Barts Bash - Race Report - Septemeber 2015

Clacton Sailing Club last weekend joined in a world record attempt in memory of Clacton Sailing Club last weekend joined in a world record attempt in memory of Andrew 'Bart' Simpson MBE, Olympic Gold and Solver medalist and American Cup Sailor.

Barts Bash 2015 Logo

'Bart's Bash' as it is known is the World's largest sailing event and globally coordinates club racers on the same day with qualifying courses set over modest 1000m distance and lasting over 15 minutes.

Sailors from CSC joined more than 9,000 sailors from more than 60 countries and helped raise funds by some generous donations from the sailors and friends.

The course for this event was set with just two buoys laid at 90 degrees to the wind 500m apart and designed to guarantee a fast and furious competition that was specially easy for the shoreside spectators to follow.

To add to the excitement a start line was set between one of the clubs rescue boats and the ODM to allow the boats to make their line charges already at full speed on a beam reach.

The race was to run over a minimum of 15 minutes and nobody knew at the start how many laps this would allow as the SW winds obligingly increased force 3-4.

The fleet was made up mostly of fast catamarans and made a fabulous spectacle with the crews flat out on the trapeze wires for the entire race.

Boat speed differences allowed some overtaking opportunities on the reach but the manoeuvres at each buoy gave the best chance for boats to sneak inside each other.

The outer gybe buoy required the boats approaching at full speed  to make tightly carving 180 degree turns generating impressive forces. Such was his enthusiasm that Liam Wright threw his Dart 18 into an impressive capsize which added yet another gybe mark obstacle for the following racers, sailing single-handed Liam struggled to hold onto his boat which rolled-over immediately he had righted into a capsize on the other side and he was eventually to retire exhausted but still exhilarated by the racing. (Liam had earlier the same day dominated the club race by helming his catamaran single-handed to success in the Class Series 4)

Young Jack Wayland crewing for Matt Burrell at one stage was swept off their Dart and was dragged along by his trapeze wire until he was able to regain his footing and they could continue the chase.

Close start - Dennis Wood Cup 2015

The cat fleet included two Dart 16's being raced by regulars Larry Foxon and Mike Rolfe and Robert Mitchell who this week had teamed-up with new club member Brian Allen as well as the fast  Nacra 20 catamaran sailed by Stelios Tabis and his new crew Jeff Parrmay.

As the laps continued the fleet spread out and appeared as a continuous circuit as the faster boats began to lap the slower ones with only the Race Officer and the competitors knowing who was in which place.

Port and Starboard right of way racing rules handled the conflicting risk of having boats sailing on head-on collision courses and Jack Dempsey certainly deserves a special mention for braving the race track  amongst this fleet of fast boat in a club Topaz. He managed to complete 3000m of sailing inside the 15 minutes.

Everyone agreed the short sprint course sailed on fast boats was a real test of skill and stamina and will be a format to explore in future club races.


Once the handicap results were known Pete Boxer and Eilish Dempsey were the overall winners in their Dart 18.

The real winners of course will be the thousands of children around the world that benefit from the Andrews Simpson Sailing Federation.

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