BE PART OF THE TEAM

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 4°C Thursday 26 November 2020
Advertisement

British sailor dies during America's Cup practice

Olympic gold medalist Andrew Simpson died when a catamaran capsized and trapped him underwater for more than 10 minutes.

The Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran, an America's Cup entry from Sweden, lies capsized near the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge.
The Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran, an America's Cup entry from Sweden, lies capsized near the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge.
Image: (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

ANDREW ‘BART’ SIMPSON had already garnered an Olympic gold medal in sailing in 2008 and a silver at last year’s games when Artemis Racing came calling with a chance to win yachting’s top prize — the America’s Cup.

“Moving the family to San Fran for 6 months is pretty hectic!!!,” Simpson tweeted in March. “The cup should be fun though!!”

Yesterday, the British sailor drowned when Artemis’ high-tech catamaran capsized and trapped him underwater for more than 10 minutes while on a practice run in the bay. Simpson, 36, served as the Swedish team’s strategist.

“The entire Artemis team is devastated by what happened,” chief executive Paul Cayard said in a statement on the team’s website. “Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew’s wife and family.”

Cayard didn’t take questions during a brief news conference Thursday evening and didn’t return telephone calls. British newspapers reported that Simpson is survived by a wife and an infant child.

Artemis Racing said doctors “afloat” with the team and on shore were unable to revive Simpson after he was freed from the wreckage. The other sailor suffered minor injuries, and the rest of the crew of about a dozen people was accounted for and taken back to their dock in Alameda.

Officials said winds were blowing between 15 and 20 knots (17 to 23 mph) when the boat capszsed. The National Weather Service later issued a small-craft advisory, warning inexperienced mariners to stay off the bay and indicating winds of between 21 knots and 33 knots.

Simpson and his partner Iain Percy won an Olympic gold medal for England in 2008 in the Star class of sailing. The duo was expected to repeat in London in 2012 but was upset by a Swedish team and settled for silver.

‘Everyone wants to go out on their own terms’: Fergie’s farewell gives BOD plenty to ponder

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next:

COMMENTS (1)