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Bart's Bash at Hamble River Sailing Club

by Barney Smith 25 Sep 2014 08:18 BST 21 September 2014

Over 300 members and friends of Hamble River Sailing Club (HRSC) on the South Coast of the UK had a fantastic time in the sun at Bart's Bash last Sunday.

125 boats raced split between 103 dinghies and 22 yachts, with 107 boats completing the special Bart's Bash race and thus taking their place, along with 1000s of others around the globe, as world record holders.

After racing was over all competitors returned to the clubhouse for food, drinks and a charity raffle and auction. Over £5000 had been raised for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF) by the time the last straggler had left the club in the early evening.

The special nature of the event bought out a wide range of people, many of whom had not raced for years, and some who had not raced at all!

Local GP Mark Tomson cajoled an amazing 21 Mirrors – a class not raced at Hamble for many years - onto the water using the simple method of ringing everyone with a boat in the village dinghy park and 'persuading' them they had to be there. They also held a BBQ for the Mirror sailors on the night before which raised over £250 for the ASSF.

As the skipper of the Mirror who finished last in the overall dinghy fleet said, "Hopefully the final result will reflect the huge effort I put into ensuring we were at the back of the fleet. Looking forward to more parent and child Mirror racing in the future and getting in touch with my competitive side!"

Rob Greenhalgh, whose sailing CV includes Volvo Ocean Race winner, 18" Skiff World Champion, and Extreme 40 Series Champion was the driving force behind getting the local Foxer fleet on the water. With a previous record entry somewhere in the region of 35 boats the race team were astonished to see 58 Foxers arrive on the startline with 50 completing the race. Foxer sailing is tricky at the best of times and the gusty northerly winds funnelling down the river led to ten capsizes... the culprits being 'punished' in true Foxer tradition after racing in the club bar!

Rob himself was the overall Portsmouth Yardstick winner on the day in the 85 strong dinghy finishing group, with the Burlton mirror first non-Foxer in sixth overall. All competitors are eagerly awaiting the overall Bart's Bash results to see how they fared against the rest of the world.

Positive feedback from competitors and spectators is still flooding in to the club. Here are a small selection:

"a fantastic day on Sunday at Bart's Bash - makes you proud to be part of the sailing community."

"I hear on the village grapevine that a vast amount of money was raised so well done all, whether you organised, helped, competed, donated money or prizes."

"The Foxer fleet made the ITV news! ‪#‎bartsbash‬ great day"

And finally from a notable Foxer competitor who was 'inadvertently' caught in an incident at the first mark:

"there was no way through, missed the mark altogether, so I gybed back round, ended up getting caught in the middle of a dozen Foxers coming in on Starboard, I managed to eventually get round, but I guess if Bart was up there watching, he would have found it all very amusing!"

It looks like we're doing it all again on September 20th next year – Bring it on!

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