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44 Boats Off Greystones For 'Bart's Bash' Sailing Event

22nd September 2014
greystones_bartbash
Greystones Sailors participating in the world wide 'Bart's Bash' Sailing Event. Photo: Alan Jones
44 Boats Off Greystones For 'Bart's Bash' Sailing Event

#bartsbash – On a glorious sunny Sunday a fleet of 44 craft took to the water in Greystones, County Wicklow as part of the world-wide Bart's Bash charity event. From very modest beginnings the event had grown arms and legs in the few days beforehand leaving PRO, Fiachra Etchingham with a considerable headache as to how to manage a fleet that ranged from Picos to an Archambault 35 and 18 Foot skiff through the same start line and around the same course without any casualties. The matter was compounded by the diversity of experience of the competitors which again ran through the full spectrum from seasoned round Ireland campaigners and national champions down to the Galligan twins who had completed level 1 a few weeks earlier.
Fortunately the wind stayed light and the competitors respected the PRO's instruction that this was a "fun" event and stayed clear of each other. The start line which was of truly epic proportions caught out many of the competitors who mistook the leeward mark for the pin end and consequently started quite late. This allowed Daragh Cafferky (A35, Another Adventure) to nail the pin end and port tack the whole fleet to a take a commanding lead which (despite the best efforts of his foredeck crew) he retained to the end.
On the committee boat to act as independent witnesses were Junior minister Simon Harris and Tom Fortune, Chairman of Greystones Municipal District. This was a first experience of sailing of both of them and one which they thoroughly enjoyed.
The light wind went patchier as the race progressed but most competitors managed to finish all with smiles on their faces. The huge entry and the positive response of competitors afterwards proves that occasional fun racing can greatly add to participation in the sport. A big thank you to the organising committee of Fiachra Etchingham, Alan Jones and Ross Brennan and to everyone who helped make it a great day for sailing and a very fitting memorial to Andrew Simpson

Published in Greystones Harbour
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