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Knox Johnston Leads The Way for 'Barts Bash' On The Solent

23rd September 2014
Knox Johnston Leads The Way for 'Barts Bash' On The Solent

#bartsbash – A sailing legend and alumni of round the world ocean racers took to the Solent at the weekend as one of the largest entries in the global record-breaking attempt Bart's Bash, to raise funds for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF).

Over 130 former Clipper Round the World Yacht Race crew and skippers spanning nine race editions over 19 years were joined by renowned yachtsman and Clipper Race chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on the 24.8 mile course from Gosport on the South Coast, specially created for the Bart's Bash event.

Nine of the new fleet of twelve identical stripped-down Clipper 70-foot ocean racing yachts took part in Bart's Bash, the first time so many Clipper 70s have been on the water racing since the 11-month, 40,000-mile long Clipper Race finished earlier this year.

Sir Robin remarked: "It was a fantastic day to get the Clipper 70s out on the water and it was a pleasure to see many familiar Clipper Race faces return to Gosport once again. We had perfect sailing conditions and many experienced ocean racers competing which made the race very close and exciting, with the lead changing quite a lot. Well done to all our racers."

More than 17,000 sailors, representing over 600 clubs worldwide participated in Bart's Bash on Sunday with the Clipper Race Yacht Club (CRYC) ranked eleventh overall. The Clipper Race Yacht Club was set up in 2009 and has over 840 members worldwide. It is the only club in the world that requires an ocean crossing qualification and has more circumnavigators in its membership than any other club.

So far, Bart's Bash has raised £166,716.42 for the ASSF worldwide and it has provisionally set a new Guinness World Record for the 'largest sailing event in 24 hours.'

Sir Robin added: "Congratulations to the team at the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation for creating such a successful, global sailing event. It was a proud moment for all at the Clipper Race Yacht Club to be able to join together, be part of history and raise funds for the first ever Bart's Bash."

Founded by Sir Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy OBE, and Andrew Simpson's wife Leah, in Andrew's memory, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation aims to create transformational life opportunities for young people through sailing, in the UK and around the world, a philosophy shared closely by the Clipper Race.

Recently Sir Robin Knox-Johnston announced the donation of a crew spot for Leg 6, the Pacific Ocean crossing in the Clipper 2015-16 Race to the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, with patron Sir Ben Ainslie joining him to reveal the contest details. Open to all UK based 18-24 year olds, regardless of previous sailing experience, they just need to be nominated for the challenge. The contest closes on 14 November. Click here for more information, and how to apply.

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