Following is the editorial published in Sail-World NZ's newsletter published on May 10, NZT. It is republished for those who don't subscribe to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter.
Tragedy hit the 2013 America's Cup with the death of double Olympic Medalist, Andrew 'Bart' Simpson.
He was a member of the British sailing elite, that sadly has now lost two of its number, with 1996 Olympic Silver Medalist John Merrick's death in a car crash in 1997, and now that of Bart Simpson.
Bart was part of an era of achievement by Great Britain, that will never be matched again in sailing.
Two of the world's Sailing families are in mourning for one of their own. The Olympic family for having lost a double Medalist; and the America's Cup sailing family for having lost a great competitor, who looked set to become part of the next British America's Cup Challenge.
At Sail-World we mourn the passing of one of the characters of the sport, as well as one of its great achievers, and our condolences to his family and many friends.
Of course, the world of sailing is in shock at today's turn of events.
Only sailors understand the attraction of sailing in light winds and strong. Those outside the sport judge us by different standards, and with the benefit of hindsight.
The question is where to from here?
Already two inquiries are underway, one by the San Francisco Police Department. Quite where those go is unclear at this stage.
There will obviously be a lot of issues raised, and things that could have been done better. Losing two boats, and one death, in the course of eight months is not a good look in the eyes of the public or officialdom.
The point is that the AC72's are new boats, a new type of sailing, and we will all learn from it. Those lessons may go right through the sport.
While one team may lose the point, by the same token the other team has to complete the course to win the point, and in the process may lose their boat. That is a risk that is always inherent in high performance sailing, which is often a test of seamanship as well as just sailing fast.
One thing is for sure, after today's tragic events, no-one can blame a team, or individuals for electing not to race.
And in the same vein, everyone that goes on the water knows what the risks are. That a combination of a sudden gust of wind, an unusual wave, some gear breaking, and just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, could cause injury or cost you, your life.
Very sadly, Andrew Simpson has joined a long list of very experienced sailors who have lost their lives at sea, pursuing the sport they love - Hans Horrevoets, Rob James, Eric Tarbarly, and Larry Klein to name but a few.
And having learned any lessons to be had, we will continue.
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