Byline: The Log Staff
A 72-foot America’s Cup catamaran capsized during training on San Francisco Bay around 1 p.m. May 9, killing one member of the Swedish America’s Cup team Artemis Racing. It was reported to be only the second fatality in the entire 162-year history of the America’s Cup.
Crewmember Andrew “Bart” Simpson, from Great Britain, died after being trapped under the boat in the water for nearly 10 minutes, according to initial reports at the scene. He was an experienced racer and an Olympic sailing medalist.
Chase boats from Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa and Oracle Team USA America’s Cup teams participated in the rescue efforts and safely removed the other 10 crewmembers from the water.
America’s Cup defender Oracle Team USA issued a statement on the incident, saying, “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.”
Artemis Racing CEO Paul Cayard also issued a statement, saying, “The entire Artemis Racing team is devastated by what happened. Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew’s wife and family.”
The only other known America’s Cup fatality occurred in 1999 when Spanish team member Martin Wizner was killed when a halyard block broke during training.