Dorset

Bart's Bash race funds to highlight Paralympic 'travesty'

  • 8 March 2016
  • From the section Dorset
Bart's Bash at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy Image copyright Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation
Image caption Since it launched in 2014, Bart's Bash has seen more than 45,000 sailors participate across 62 countries

Funds raised from a global sailing event held in memory of an Olympic champion will be pumped into disabled sailing, organisers have said.

Paralympic organisers said sailing will not feature in the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Organisers of Bart's Bash - held in honour of Andrew "Bart" Simpson - said it hoped to highlight the "travesty" of the sport being dropped.

Money generated by the race will be used to develop disabled sailing globally, it said.

The event will be held on the 17 and 18 September to coincide with the end of the Paralympic Games.

Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF), the charity which organises the race, has raised more than £600,000 for sailing projects in eight countries.

Image copyright David Jones/PA Wires
Image caption Iain Percy and Andrew "Bart" Simpson won Olympic gold medals for the star class at Beijing 2008

Iain Percy, ASSF trustee, said: "Bart was extremely passionate about the power that sailing has and that it should be accessible for all.

"It is a travesty that the Paralympics is dropping sailing after Rio 2016."

Simpson from Sherborne, Dorset, won Olympic gold at Beijing 2008 and silver at London 2012.

He died in May 2013 when his catamaran flipped over during training for the America's Cup in San Francisco Bay.

Since its 2014 launch, Bart's Bash has seen more than 45,000 sailors participate across 62 countries.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decided not to include sailing in the Tokyo programme because the sport did not have "worldwide reach".

President Sir Philip Craven said the decision "was not an easy one".

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