What a day – and where to begin with my report? Hopefully you will have already seen the video footage on the Club’s website of the starts and the photos of each boat as they finished. Well done to Malcolm for capturing the essence of the event. This was a requirement by the Guinness World Record for clubs wanting to be included in the attempt to stage ‘the largest sailing event in the world’, but it is also a great record for the Club and the competitors who took part.
The weather was almost perfect. Maybe slightly too much wind at times, but better that than the still conditions of previous weekends.
Another stipulation by the GWR was that we should have a minimum of 25 boats on the start line. We were hoping to be able to field 3 starts roughly divided into fast, medium and slow handicaps but right up to the last minute, we could not be sure that we would have over 75 boats taking part.
However, BSC members really entered into the spirit of the day and we had a total of 91 boats starting the races, with only 8 retirements – so 83 finishers! There were a further 13 boats who had entered but who did not make it to the start line at Cobnor because of the wind. It was gusting 22-23 knots at times, so far better to be safe than sorry… particularly with downwind starts!
In all 27 different types of boat took part, and the joint largest fleets were the Tideways, Scows and Oppies who all had 10 entries each. With the competitors’ ages ranging from 7 to over 80, and a mix of girls and boys taking part, it was a remarkable turnout showing how sailing is truly an all-inclusive sport. One Tideway even achieved a combined age of 160 for just two crew members!
There are certificates available from the Club Office for all the cadets who took part on the day – and if some of the ‘grand masters’ would like one too, I am sure we can manage it…
We also had to measure the distance of each race so that the event team can calculate worldwide results from the results that each Club submits. You may be interested to know that the Fast division covered 10.5kms, the mediums sailed 8.6kms and even the slow fleet went 4.6kms – and that is without taking into account that everyone had to sail to Cobnor and back… well done everyone, particularly those who were racing for the first time. And thank you to the lovely Oppy sailors who all thanked the race management team as they crossed the finish line!
The most poignant moment of the day for me however, was when we were all safely back on the terrace and enjoying a well-earned barbecue in the sunshine. 8 year old Sophia Tracey was asked to read ‘Something beautiful remains’ an anonymous poem that was part of Andrew Simpson’s funeral service This was then followed by a minute’s silence in memory of Andrew Simpson. His life was tragically cut short, but his legacy will continue to benefit so many in the years to come.
Thanks to the generosity of our members, BSC raised £2,645 on the day from donations, the sale of raffle tickets and the auction, so thank you all for your contributions! We were 18th highest of 460 worldwide and the most generous club in Chichester Harbour!
As ever, an event like this does not happen by magic. So I would like to say an enormous thank you to the people who made the day go so smoothly – too many to list them all individually but in particular:
Miranda Powley and Sarah Grant for keeping the kitchen running.
Malcolm Butler for his photographic skills and constant help with the website.
Merrick and Emma Rayner for organising the raffle and auction.
Gavin for his tireless good humour.
The Race Management Team, the Rescue Boat Crews, Witnesses and Stewards for giving up their time on the day.
The Bar Staff for making sure we didn’t go thirsty.
And last but not least Steve Shaw for everything he did to make it all happen.
If you would like to know where you came – keep an eye on the Bart’s Bash website over the next few days – you never know, you might even have beaten someone famous! www.bart’sbash.co.uk
And finally – there will be another Bart’s Bash on 20th September 2015 – so save the date now. But don’t wait that long, join the regular Club racing next year. It isn’t scary and you don’t have to be an Olympic hopeful to get a result! See you on the water soon!