Tragedy struck San Francisco Bay and the America’s Cup today when Artemis Racing suffered a capsize, which resulted in the death of double Olympic medalist Andrew 'Bart' Simpson. Details are still emerging as to what happened, but it is believed that Simpson, 36, was trapped under the platform/wing after it flipped; tragically, Simpson didn’t regain conscious after he was recovered, despite medical efforts both on the water and ashore.
Artemis Racing CEO Paul Cayard addressed the media at the team base in Alameda and said the following regarding the capsize of the team’s first AC72 and loss of crewman Andrew Simpson:
'Our prayers are with Andrew Simpson’s family, his wife and kids, and also the rest of my teammates. It’s a shocking experience to go through, and we have a lot to deal with in the next few days in terms of assuring everybody’s well being.
'The boat’s under control, but that’s not the first of our concerns. We’re focused on the people.
'That’s what we’re working with and on and we’ll give you more information when we’re able to.'
Simpson was one of Britain's top sailors and very close friend of the Sailing Director for Artemis Racing, Iain Percy (GBR) and together the two won two Olympic medals, in the Star class, at the Qingdao and Weymouth Olympics.
Simpson had only recently joined the team after a crew reshuffle earlier in the year, when Simpson was bought aboard.
He leaves a wife and young family.
America’s Cup statement: The thoughts of everyone involved with the America’s Cup are with the family of Andrew Simpson and the members of Artemis Racing.
Andrew was an immensely popular and respected member of the sailing community, and his two Olympic medals were testament to his talent.
His easy-going personality made him loved by many; always friendly, always smiling and always supportive of others.
Emirates Team NZ commented: 'Emirates Team New Zealand is shocked by the tragic death of Artemis Racing crew member Andrew Simpson in a training accident today on San Francisco Bay. Managing director Grant Dalton said the team extends its condolences to Andrew Simpson’s family, friends and to the Swedish team.'
Oracle Team USA commented: 'Today is a sad day for all of us in the sailing community. Andrew Simpson was a great person, a terrific sailor, and a good friend to all of our team. Our thoughts are with his family and the entire Artemis team. He will be dearly missed.'
John Derbyshire, RYA Performance Director: 'We’re devastated by the news from San Francisco today. Andrew is someone I’ve worked closely with since the age of 16 – he was a great talent, and a key figure in our World Class Programme over many years culminating in his well-deserved Olympic success. He was a huge inspiration to others, both within the British Sailing Team and across the nation and our deepest sympathies go out to his family at this terrible time.'
Stephen Park, RYA Olympic Manager: 'Andrew was a fantastic sailor who got the best out of everyone he sailed with. He was much loved and will be sorely missed by everyone in our close knit team. Our thoughts today are with Andrew's family.'
Sail-World expresses our deepest condolences to Simpson’s family, friends and teammates.
We have happier sailing news but right now we don't even want to detail it. You can find it below.
by The Sail-World.com Team - 11:16 PM Thu 9 May 2013 GMT
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