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Tragedy stuns global yachting community Comment on this post ↓
May 10th, 2013 by Warren Swil

 Young crewman dies in America’s Cup

training accident on San Francisco Bay

THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY of yachtsmen (and women) is mourning today after the death Thursday of a British Olympic Gold Medalist while training for the America’s Cup in the San Francisco Bay.
According to Christopher Clarey, who’s story appeared on page

Larry Ellison’s Oracle Team USA AC 72, to be skippered by James Spithill and Ben Ainslie, is seen capsized in the San Francisco Bay after a testing session on Oct. 16, 2012.
Photographer: Guilain Grenier

B10 of this morning’s national edition of The New York Times, (Read it here) Andrew Simpson was 36 years old.
The yacht he was on is owned by the Swedish team Artemis Racing. It capsized during training for the 34th America’s Cup that will be held on the Bay in September, Clarey reports.
Oracle’s Larry Ellison, who currently holds the Cup, must be both sad and anxious today.

HIS YACHT also an AC 72, owned by Oracle Racing, was also involved in an accident, but there were no fatalities on Oct. 16.
According to a detailed Wired magazine report by Adam Fisher of the Oracle accident (Read it here)
Ellison planned “the biggest, fastest, and most exciting yacht race in history. Maybe too big: His massive catamarans are so expensive that only four teams plan to compete this summer,” Fisher writes.
The headline says it all: “The boat that could sink the America’s Cup.”
Congratulations, Adam, on an outstanding job of following the preparations for the biggest event on the global yachting calendar this year.
“While Oracle is in the shed, fixing the smashed boat, the other teams are out practicing. It’s anyone’s race now,” Fisher writes.
“If Ellison loses, it’s possible the America’s Cup will have to abandon his skittish, ultrafast catamarans.”

THE IMAGE by Noah Berger of the Associated Press that was used in The New York Times, is shocking. It shows the Artemis Racing AC72 upside-down in the water, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. (See it here)
But Oracle has images on its Team USA web site of the October accident (like the one above) that are equally as shocking. See them here

Other entrants train for the America’s Cup in Rhode Island in June, 2012. Visible are two Prada craft, the Artemis one and the Korean entry.
Credit: Ciorra Photography. Artist: Innocenzo Jimmy Ciorra. Creative Commons license.

Another, from Ciorra Photography, shows other Cup contenders in happier times … last summer in Rhode Island. The image is used under Creative Commons license, with full credit to the creators.
In it you can also see the Prada and South Korea entries.
The Team USA post this morning sums it all up: “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 Racing team. He will be dearly missed.”



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