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Friday, September 26, 2014

BART’s BASH, The Largest Sailing Event in the World 2014 – Bolgoda Lake

The Sailors
The Sailors
This whole record breaking attempt was prompted by the untimely death of Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson in a training exercise for the America’s Cup. He was respected worldwide for his sailing skills and support of sailing at all levels.
The Ceylon Motor Yacht Club - CMYC, representing Sri Lanka, were proud to have 67 sailors compete in Bart’s Bash on Sunday. Some sailed singlehanded, others with a pair of helping hands, others for the first time & still more with varying levels of sailing skill. Sixteen sailors from the Sri Lankan Navy sailed Enterprises, GP14s and Laser Radials. Seventeen school children sailed in their Optimist Class of boat, with representatives from St Thomas’ & Royal College taking part, demonstrating a very high standard of sailing. Jeremy Bolling who circumnavigated Sri Lanka in his sailboat – White Heron - earlier this year, also took part in his GP14 as did Lalin Jirasinha – Asian Games Bronze Medalist for Sri Lanka in his Waterwag, along with fellow members of CMYC in GP14s, Lasers, Nacra 5.5 SL, Hobie 16 and Waterwag.

Riding the waves
Riding the waves
A lively WSW wind of 9-12 kts made for some very exciting racing and a number of capsizes. Everyone emerged from Bolgoda Lake with broad smiles and a lot of tales to tell. Support was plentiful from the shore and clubhouse with music, food & enthusiastic company completing an exhilarating day.
Sri Lanka was an integral part of this Record Breaking attempt to gain an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. The challenge being to have the largest International sail racing event ever held. CMYC signed up & participated in this truly inspiring global event.
CMYC were honoured to represent Sri Lanka and be a part of making history in the world of sailing as well as starting something truly amazing in Bart's memory. Every individual, be they competitor, volunteer, supporting relative or organiser came together on Sunday and achieved an incredible goal, bonding the world of sailing across continents and boat classes like never before.
Every one of the competitors rocked the socks off the sailing world and Sri Lanka can be truly proud to have been part of this incredible event. Out of 760 clubs across 67 countries and 19187 sailors the CMYC had 74 participants in 46 sailboats making them the 47th most popular club in the world!! Well done to all involved.

CMYC Bart’s Bash winners:

First Club members Captain Per Svendsen and Per Fredrick August Svendsen in Nacra 5.5 SL
Second Sri Lankan Navy WAR Nisantha and NFMU Gunawardana in GP14
Third Club members Anil Gunawardana and Michelle Gunawardana

Afterwards a club fleet race was sailed for the Schoolchildren in their Optimists. And a longer course navigated for three separate club fleet races of the larger boats comprising Sri Lankan Navy in Enterprises and many sailors in Lasers and GP14s. A splendiferous weekend was enjoyed by all at CMYC and the whole event provided an invigorating boost to sailing in Sri Lanka.

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