OLYMPIC stars will take part in a charity bike ride in Portsmouth in memory of a much-missed sailor.
Sir Ben Ainslie and Ian Percy are some of those supporting Bike4Bart, which is being held in memory of Olympic sailor Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson MBE, who died in a sailing accident in 2013.
Grant Simmer, chief executive of the America’s Cup team for Britain and all of Team Ineos, who are based at The Camber in Old Portsmouth, will also be taking part in the ride on Saturday, April 27, which is being run by the Andrew Simpson Foundation.
Sir Ben Ainslie is a founding trustee of the Andrew Simpson Foundation and will be presenting the award for young sportsperson of the year on the music stage on the day.
He said: ‘We’re thrilled to bring this incredible event to Portsmouth in 2019 and supported by the local community and Partners across the UK, we can ensure access to a wide range of activities and entertainment for all.
‘Funds raised via Bike4Bart will enable the Andrew Simpson Foundation to continue to reach out and engage with young people around the world to develop their life skills and capabilities by making sailing and watersports accessible, creating a hobby and passion for life.’
Nicky Adamson, sales and communications co-ordinator for the Andrew Simpson Centre Portsmouth said: ‘We are extremely excited to be bringing to you this years Bike for Bart charity event.
‘Bike for Bart 2018 was a huge success and we are hoping this year again to raise money for the amazing Andrew Simpson Foundation which will help to spread the message to everyone of how we are improving lives through sailing!’
The bike ride will start at the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre on Eastern Road and will follow routes around the Meon Valley before returning to the centre.
There will be three options of routes for riders to take part in, one 34 mile ride, one 65 miles ride and one 99 mile ride.
Riders will set-off around 7.30am and return to the centre between 10am and 11am to enjoy free water sports sessions and the Village Festival on the sports field next to the centre, which will have activity stands, which are being run by Rollapaluza, Frog Bikes and Solent Cycles.
Some of the watersports activities include sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding.
There will also be food and drink stalls, a raffle and live music all day until 8pm.
Anyone is encouraged to come along and get involved with the event, which is free except for the entry fee for the bike ride, which ranges from £33-£45.