the Clipper Race Yacht Club, nine of the 12 Clipper Race fleet will compete with sailing stars including Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. The event will coincide with the fifth annual Red Socks regatta in memory of Colin de Mowbray.

At the PSP Southampton Boat Show, a Bart’s Bash Race will take place at 1pm, with competitors launching from the Southampton Water Activities Centre and  competing on a course laid just off the boat show marina.

Elsewhere across the globe, 14 clubs have signed up to compete in Spain including the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, as have 19 Italian clubs, 39 clubs across the USA, 23 Australian clubs, 20 South African clubs, nine from the Netherlands, eight across Ireland, nine in Canada, six in Sweden, five in Argentina, Germand and China and four in New Zealand.

See full article at Practical Boat Owner – click here



Categories: Racing

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation has announced the finalised Guinness World Record criteria which sailing clubs and participants have to comply with to count towards the world record attempt.

A key update is that for a race to count towards the record it must have 25 boats taking part, rather than 25 sailors as previously communicated.

The newly finalised criteria include:
There must be at least 25 participants, i.e. 25 boats taking part at each location.

If a club has less than 25 participating boats, it will not be able to participate in the Guinness attempt, however organisers still welcome the club’s participation in the Bart’s Bash race and the club will still be able to submit the results for entry into the worldwide leaderboard.

The race start time and finish time must take place between 00.00 on the 21 September GMT and 23.59 on the 21 September GMT.

The distance of the course will need to be measured accurately using GPS. The course must be at least 1km long. This can be multiple laps of a shorter course.- The race must be at least 15 minutes long.

The race will need to have a single start and finish point (start line one side of the committee boat and finish line the other side is acceptable).

All clubs wishing to enter the Guinness world record attempt must have 2 independent witnesses. Clubs need 1 steward per 50 entrants; these can be safety boat drivers and crew.Registration for clubs closes on 14 September 2014. Individual online entries will close on 19 September. Anyone wishing to sign up after this date will be able to do so at the clubs directly.

What is Bart’s Bash?
With just under two months to go, this monster-size attempt has over 1,500 sailors from more than 550 clubs and 50 countries around the world signed up and fundraising to support the Foundation’s charitable activities.

‘Bart’s Bash’ will see racing held at hundreds of locations across the world simultaneously on 21 September 2014 at 11am (BST) in memory of double Olympic medallist and America’s Cup sailor Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson.

Sailors are able to sign up on the day at clubs that have capacity but are encouraged to sign up at as soon as possible to allow clubs to make plans for the day, ensure safety measures are met, and so that people don’t miss out!

See article at Pratical Boat Owner – click here



Categories: On the water, Racing

This Saturday’s event will see the largest collection of boats ever assembled on the River Clyde. More than 1,200 sailors in 250 boats are expected to flock to the River Clyde this weekend to take part in the Commonwealth Flotilla.


The Scottish branch of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is calling for spectators to come out in force to support the event, which will see the largest collection of boats ever assembled on the River Clyde.

If your boat isn’t one of the 250 registered to take part, there are still lots of other chances to get involved and enjoy this historic occasion. It is still possible to join the flotilla onboard Clyde Cruiser passenger boat, watch shore-side in Greenock or at the Glasgow Riverside Museum or even sign up as a volunteer for the event.

The flotilla will leave Greenock at 10am and travel 17 nautical miles to Pacific Quay (next to BBC and Glasgow Science Centre) on Saturday 26 July 2014.

Spectators are urged to get to Greenock for about 9am to give the flotilla a good send off. The best viewing point is just outside the Beacon Arts Centre where there will be a big screen and live commentary.

Another dedicated spectator area will be set up at the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, with activities held from 11am until 3pm. The flotilla boats are expected to arrive from 1pm.

RYA Scotland CEO James Stuart said: ‘The response we had from people wanting to take part in the flotilla was overwhelming, and we want as many people as possible to join us.’

Glasgow Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Flotilla will commemorate the start of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, which runs from 23 July to 3 August 2014.

The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is a key part of the Games experience for spectators and visitors. Running until the end of August 2014, it will showcase the best of Scottish culture alongside creative work from across the Commonwealth and be a nationwide celebration of the Games, reaching its peak as Glasgow bursts into life at Games time.

There are two strands: a Scotlandwide programme called Culture 2014; and a Games-time celebration in Glasgow running alongside the sporting action called Festival 2014.
Read full article at Practical Boat Owner – click here



Categories: Boat Show, Competition, Racing

News that Team Australia has pulled out of the running for the next America’s Cup will have come as a blow to the organisers but the decision will have implications for the remaining teams as well.

Losing a team, (technically Hamilton Island Yacht Club, represented by Team Australia), at such an early stage doesn’t bode well however you dress it up. And when it’s the Challenger of Record that that makes an exit the alarm bells really start to ring. In their position as chief negotiators on behalf of the other challengers, if this team of all teams sees a reason not to continue, shockwaves are bound to spread through the broader Cup camp.

Add to this the fact that the team’s key player and former Cup regatta director CEO Iain Murray, who is also a previous competitor, is someone who knows the modern Cup and its characters inside out and you can’t help wondering if there is a serious issue brewing behind the scenes.

I for one saw Murray’s appointment as a big advantage when it came to negotiating the balance of power between the Defender and Challengers – a means of providing stability to a notoriously volatile event.

So given this, and that the Australians are out at such an early stage, there is little surprise that speculation has been rife since the announcement over the weekend.

So why has Team Australia pulled out?
“The challenge was initiated with a view to negotiating a format for the 35th America’s Cup that was affordable and put the emphasis back on sailing skills,” said team owner Bob Oatley as he explained the reasons behind the decision.

“Ultimately, our estimate of the costs of competing were well beyond our initial expectation and our ability to make the formula of our investment and other commercial support add up. We are bitterly disappointed that this emerging team of fine young Australian sailors will not be able to compete at the next America’s Cup under our banner.”

So in short, money
His comments confirm the recent chatter that in being first out of the blocks to challenge for the Cup they had underestimated the true costs and over estimated the possible revenues that might be generated.

Murray believes that the timeline is also an issue according to an interview with Sail-World.

“The timeline is the killer in this Cup,” he was quoted as saying. “Sponsors want to know where the venues are, and the dates. The gap gets pretty wide trying to get the sponsors to commit against the timeline of the expenditure,”

On the other hand the withdrawal of the team was perhaps not that surprising. Earlier in the year we were hearing of serious tensions and frustrations between the Challenger of Record and the Defenders as the Protocol was thrashed out.

To add an interesting twist, it is believed that the Australian Challenger of Record deal was set up by Oracle boss Larry Ellison, much to the surprise and frustration of Russell Coutts who had planned for Artemis to take this role on. The talk is that Coutts only discovered this on the final day of racing last year. If this is indeed the case, perhaps there was less incentive to make the Australian deal work.

But the timing of the Australian announcement is also surprising and causes difficulty for the organisers in announcing what happens next.

Technically the Challenger of Record duty passes to the next team to have entered, which is understood to have been Luna Rossa. But the problem is that under the Protocol entries cannot be accepted until there are three teams, at present there are just two, Luna Rossa and Artemis. While Ben Ainslie Racing and Team New Zealand intend to be there, they have as yet to enter. The entry deadline is 8 August.

The process going forwards is that teams must submit $1.025 million to enter by 8 August even though competition dates for 2015 might not be known until November, and details regarding the Finals for 2017 will possibly not be released until the end of this year.

Secondary entry fees of $1 million cash and $1 million performance bond must be submitted by December 1, 2014.

But the biggest issue and current unknown is that of the venue. How can you plan and budget for an event when you don’t know where it is? At present the two venues under consideration for the Cup itself are Bermuda and San Diego. The preliminary stages could see teams having to travel to other additional locations. Just planning for this is expensive let alone executing the plan.

The bottom line is that all the players know how fragile this stage of the process is, hence the carefully chosen language in the teams’ responses.

“We remain supportive of the Defender’s continued drive towards a more commercial event format, along with a more sustainable future for this historic trophy,” said Ben Ainslie. “Ben Ainslie Racing will be bidding to host two America’s Cup World Series events in 2015/16 at our new home in Portsmouth; as a key part of the road to the 35th America’s Cup. While the withdrawal of the Challenger of Record is regrettable, it is also not unusual and we will continue our own preparations for the 35th America’s Cup and look forward to an exciting future.”

Max Sirena of Luna Rossa said, “We had the meeting in Los Angeles with the other teams last week and I think it went very well. It was a positive meeting with all of the teams discussing the issues. It went really smoothly actually. So it was a surprise to hear about the Australians, but our plan doesn’t change because of this news. I think we’ll meet with the other teams again over the next few days and we’ll keep moving forward. It’s a shame, but nothing changes for us. Our aim is to win the America’s Cup.”

Such comments from the teams paint a different picture of the recent meetings than some online commentators have suggested. Despite the recent blow and the usual disagreements that are inevitable along the way, even Grant Dalton, who has previously been critical of some of the plans for the next event, is sounding positive.

“We have the class rule and the design team is well into its programme; the sailing team continues to compete successfully overseas, with great recent results by Dean Barker and Glenn Ashby in the A class cats worlds and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke still dominating the 49er scene,” he said. “In addition, we have never been in better shape with potential sponsors.”

If nothing else, there is even more reason for the current Challengers to agree than before. Without a collective agreement their own Cup campaigns will be in jeopardy.
See full article and blog by Matthew Sheahan at Yachting World – Click here



Categories: Racing

BBC News: Hundreds of sailors have returned to London 11 months after setting off on the 40,000-mile (64,000km) Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The 12 boats in the Clipper Race sailed between six continents.


Crowds greeted the boats as they arrived at Tower Bridge at 12:45 BST. Twelve teams, largely made up of novices, tackled hurricanes and tornadoes as they raced between six continents.

The crew from the winning vessel, Henri Lloyd, was presented with a trophy at St Katharine Docks.

The race was founded by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69.

He said: “It is a tight race, but in racing with a tight crew that is teamwork and that’s where you learn you can do things you didn’t realise you could do. You work together and you trust your lives to each other on a boat.”


Most of the crew members – 670 from more than 40 nations – were novices, although each boat was skippered by a professional.

The Clipper Race took in South Africa, Western Australia, Sydney, Singapore, China, San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry and the Netherlands before returning to London.

Most of the crew members – 670 from more than 40 nations – were novices, although each boat was skippered by a professional.

The Clipper Race took in South Africa, Western Australia, Sydney, Singapore, China, San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry and the Netherlands before returning to London.


See article and more pictures at BBC News – click here


Ministers today announced £7.5million of Government funding to support Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup team and their proposal to be based on the Camber in Portsmouth.


The news follows on from Portsmouth City Council’s decision to give planning approval for the site of the new base.

The announcement took place today at 10 Downing Street in the presence of the Prime Minister David Cameron, who said: ‘Sir Ben Ainslie’s project is truly fantastic news for Portsmouth and the Solent.

‘It will not only build on Portsmouth’s global reputation as a centre of marine and maritime excellence but will also deliver a real sporting and economic boost to the UK.

‘It is a great example of our long-term plan – creating jobs as well as opportunities for young people to develop their skills through apprenticeships.

‘This is an exciting and historic challenge and I hope the whole country can get behind Sir Ben’s campaign.’

BAR Team Principal and four-time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Ben said: ‘Portsmouth has a great maritime heritage and we felt it was a natural home for the team’s permanent base in the UK.

‘There is excellent access to the water for the team’s training and to host future America’s Cup events, with fantastic spectator viewpoints.

‘We hope through  our journey to bring the Cup home to Britain we will inspire more young people to get involved in the sport, along with supporting the growth of the marine sector in the Solent area to match the country’s F1 innovation hub.’

What’s next?
The headquarters will initially employ about 90 people, with many more potential jobs in the supply chain.

It will become the focal point for the design, construction and development of the team’s boats and will also provide sports science and fitness facilities.

An apprenticeship and training scheme will ensure the site is sustainable and there will be a drive to ensure the project acts as a catalyst to encourage participation in the sport of sailing, all areas of the marine industry and develop the talent of the future.

The project has the potential to bring significant economic and sporting benefits to the UK, particularly for Portsmouth and the wider Solent area.  A recent report on Team New Zealand suggested that its base in Auckland created 1,000 jobs and brought an $88million boost to the local economy.

A visitor centre showcasing the sport, innovation, technology and sustainability will be at the heart of the base, and will welcome schools and community groups. Visitors will experience the construction and on-going operation of the team’s America’s Cup boats first-hand.

In accordance with the team’s sustainability goals – monitored and supported by 11th Hour Racing Inc. – the base will be built to the BREEAM Excellent standard.

Construction work will start immediately, with planned completion in May 2015. Jonathan Goring will be responsible for the project at Ben Ainslie Racing, and he will run a completely separate team and budget to ensure that the base construction has no impact on the crucial drive to win the America’s Cup in 2017.

Goring was Managing Director of Capita Symonds, involved in the London 2012 Olympics, and CEO of Capita’s successful consortium that was selected to run the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.
See full article and watch Ben Ainslie Racing Team Base 3D Animation at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

Light winds turned the 2014 event into an endurance test with the slowest ever winner; 715 finishers and 791 retirees. This extremely light winds, at times recording zero knots, turned the 2014 J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race into an endurance test for its participants.


Held yesterday on Midsummer’s day, the race was one of the longest in the history of the 83-year-old race. There were 715 finishers and 791 retirees; race organisers said it is always regrettable to have more retirees than finishers but there was a very positive response from the majority of competitors nonetheless.

The slowest elapsed time for a line honours boat ever recorded in the race’s history was 08.51.37 achieved by Team Richard Mille on their GC32 foiling multihull – almost three times slower than last year’s winning time of 02.52.15, set by Sir Ben Ainslie’s AC45 catamaran team.

Most of the 1,585 entries started the race around the Isle of Wight in around three knots and bright sunshine and as the hours went by, temperatures rose but wind speed dropped leaving hundreds of boats becalmed and a large proportion of the 16,000 crew desperately seeking ways of making their boats go faster or resorting to stretching out on deck to enjoy the sunny conditions.

There were several standstills for many boats during the race, and other times when it was the tide, rather than the wind, that powered the yachts along.

First to the Needles was Jamie McGarry and Colin Moore’s Swan 45 Eala of Rhu but the going was slow and Sir Ben Ainslie, racing on the Farr 45 Rebel with members of his BAR America’s Cup crew, took longer to complete the first 13 miles than the record-breaking time he took to finish the entire race last year.

Rebel very quickly became involved in a match race with rival Farr 45 Toe in the Water crewed by injured servicemen and women who had served recently in Afghanistan and the lead swapped several times over the 50nms course though it was Capt Lloyd Hamilton’s ecstatic crew who nudged across the finish line ahead of Ainslie and his team of professionals.

‘This means everything to us,’ he said recording a time of 8 hours 51 minutes 39 seconds.

He added: ‘The guys are ecstatic at beating Rebel. They don’t know many of the America’s Cup sailors but they know and love Sir Ben Ainslie, so are thrilled.”

Racing debuts pay dividends
Another big battle to ensue on the water was between the brand new high-performance catamarans, the GC32s Team Richard Mille and Spax Solution making their racing debuts in the Solent.

Former line honours winner Pete Cumming had gathered together a professional crew for Team Richard Mille, including helmsman Paul Campbell-James and proved consistently faster than their rivals.

They took five long hours to reach St Catherine’s Point where the sea breeze kicked in to give the leading boats a big push over the next two hours towards the finish but just as they were within sight of the line, the wind in Stokes Bay died and their final flourish was delayed by a further hour to record a finish time of 8 hours and 51 minutes.

Cumming said: ‘It wasn’t the easiest race but these boats are superb – very fast even in light airs and fun to sail.’

First monohulls in battle royale
First monohull across the finish line was Dutch boat Tonnerre de Breskens, with a time of 9 hours 56 minutes 13 seconds but they too had a battle royale to gain an advantage over Mike Bartholomew’s Tokoloshe II, which trailed in just 22 seconds later after one of the biggest tests of endurance and patience since the Round the Island Race started in 1931.

The first Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust yacht, Scarlet Oyster, crewed by PBO News Editor Laura Hodgetts, trust volunteers and six young people crossed the finishing line at 5.57pm – almost 10 and a half hours after setting off at 7.30am.

A total of 24 teenagers took part on the trust’s five yachts. Dame Ellen and a crew aboard the trust’s flagship yacht Moonspray were forced to retire, after becoming becalmed off Dunose.

Twelve hours after the first start, 246 boats had finished and a further 445 had retired but the rest were still out on the course valiantly trying to make the finish before the cut off time of 10pm.

Prize giving
The Gold Roman Bowl was awarded to a Folkboat, Madelaine, skippered by Edward Donald, who hasn’t quite achieved the record four wins of the Gold Roman Bowl by Edward Heath but he’s nearly there, having won it individually three times and the Donald family has collected this famous trophy four times.

The Tenacity Trophy, awarded annually to the skipper of the last boat home. This year it fell to Stuart Whitmore to win the applause. He crossed the finish line on his Sigma 33, Sixes and Sevens, (IRC3) at 21.51.35, having started his race at 0730 – 14 hours, 21 minutes, 35 seconds later.

Event organiser, the Island Sailing Club, runs the event with support from title sponsor J.P. Morgan Asset Management and the race partners for 2014: Dream Yacht Charter, Haven Knox-Johnston, Henri Lloyd, Nautica Watches, Old Pulteney, Raymarine, Red Funnel, Volvo Car UK.

Find the full results click here

See full article at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

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