On Thursday, May 9, 2013, Artemis racing crewmember Andrew “Bart” Simpson died when the team’s AC72 catamaran capsized during a training session on San Francisco Bay.
Andrew, a British double Olympic gold medalist, was one of 11 crew aboard the boat at the time of the accident. All other crew have been accounted for, although one sailor was reportedly taken to the hospital with injuries. Winds were between 15 and 20 knots at the time of the accident.
According to Team Artemis, Simpson was trapped underneath the boat and despite attempts to revive him by doctors on the scene, he was lost. According to other reports, Simpson was trapped under the boat for about 10 minutes before being recovered.
“The entire Artemis Racing team is devastated by what happened,” said CEO Paul Cayard. “Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew’s wife and family.”
In a statement, defender Oracle Racing said, "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."
Despite a long history of dismastings, capsizes and even sinkings, this is only the second time a sailor has been killed as a part of the America’s Cup. The first was when in 1999, Martin Wizner of the Spanish Challenge died instantly when he was hit in the head by a halyard block that failed under load.
The entire SAIL magazine staff offers its condolence to Andrew’s family, friends and the entire America’s Cup community.