Laser sailors from around the world unified to show their support for the Andrew “Bart” Simpson foundation by becoming part of a new Guinness World record for “the largest sailing race in 24 hours at multiple venues”. With over 1580 Standard rigs, in excess of 880 Radials, and more than 300 Laser 4.7’s the Laser was the largest class represented in the world fleet.
As the day started on our side of the planet we were one of the first countries to get underway, with over nine hundred Australian sailors competing in a worldwide field of more than twenty six thousand sailors! Seventy two Lasers represented Australia with our fastest being Colin Dibb sailing out of a breezy Fremantle in a standard rig with the next fastest in a Radial, also from the west, Yuki Nishio.
Worldwide the Britt’s cleaned up in Lasers with a fifth outright in the standard rig and a ninth outright in a radial rig, both from the same river yacht club so I suspect they were reaching back and forward across the river to give them far greater speed than we could achieve on windward return or triangle courses! Look out next year…..one km downwind legs coming up!
Six clubs from Victoria competed with four of these clubs having fleets of the twenty-five minimum required to be included in the world record ie: Mordialloc SC. Mt.Martha YC. Sandringham YC & Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club. However, what they lacked in numbers they did not in spirit and great fun was also had at Port Arlington with Manfred leading them home.
James Mitchell was the fastest Victorian, sailing from Sandy, followed by Chris Bolton who was coerced from retirement for the day and loaned a boat at Mt.Martha YC. Hamish Fleetwood starred at Mordialloc with ten Lasers sailing from there.
Mt. Martha was quietly blessed with Glenn Ashby who gave everyone a sense of connection and loss to Bart even on this side of the planet. Glenn being a gentleman took his foiling Moth to the “wrong” side of the finish line so I guess we could say we had beaten him!
Feedback from everywhere was massive with “Barts” website, Facebook, and You Tube interviews and clips carrying on for days after the event. However, it was the fun, camaraderie and love of our sailing that will make this event even bigger in 2015 all in the memory of “Bart”!
So, do yourself a favour and check the “Barts Bash” website out and get your clubs Lasers involved next year or come along to a club that is!