Sailing Director, Iain Percy aboard Artemis Racing’s first AC72
Artemis Racing's Sailing Director, Iain Percy (GBR), has spoken out for the first time since the team's training accident, on May 9, 2013, which resulted in the death of his fellow double Olympic medalist, and long time friend and crew, Andrew 'Bart' Simpson.
Interviewed by Genny Tulloch of America's Cup Uncut, Percy spoke of the loss of his 'best mate' and the impact on the team.
'It was a terrible day a few weeks ago when we lost Bart, my best mate, and a friend of everyone here on the team.
'It was obviously a shock for all of us, and is still a shock for us.
'We are a strong team, and in some ways a stronger team for this', he said. 'We came together and one thing is for sure, we all didn't want it to end with this being our final chapter. We owed that to Bart, and we owed that to our team mates and we owed that to the owner.'
'Our decision was an easy one,' he added. 'We're all sportsmen, and we're America's Cup sailors and we all wanted to compete in the America's Cup. It's a fantastic competition. We all support it, and we want to be part of it.'
'It would be right for bart and the team for us to be out there.'
'We want to get out and race. We can't see why that wouldn't be good for every team in the event. We find it strange that people would want to stop that.'
'It doesn't deter us in any way. we have got our own challenges without being stopped by the opposition. We just want to leave all that behind and get on with trying to support the event and get our team on the water.'
As part of the 37 Recommendations from the Review Committee, following the Artemis incident, all teams have to provide Regatta Director Iain Murray with structural integrity and load analyses of their AC72's by June 17, 2013. These details will also address the mechanisms and safe working limits of the dagger board cases, which contain the foils used to the flying AC72 catamarans.
Also getting underway later this week is the Mediation process conducted by two International Jury Members, Bryan Willis and Graham McKenzie. The mediation team will first scope out the concerns of each team and then try and resolve these by mutual agrement.
If the teams are unable to agree on a particular item, it will go to the full International Jury for a final and binding determination. The Mediators will arrive in San Francisco on Wednesday and will begin two days of negotiation on Friday.
Artemis Racing sailing earlier this year, against Oracle Team USA.
Artemis Racing’s second AC72 pictured soon after her arrival in Alameda, CA, USA