Andrew grew up in Windlesham, Surrey and began his love of sailing at the age of four, with his father in a Seafly dinghy in Christchurch, Dorset. He progressed into the Royal Yachting Association youth squad, where the chief coach, Jim Saltonstall, took pleasure in how Simpson “enjoyed learning to sail better all the time”. He was also able to sail while at Hall Grove School and then Pangbourne College, a boarding school in Berkshire, and went on to study an economics degree at Queen Mary College, University of London.
Andrew started his full time sailing after University in the laser dinghy, where he achieved considerable success. He was a key member of the new wave of British talent that arrived on the Olympic scene to such devastating effect (for the other countries!). His career really took off when he switched to the heavyweight Finn class. He campaigned alongside his longtime friends Iain Percy and Ben Ainslie, personally winning many times on the world stage and he supported the British team to an unprecedented 4 successive Gold medal campaigns. When Percy won gold in 2000 he was quoted at the press conference saying that the medal was “half Andrews”. Of course, Andrew is best known for his Olympic Gold and Silver medals in the Star class keelboat. Andrew and Iain dominated the Olympic keelboat sailing division for over 5 years from 2007 till 2012, winning countless titles including World and European championships to add to their famous Olympic Gold and Silver medals.
In 2009 Bart was appointed MBE following his Beijing success for services to sailing.
Earlier, in around the year 2000, Andrew met Leah and fell completely and utterly in love. If you knew Andy, then you were in no doubt that Leah had become his life. Together they moved into their house in Sherborne, Dorset, and Andy formed his love of local Dorset food and drink, principally Cider and Ploughmans…! Over his career Andrew always managed get the balance just right, a fiercely competitive sportsman but at the same time an inspirationally loving husband and father.
After the Olympics in 2012, Andrew joined the Swedish Artemis America’s Cup team as a leading member. His effect on the team was immediate, he brought a talent and a will to win that was born in his Olympic spirit. Always shining in a team environment, Andrew was immediately the gelling force that brought people together and extracted their very best. Andrew was enjoying the campaign and had relocated his family to San Francisco for six months.
Andrew tragically died at the age of 36 in an accident onboard the Artemis AC72 yacht in San Francisco Bay.
Bart leaves behind his lovely wife, Leah, and two beautiful sons, Freddie and Hamish who share Andrew’s wonderful smile. He is greatly missed by all that knew him, and many who were inspired by him but never met him.