Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Kids range

America's Cup- Two inquiries underway in fatal capsize - Updated

by Richard Gladwell on 11 May 2013
Artemis Racing

At an international media conference today, America's Cup Events Authority, Stephen Barclay, announced that two inquiries were running into the Artemis incident.

The first is being conducted by the San Francisco Police Department, as is standard practice in any fatality. The SFPD have impounded the boat as part of their accident investigation. A Coastguard review is also underway.

The second inquiry as been instituted by the ACEA themselves, and will be conducted by America's Cup Regatta Director, Iain Murray.

There is no time set for reporting back by either inquiry.

From the information given it would seem that all the basic safety precautions were in place, including dive teams and medical teams. Both Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA were operating in the area and the combined resources of the teams were applied as soon as possible.

'There was a lot of people there, including divers and medical teams and doctors,' Iain Murray told a media conference of international sailing media.

While some increased level of safety support will be available during the America's Cup, it would seem that the lessons had been learned from the Oracle incident, but a review and re-learning process will take place.

'The first level of response will always be from within the teams', said Murray. 'But there will be an added level from the event.'


It was confirmed that the Artemis incident had taken place in winds of only 18-20 knots and a 2-3kts flood tide. 'The water was flat and sailing conditions were ideal' Iain Murray explained. 'A typical San Francisco day', he added.

Conditions only moderate
2012 49er Olympic Gold Medallist, Nathan Outtteridge was understood to have been helming at the time of the incident, and the sailing master on board was Iain Percy

These were not extreme conditions, and while wind limits may be reviewed, they are not expected to drop to the level occurring at the time of the incident.

'I think it is far to say that neither boat were doing anything they hadn't done before', said Iain Murray.

'They were bearing away to a sail downwind and the end result was that boat ended up capsizing, breaking up and inverted, the top hull had broken off.'

Andrew Simpson was trapped for some time under some solid sections on the boat, probably as a result of it breaking apart, said Murray CPR was applied immediately and continued for 25 minutes ashore by Fire Department paramedics.


All the information to hand, from outside the conference, tends to point to a structural failure predicating, or occurring during the capsize and cartwheel - and the rapid collapse of the platform structure would seem to have compounded the inherent danger in the situation.

It was noted that others had previously died in the San Francisco Bay area in yacht racing, including one incident resulting in five deaths during an offshore race, and the dangers of the sport in the area were inherent in any racing.

It seems most unlikely that the America's Cup Regatta will be stopped or delayed because of the Artemis incident, however it is expected that the lead of Luna Rossa will be followed, where individuals and teams make up their own minds as to whether they wish to continue in the regatta as a result of what is now known.

'There has been no discussions about withdrawing permits, or stopping racing or sailing,'said Iain Murray. 'The authorities are working with us.'

'At this stage we want to conduct the review. We really don't know what happened out there,' said Stephen Barclay, COO of America's Cup Events Authority. 'Until we do we won't be able to determine what any actions or otherwise will be', he said. 'At this stage we are not making any statements on the impact on the event, because at this stage we simply don't know.'

Later when questioned about how long the review would take given the America's Cup Regatta gets underway in less than two months, Barclay said 'we are not going to set a time frame, given that we are very conscious that the event starts in the next few months.We are going to apply undue pressure, we want a full review that looks at and establishes the facts and then comes up with a set of recommendations, if any about things we might change or modify.'

Break-up or capsize?
When questioned as to whether the boat broke up and capsized, or capsized and broke up, Murray replied saying by saying 'if you look at Oracle, they capsized and broke up some time later. In the case of Artemis, without seeing any evidence of it, we know that the crew took the boat into the bear away manoeuvre, and that the end result was that it capsized and by the time it was upside down it was broken.

'There appears to be all sorts of speculation and different opinion as to what came first, but we don't know, and we need to understand', Murray added.

When questioned as to whether the boats were too dangerous for sailing, Barclay said in not so many words, that he would leave that for the review.


Iain Murray chimed in noting that there were five fatalities on the Farallon Islands last year, off San Francisco 'and that wasn't judged to be too dangerous, and ocean racing continued. Larry Klein. a Yachtsman of the Year, drowned in San Francisco (after a hiking rack broke). Another sailor dies in the 1999 America's Cup regatta in Auckland.

'i was in the 1998 Sydney Hobart race when six people died. We have to live with these things and we have to go forward in the best way that we can'.

The AC72's a are a progress in sailing. we have come a long way from 12 Metre days,' he added

ACRM Director Iain Murray said there were no scantlings in the America's Cup AC72 rule, and obviously decisions on whether to increase the structural strength of the boats, lay with the teams rather than being required by race organisers.

Oracle Team USA, being the only team able to sail, have elected to suspend sailing out of respect for Andrew Simpson and the Artemis Racing team. neither Luna Rossa or Emirates Team NZ are ready to sail, having recently arrived in San Francisco.


Zhik ZKG 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignMackay Boats

Related Articles

America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Shawn Macking about the StPYC’s Sailing Center and OD fleet
I talked with Shawn Macking, the StPYC’s waterfront director, to learn how the club is getting more people out sailing. I caught up with Shawn Macking, waterfront director of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, via email to learn more about the club’s Sailing Center, its hefty investment in a new fleet of ten J/70s, and how the StPYC is using this infrastructure to expose more people to the sport we all love.
Posted on 13 Feb
A Q&A with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event. If you’re like me and have arrived at saturation with winter’s cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that’s designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Sydney Hobart Race-Dark and stormy, well because it is Dark and Stormy
Proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart Well it is now dark and the rain 'storms' have passed, but proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart, the custom Murray 37, Dark & Stormy had a wonderful exchange on the radio. Quite possibly it was co-owner and Navigator Terry Courts on the VHF in the super-frank exchange with Hobart Race Control at around 1928hrs on 29/12/16.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016