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Blackwater Armada raises money for Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation

by Chris Kirby 30 Sep 2015 10:35 BST 27 September 2015

An armada of boats of all shapes and sizes took part in a long distance race on Sunday 27th September organised by a joint committee of sailing clubs on the River Blackwater. The sprint started off the shores of picturesque Osea Island and saw over 90 boats on the start line.

The race was organised by members of Blackwater, Harlow & Blackwater, Marconi, Maylandsea Bay and Stone Sailing Club and was held in memory of Olympic Gold medallist sailor Andrew "Bart" Simpson who tragically died in a sailing accident in 2013.

The event is one of hundreds that have been organised all over the world to raise money for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. The results of each and every race are then combined to reveal an overall winner - a process which can take a couple of weeks in itself!

The Blackwater race separated in to a dinghy and cruiser fleet, with the first race starting at 10.30. The boom of the starting cannon on Committee Boat "Dumar" signalled the beginning of the cruiser race with their course set downriver taking in the Goldhanger and Thirslet channel markers with Radio Caroline at Bradwell on Sea used as the windward mark.

Fifteen minutes after the cruisers, the race for the dinghies and catamarans began. The frenzied flotilla were closely bunched up as they crossed the start line to begin their race in the direction of Marconi Sailing Club and then around Osea Island. Favourable winds saw the first boat cross the line in less than 30 minutes, although the majority took about 90 minutes.

With the event hailed a huge success once more, the race committee hopes the event will continue to prosper and to further bring together the sailing communities along the River Blackwater.

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