Barts Bash - Race Report - September 2017

Last Sunday Clacton Sailing Club joined in a global sailing event known as ‘Barts Bash’ which is by far the biggest annual sailing event in the world.

Barts Bash 2015 Logo

Clacton sailors joined with others from more than 62 countries in 800 venues around the world for a day of sailing to remember Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson.

Primarily a participation event, Bart’s Bash is also a key fundraising event for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. The ASSF supports worthy sailing causes around the world including disabled and Paralympic sailing as well as this year for victims of Hurricane Irma

Light offshore winds

Light offshore winds and glassy swells greeted the fleet of catamaran and dinghy regulars as Race Officer Daniel Brzezinski set the 4-buoy course over a measured distance of 3km. The intention was to race for 60 minutes and finish lap started within the time limit.

The competitors got clean away to a nicely bunched start heading on a beam reach into the ebbing tide. First to the windward mark was Pete Boxer in his single-handed A Class catamaran and after gybing offshore trying to stay within a pocket of localised wind managed to capsize to windward whilst out of the trapeze wire.

Hurricanes cats first to over-take

The Hurricane cats were the first to over-take with Mark and son Charlie Venables enjoying their new boat ‘Slam’. Brian Allen with new crew Allen Griffins in the other Hurricane SX soon hoisted their kite and nearly took off in the flurries of stronger winds that visibly scudded across the sea surface and soon became the boat to catch leading the fleet for the rest of the race.

The Dart fleet was headed by Martin and Debbie Chivers in their 18 sporting a pair of new rudder blades after last weeks impact with a floating object.

Rob Mitchell singlehanded in his yellow Dart 16 was closely followed by the other Rob Mitchell sailing with wife Cathy in their grey Dart 16.


Mike & Sue Suffield in the RS200 enjoyed the windshifts and could tack or gybe quicker than any of the cats in the fickle winds that blew between 0 and 10mph seeming to swing 180 degrees without much warning.

After one hour, the leading cats had completed 5 laps. Having struggled to settle into the rhythm of light wind sailing for the first 2 laps Martin & Debbie really nailed the last laps to finish in first place once the handicap results were calculated ahead of the other husband and wife teams of Rob & Cathy Mitchell followed by Mike & Sue Suffield who enjoyed 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Impromtu Second race

A second scratch race was held in the afternoon to make the most of the glorious sunshine with sailors conscious that the season has started to draw in. This time Pete Boxer sailed his A Class to first place ahead of Rob & Cathy and Brian Allen with Allen Griffins.