Bart's Bash is the world's largest sailing event  ©World Sailing

World Sailing has joined forces with the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation to support Bart's Bash.

The Foundation - formed in honour of the British Olympic champion tragically killed during an America's Cup training exercise in 2013 - will be offered official support and promotion by the world governing body.

Bart's Bash is the world's largest sailing event - which sees clubs from all over the world take to the water.

Since its inception in 2014, the Bash has encouraged thousands of new and accomplished sailors to participate, while raising cash for young people around the world.

This year, Bart's Bash will be raising awareness and funds to support grassroots disabled sailing.

It is hoped this will boost the sport's chances of returning to the Paralympic programme after it was axed ahead of Tokyo 2020.

Bart's Bash will support disabled sailing this year
Bart's Bash will support disabled sailing this year ©World Sailing

World Sailing's chief executive Andy Hunt said: "World Sailing is working tirelessly to ensure sailing is returned into the Paralympic programme of sports.

"Once the competition ends at Rio 2016, it is vital that World Sailing maintain the momentum for inclusion back into the Paralympic Games.

"The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation and Bart's Bash continues to inspire the world with their efforts and we are delighted that this year's event will be raising funds for Para-sailing around the world."

The Bash is due to take place this year on September 16 and 17 - falling at the same time as the conclusion of the Paralympic regatta in Rio de Janeiro. 

It has been named in honour of Beijing 2008 star champion Simpson, who was known as Bart due to the world famous cartoon character from The Simpsons who shares his surname.

As part of the link-up, World Sailing will encourage its members across the globe to promote Bart's Bash and encourage participants, volunteers and supporters.

Sir Ben Ainslie, Britain's quadruple Olympic champion who is a trustee of the Foundation, said: "People know how close the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation is to my heart, and it was fantastic to see so many people supporting the charity at the last Bart's Bash.

"It's really good to see World Sailing now getting behind the event, and let's hope we can get even more people out on the water this year in memory of Bart."