SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The America’s Cup racing event will go on as planned this summer despite a sailor’s death last week during a training run on San Francisco Bay, officials announced Tuesday afternoon.
America’s Cup regatta director Iain Murray said all four entrants would still compete, including Artemis Racing – which had one of its’ two boats badly damaged when it capsized and broke into pieces, killing team strategist Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson.
Golden Gate Yacht Club Vice Commodore Tom Ehman said officials met with the members of all four teams earlier Tuesday and they unanimously agreed to continue with the race. Three of the teams will begin racing each other in July to determine who will go up against defending champ Oracle Racing in the August finals.
Murray again expressed sympathies Tuesday to Simpson’s family and his fellow racers, and reiterated that an expert review committee would investigate the accident to ensure the safety of race participants.
Artemis’ 72-foot catamaran was attempting to change direction and turn downwind when it capsized during a difficult – but normal – maneuver. Rescuers said Simpson was trapped under the wreckage for more than 10 minutes and was pronounced dead shortly after being pulled from the Bay waters.
It remains unknown whether a structural problem caused the catamaran to flip, or if the capsize broke the boat’s hull. Artemis had initially delayed that boat’s christening last year after encountering some issues during structural testing.
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