The Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre will inspire all ages to take up sailing
The Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre has officially opened at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA)- marking the anniversary of the influential sailor’s untimely death. The emotional ceremony took place on Friday 9 May, attended by Andrew’s family and friends.
WPNSA Chief Executive Peter Allam and many other representatives of the British sailing community were on hand to make this a very special occasion, and celebrate the centre’s aim – to inspire people of all ages to take up sailing.
Dedicated to the memory of Olympic sailor Andrew Simpson, who tragically lost his life in an accident while training in San Francisco Bay exactly a year ago, the new RYA accredited Centre aims to become a centre of sailing excellence, providing a sustainable Olympic legacy and helping the Foundation to fulfil its charitable objectives through the provision of a range of RYA sailing courses for young people, community organisations and adults.
The ribbon was cut by Andrew’s sons Hamish and Freddie, who were joined by Sir Ben Ainslie, Paul Goodison MBE and Iain Percy OBE.
Iain Percy OBE, said: “On behalf of the trustees of the Foundation, we’re really overwhelmed by the turnout today from friends and colleagues who knew Andrew. It was a tough decision to launch the centre on the 9th May, being a year today that we lost the great man, but we felt that is was another great opportunity to celebrate him. Not a time to reflect and be sad, but a chance to continue the great things that he did in his life.”
Subsidising sailing sessions for children
Sir Ben Ainslie commented: “ We are starting our activity, including subsidising sailing sessions for children, on a local level, but want to partner with clubs from around the country with similar objectives; and ultimately do that on a global scale. It’s fantastic to see what has been achieved in such a short space of time; and I’m sure Andrew would be very proud.”
Peter Allam, Chief Executive of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, sees the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre as a perfect fit alongside the other on site partners at WPNSA, delivering grass roots tuition right through to advanced race coaching for all age groups.
The Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre will also work closely with the Chesil Trust and the WPNSA to deliver the ‘Rod Shipley Sail for a Fiver' scheme. Now in its 10th year, the scheme has enabled more than 12,000 Dorset school children to experience sailing on the Olympic waters.
Photo: On Edition