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Memorial Held For America’s Cup Sailor Killed On San Francisco Bay

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Andrew "Bart" Simpson, an Olympic gold medalist, was killed when his America's Cup catamaran overturned on San Francisco Bay on May 9, 2013. (CBS)

Andrew “Bart” Simpson, an Olympic gold medalist, was killed when his America’s Cup catamaran overturned on San Francisco Bay on May 9, 2013. (CBS)

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ALAMEDA (CBS SF) — A week after the death of one of their team’s sailors during a practice run for the America’s Cup regatta, Artemis Racing held a private ceremony Thursday to honor their fallen friend.

Andrew “Bart” Simpson, a British sailor who was a member of the Sweden-based team, died after their 72-foot boat capsized during a practice run in the Bay around 1 p.m. last Thursday.

Simpson, 36, got trapped underwater beneath the overturned vessel and could not be revived once he was taken to shore.

Artemis Racing, which is headquartered in Alameda for the sailing races that will take place from July to September, held the private ceremony earlier today with members of the other three teams participating in the regatta.

The team described the ceremony in a statement, saying “After eight bells, a wreath was cast upon the water by representatives of the four teams.”

The statement said, “Then the morning’s rain parted and sunshine spread across San Francisco Bay. The Artemis Racing team thanks everyone for their support. Bart, may you rest in peace.”

Simpson is survived by a wife and two sons.

Race officials said that training for the regatta was expected to resume Thursday after the weeklong break in honor of Simpson.

A six-member independent review panel, chaired by regatta director Iain Murray, is reviewing all training and racing procedures for the races to see what, if any, changes should be made in the wake of the death.

The races start July 5 with the Louis Vuitton Cup and will culminate in the America’s Cup Finals, which starts Sept. 7.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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