'Bart's Bash' to be held in sailor Andrew Simpson's memory

Andrew Simpson and Iain Percy celebrate their Olympic gold in 2008 Andrew Simpson (left) won gold with Iain Percy at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

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A mass dinghy event is being staged in memory of Olympic sailing gold medallist Andrew "Bart" Simpson.

Organised by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, "Bart's Bash" will see sailing clubs across the UK host simultaneous races on 21 September.

Simpson, from Sherborne in Dorset, was killed while training for the America's Cup in San Francisco Bay on 9 May.

His sister, Amanda Simpson, said: "It's a great way to remember him. He would be really chuffed."

Broke into pieces

The foundation was set up in his name by fellow sailors Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy, Simpson's widow Leah Simpson and sister Amanda to support youth sailing.

"Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy were his best friends and they just want to do what they can to remember him in a great way," Ms Simpson added.

It is hoped more than 200 clubs will take part, with an estimated 10,000 sailors on the water.

Nicknamed Bart, the Olympian became trapped under an AC72 catamaran when it nosedived, capsized and broke into pieces while training with Artemis Racing.

The medical examiner's report, released in California, said he suffered multiple blows to his head and body.

The father of two, who lived in Sherborne with his wife and sons Freddie and Hamish, won Olympic gold at Beijing 2008 and silver at London 2012.

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