One Dead in Capsize of America’s Cup AC72 Challenger
Olympic gold medalist Andrew Simpson died after Artemis Racing capsized its AC72 on Thursday, May 9.
Andrew "Bart" Simpson is confirmed as the sailor who perished in the Artemis capsize May 9, 2013, on San Francisco Bay. The two-time Olympic medalist won a gold in 2008, and a silver in 2012. Simpson was known as one of the happier people on the Olympic circuit, and he really loved his job, said friends and acquaintances.
“The entire Artemis Racing team is devastated by what happened,” said Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing, in a statement. “Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew’s wife and family.”
The press release stated that Simpson was trapped underneath the boat attempts to revive him by doctors afloat and subsequently ashore failed.
Artemis Racing capsized its red AC72 on San Francisco Bay a half mile north of Treasure Island during training. The Swedish challenger had support boats on scene to help with the recovery of the crew and boat. The boat tipped over at 1:15 p.m. PDT, said Coast Guard Petty Office Mellissa Deaton.
Another statement was released on Friday from Torbjörn Törnqvist, Chairman of Artemis Racing:
“Our thoughts are with Andrew’s family, who suffered a tragic loss yesterday—of a son, a father, and a husband. As our friend and teammate, Andrew “Bart” Simpson was central to Artemis Racing, both in the course of racing and our lives. His presence and personality was a binding force and he will be missed. Right now, the primary focus of Artemis Racing is on the well-being of our team members and their families, and the America’s Cup competition will remain second to that.”
Artemis Racing will conduct a thorough analysis and review of this accident and will be looking at how the risks inherent to such competitive sailing can be limited in the future for the safety of the team and all competitors in the sailing community.
Artemis Racing CEO Paul Cayard held a press conference from the Artemis Base Thursday evening, which was streamed live by at least one local TV station. Here is the full text of his brief comments:
"Our thoughts are with Andrew Simpson’s family, his wife and kids, and also with the rest of my teammates.
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 itself is under control, but it’s certainly not the first of our concerns. We’re focused on the people and so that’s what we’re working with and on and we’ll give you more information when we’re able to."