Round 1 of Bart’s Bash was sailed on Saturday 16 September out of the Algoa Bay Yacht Club, Port Elizabeth. This year the Redhouse Yacht Club and ABYC joined forces to sail the Bash.
Race Officer, Ronnie Baer took the fleet of 16 entrants out of the Port of Port Elizabeth to sail offshore. The overcast conditions presented some interesting challenges for some of the open dinghies in the lumpy sea, 10 knot South South East wind and intermittent drizzle.
Divided into two fleets to accommodate Senior (Fleet 1) and Junior (Fleet 2) sailors the courses sailed comprised a Sausage, Triangle, Sausage for Fleet 1 and a Sausage, Triangle for Fleet 2.
Fresh from sailing in the RS Tera World Championships, Redhouse Yacht Club sailor – Sophie Hynch sailed two bullets in a Laser 4.7 dinghy to emerge triumphant in the 12 strong Fleet 1. In second place with two second places were Colin Benadie and Lauren Hynch on Colin’s immaculate Sonnet, closely followed by Algoa Bay Yacht Club’s Charlie Hills on a Laser Radial. Indicative of the difficult sea state we saw a number of retirees by open dinghies who struggled to keep their boats dry and spent more time bailing than sailing.
Fleet 2 featured the RS Tera boats with Cameron Hills showing the four strong fleet a clean pair of heels in both races to finish top of the leaderboard, followed by fellow Algoa Bay Yacht Club sailors, Luke Weddel and Tammy Bailes in second and third places respectively.
The Bart’s Bash regatta is an annual worldwide event held in aid of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF) and in memory of Olympic Gold medallist Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson (crewing for Iain Percy in the Star class 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing) who tragically lost his life in a sailing accident whilst out training for the America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay in 2013.
Over 355 yacht clubs and sailing venues in more over 58 countries signed up to participate this year with Durban’s mighty Point Yacht Club leading the top clubs leaderboard for entry numbers to Barts Bash this year, on a massive 196 and well ahead of their total last year.
Sailors taking part in Bart’s Bash are raising funds for the Foundation whose very specific objective for 2016 is to promote awareness for, and the further development of, disabled sailing globally.
ASAF’s main mission is to “help young people develop the personal skills that will improve their ability to succeed in life and to improve access to jobs and careers within the maritime sector.”
Point and Algoa Bay Yacht Club’s are the hosts for South Africa’s oldest Ocean Race the Vasco Da Gama Ocean Race which will, for the third time in 2017, be sailed from Durban to Port Elizabeth.
In 2014 with 3,600 boats participating across 768 venues around the world, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation smashed the Guinness World Record for Largest Sailing Race in 24 Hours (Multiple Venues). Results from yacht clubs around the world will be collated and displayed on the official Bart’s Bash website.