James comes out on top in ‘Bart’s Bash’

Some of the boats out on the River Bann.
Some of the boats out on the River Bann.

Andrew James Simpson, MBE nicknamed “Bart”, was an English sailor who won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, as crew for skipper Iain Percy in the Star class representing

Great Britain.

Andrew was killed in the capsize of the catamaran he was crewing on 9 May 2013 while

training for the America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay.

His friend Ben Ainsley and others set up the Andrew Simpson Foundation to celebrate his life. The

Foundations mission statement says it all: ‘Everything we do is driven by our belief that all young people have the ability to excel’.

On Sunday 21st September the Foundation ran an event named “Barts Bash”, which was an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of Records for the largest sailing race in the world.

748 Clubs and 14000 sailors registered to compete and CYC was one of them.

The biggest sailing fleet ever in Coleraine Yacht Club turned out for the 1430 hrs start on the River Bann, 41 boats and 50 sailors.

It was a spectacular start on the short starting line just below the Club watched by a large crowd of spectators in the brilliant sunshine.

The atmosphere was electric and on the gun the Lasers were dominant with James Camobell getting away first followed by Russell Yates and Ivor Paul. Jonny Callaghan, Patrick White, Josh Conkey and TC Baxter Mulvenna were also well placed.

Conditions were not ideal with very light winds up to 7 knots and many blank patches on the water, however this was a fun race with some first time racers.

Deborah Kinder appeared for the first time as crew for the veteran Dermot Gordon in an RS Feva whilst her daughter Sienna sailed a Topper. Romy and Olivia Orr were in their Pico competing in the Cadet Class.

Several of the new sailors were from the summer courses.

CRS provided the safety cover and CYC are very grateful to Sean McCarry and his team for their help and support.

The event was also a fund raiser for the Andrew Simpson Foundation and all entry fees were kindly donated by the Club.

Racing was over a one kilometre course with the leading boats completing three laps. In the fickle conditions places changed often with Alan McCann Russell Yates, Ivor Paul in Lasers and Brian Holmes in a RS400 snapping at Campbell’s heels.

Campbell retained his lead on the water until the last 200 meters when he was passed by Holmes in the RS.

The Topper fleet provided some great sailing with T C Baxter Mulvenna coming out on top with

Jonty Callaghan second and Josh Conkey third.

Prizes were presented on the Lawn.

The full results will appear on www.bartsbash.co.uk.and their is still time to make a donation through the Just Giving website.

A barbecue was enjoyed after the Race when the cooking skills of Commodore Paul Leighton and club secretary Davy Hunt came to the fore.

A day to be remembered in CYC’s history.

Results

Ist. James Campbell. Laser

2nd. Russell Yates. Laser

3rd Ivor Paul. Laser

Junior Fleet

1st. T C Baxter Mulvenna. Topper

2nd. Jonty Callaghan. Topper

3rd. Josh Conkey. Topper

Cadets

Winner.

Olivia and Romy Orr. Laser Pico