Sport

Sailing club to compete against the world in special event

WORLD EVENT: Clarence River Sailing Club will participate in “Bart’s Bash” this Sunday. Photo: Debrah Novak
WORLD EVENT: Clarence River Sailing Club will participate in “Bart’s Bash” this Sunday. Photo: Debrah Novak

IT IS not often you can compete against some of the world's best sportspeople on your home surf.

Local sailors have the opportunity to do just that Sunday when Clarence River Sailing Club joins more than 700 clubs in the first "Bart's Bash".

It is the first time the ambitious event has been attempted, and it did not take long for CRSC to hoist their sails in support.

CRSC member Tony Rose said he floated the idea at a recent general meeting.

"We usually have a regatta but we were struggling to find a free weekend and I'd heard of this so threw it out there," Rose said.

"There hasn't been too many get back to us so far but we are confident of getting numbers."

As well as a global fundraising and sailing event, Bart's Bash will also attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the "largest sailing race in 24 hours (multiple venues)".

To be eligible for the Guinness World Record there must be 25 entrants, the course must be at least one kilometre long and last a minimum of 15 minutes.

Rose said they would run the event regardless of whether or not they had the numbers, but was excited at the prospect of inclusion in the unique global event.

"I'm pretty sure it's the first time something like this has been done," Rose said.

"We'll run it no matter what. We only have to get those 25 entrants - everything else is ready."

CRSC publicity officer Peter Zietsch said one of the chief attractions was the chance to compete with sailors across the world.

"I'll be out in my Laser don't you worry," Zietsch said.

"You have to satisfy specific criteria about safety and distance, but the real beauty is all the results will be compiled centrally and they will declare a world winner.

"It's a bit of fun but it makes it more exciting."

The event briefing is from 1.30pm with the race scheduled to start at 2pm.

What is Bart's Bash?

THE brainchild of the UK-based Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, Bart's Bash is a global sailing race.

The race, which must be completed on Sunday, is a major fundraising event for the foundation.

Andrew "Bart" Simpson was killed in a training accident in San Francisco in May 2013 while he prepared for the America's Cup.

The foundation was set up in his name to honour his life and legacy, and to use sailing to "inspire the next generation" to develop personal skills.

All race details are set locally by each club, but to meet world record rules must be more than a one kilometre long and they must sail for more than 15 minutes.

At least 25 boats must participate at each location.

Results from each race will be uploaded to a central database, with a global winner to be determined when all results are compiled.

As of noon yesterday, 11,236 sailors in 734 clubs across 65 countries have raised more than $A150,000.

Topics:  clarence river, clarence river sailing club



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