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Andrew 'Bart' Simpson MBE 'A Great Briton', Anthony Shanks Pays a Tribute

10th May 2013
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Andrew 'Bart' Simpson MBE 'A Great Briton', Anthony Shanks Pays a Tribute

Andrew 'Bart' Simpson MBE, 17 December 1976 to 9 May 2013.  (17 December 1976 to 9 May 2013). 2008 Olympic Gold Medal, 2010 Star World Champion and 2012 Olympic Silver Medal.  My foster son could not believe that I knew 'Bart' Simpson, when he eventually met the larger than life character that Bart was Jason received nothing but kindness and friendship.

On my 40th birthday in 2012 nothing but the finest vintage Dorset cider was good enough for us.

I do not remember when I met Bart but will never forget the enjoyment I had in his company and the pain that he put me through whilst helping him prepare for the 2012 Olympics.

In December 2012 I received a call from Bart to help prepare the way for me to join Team GBR as a training partner.

I was out of practice, this did not deter them, and they took this as another challenge. The training camps moved from Cadiz to Weymouth by way of Palma and Hyeres. But the focus never shifted. Along with Iain Percy they formed the most formidable partnership I have ever seen, nothing was beyond them. They forged a team including John Gimson, myself, Nick Harrison (coach), Simon Rosier (boat guru), Al Newton (boat builder) , Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn (Canadian Star Team) and a group of technical boffins too numerous to mention.

In 2003 Iain Percy invited Max Treacy and I to train with him in Cadiz, when Iain then teamed up with his child hood friend Andrew 'Bart' Simpson in 2006 we enjoyed an insight into their preparation methods and determination to win which was definitely a decisive factor for us in Miami in the 2008 World Championships when we qualified Ireland for the 2008 Olympics.

I watched with pride when they received their Medals in both 2008 and 2012, this was proof that nice guys do win. His MBE was recognition of his massive contribution to sailing and just deserts for "the Greatest of Britons".

Bart's interests outside of sailing, varied from Tottenham Hotspur Football Club through Economics to a love of high design furniture where he was hoping to make his mark with the fusion of Carbon and Wood.

Bart's wife Leah provided him with his greatest joy, his two great children. They had the greatest father and the most loving parent any child could ever want for.

Anthony Shanks, friend
Durrow, Laois, Ireland

Published in Olympics 2012
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