9 May 2014

Sir Ben Ainslie will open the new Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre on 9th May in Portland, Dorset. The centre will give young people and adults from all walks of the life the chance to experience the sport.

Crewsaver is donating all the on the water sailing clothing and safety equipment the students and instructors need over the next three years.

Olympic gold medallist Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson died on 9th May 2013, aged just 36, in a tragic accident in San Francisco while training for the America’s Cup. His best friends - sailing heroes Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy OBE - together with Simpson’s wife Leah set up the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF) to honour his life by supporting the next generation of sailors.

Crewsaver donate clothing & safety equipment for 100 sailors

As well as 100 buoyancy aids and wetsuits, Crewsaver has also donated the same number of waterproof spray-tops. Over the next three years the company will continue to supply the centre with numerous clothing and safety items required to fulfil their needs. Richard Percy of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation said, “We are very grateful to Crewsaver for the massive contribution they are making to the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre. Their donation of safety kit and clothing for all our students and staff will save us many thousands of pounds, enabling us to spend the public’s donations on other areas of our work to encourage more people to enjoy the water.”

Crewsaver’s Managing Director Ross Wilkinson said, “We are delighted to assist the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation in their fantastic projects to engage, encourage and support the next generation of sailors. We will be working closely with the ASSF team in the vital first three years of the Sailing Centre’s existence to make sure the students and instructors have all the kit they need.”

Crewsaver prizes up for grabs at the next big event - Bart’s Bash.

The next big project for the Foundation is Bart’s Bash, an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of Records with ‘The Largest Sailing Event in the World’. So far 543 sailing clubs around the world have signed up to get as many sailors as they can, out racing at the same time on Sunday 21st September 2014. Crewsaver will be a partner of Bart’s Bash running competitions throughout the event.

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre (

More than 200 people including Olympic medallists and the world’s sporting press were expected to attend the opening on May 9th. The centre is in Portland, Dorset, on the site of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) which was the venue for the sailing events in the London Olympic Games in 2012.

Courses are available for groups and individuals. Parents are encouraged to learn with their children. The 70 dinghies range in size from the smallest RS Tera to the biggest Laser Stratos. Booking opens on Monday 12th May. Tel: (0)753 201 6281,



Andrew Simpson was a world-famous sailor and Dorset local hero. He won two Olympic medals - one gold, one silver - before setting his sights on the America’s Cup. Tragically, he was killed in an accident while training on San Francisco Bay on 9th May 2013. Devoted to his family (he left wife Leah and two young sons), known to friends as ‘Bart’, and described by the ASSF team as ‘an all-round fantastic man’, his death was met with an outpouring of grief from sailors and sports fans around the world. His devastated best friends, Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy OBE together with Simpson’s wife Leah, set up the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation “to honour Andrew’s life and legacy by encouraging youngsters into sailing.”

The new Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre will be the base from which the Foundation will continue its charitable work.