ALMOST 900 sailing clubs from around the world will stage an international event this weekend in memory of a Dorset Olympian.

The fourth annual Bart’s Bash, named after sailor Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, will take place tomorrow.

After spending a year away in Bermuda for the America’s Cup, high profile sailor Iain Percy will join his friends and family at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) where he spent many years training for his Olympic campaigns with Bart. Iain will be sailing his Bart’s Bash in the Star boat in which he competed in the first Bart’s Bash in 2014 with Andrew’s eldest son, Freddie Simpson.

So far 587 venues from 79 countries have signed up for the event, which raises money for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.

In previous years money raised has gone towards the foundation’s aims of encouraging anyone - no matter their background or circumstances - to get out on the water, but this year, the foundation has pledged to use the funds to help rebuild and re-equip sailing clubs and training centres affected by Hurricane Irma.

Iain said: “I can’t wait to get back in the Star and sail in Portland Harbour for this year’s Bart’s Bash. I’m especially looking forward to joining mine and Bart’s friends and family on this special day in his memory, which also helps us raise funds for the foundation we set up in his name. I hope to see all the local sailing clubs out there on the start line.”

Everyone is invited to join in and anyone who is looking to take part but doesn’t own their own boat should contact the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre on 01305 457400 as soon as possible.

as they have a limited number of boats available for the event.

Before, during and after the racing, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre team will have a host of activities for children who do not wish to sail. There will be a barbecue from 12pm and live music after the racing.

Registration will take place in Spinnakers at WPNSA on Saturday from 9.30am to 11.30am for any competitor launching from WPNSA. A competitors briefing will take place in Spinnakers at 11.30am. The warning signal for Bart’s Bash race on is scheduled for 12.55am.