Andrew 'Bart' Simpson memorial regatta: 500th club signed up

Andrew Simpson Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Andrew "Bart" Simpson died when a yacht capsized in San Francisco Bay in May during training for the America's Cup

More than 500 sailing clubs have now signed up for races being staged in memory of Olympic sailing gold medallist Andrew "Bart" Simpson.

The 36-year-old from Sherborne in Dorset died when his catamaran flipped over during training for the America's Cup in San Francisco Bay in May.

The regatta will see over 40 sailing clubs across the world host simultaneous races on 21 September.

Organisers had expected 200 UK clubs would take part.

Announced in December, the race is being run by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.

'Colossal event'

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

Trustee Sir Ben Ainslie said: "The 500th club announcement is a significant milestone as we continue to work on the preparations for this colossal event.

"Andrew was a true inspiration for those who knew him and those who competed against him; we hope a touch of that magic is reflected in Bart's Bash, inspiring all sailors across the globe."

Nicknamed Bart, Simpson won Olympic gold at Beijing 2008 and silver at London 2012.

The Point Yacht Club in Durban, South Africa, was the 500th club to sign up to the race.

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