NOTE: By now our Swedish community knows that Artemis’s catamaran fatally capsized, killing the team strategist, Andrew “Bart” Simpson. We honor the man, the team and his America’s Cup colleagues in their grief by avoiding speculation and telling what is known as of now. This is the first of two articles; the second will tell of the findings and recommendations from the resulting reports.

Artemis capsizes
Thursday, May 9 was a beautiful and promising day in San Francisco. In the morning I was helping lead a group from the City’s Planning Department along the Embarcadero. Just as we were concluding I looked up and saw Artemis’ big Red catamaran gliding west toward the Golden Gate Bridge. She was majestic and swift, passing as regally and effortlessly as a great swan. I interrupted the discussion to digress enthusiastically about Artemis and the America’s Cup, and as others turned back to their discussion, I lingered watching her shrink as she came near the St. Francis Yacht Club where she tacked to starboard and joined another AC72 whose colors and flag I could not discern.
Later that afternoon I was working on a new exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in preparation for a donors preview that night when a friend told me the radio was reporting a fatal accident on Artemis: one dead, another slightly injured and the boat totaled.
By the time I scoured the Internet, all media confirmed that all four America’s Cup teams had sped their chase boats to the site to help however they could. Each team’s boat tracks a team catamaran and has both divers and doctors aboard. They valiantly tried to revive Simpson; however, after having been submerged for ten minutes, there was no hope.
That afternoon, extending the team’s sympathy to the sailor’s wife, Leah, and two very young sons, Artemis CEO Paul Cayard announced that Simpson was dead, the AC72 without foils was totaled, and he had to look after the grieving team. Photos of the wreck showed a bright red hull lying atop the massive wing on the surface of the water with the other red hull perpendicular to the upper hull peeking out beneath the wing. Evidently Simpson had become trapped beneath the hull.
That night the Built For Speed exhibit opened at the museum, showing the fastest marine creatures. There hanging from the massive ceiling beams beside the colonnade was last year’s Oracle AC45 dwarfing all below it. The part of the exhibit featuring the America’s Cup displayed AC45 and AC72 models, explained the functioning of the craft, and showed a video of the daring sailors and the craft hydroplaning, flying above the water balanced on foils or wings beneath. That night at the preview, all had heard the news but were fascinated by studying the exhibit to make sense of the tragedy. The next morning the exhibit opened to the public.
Two days after the tragedy, Artemis’ website carried the following update: "Artemis Racing is in the process of conducting a thorough review and analysis of this week's accident. As a part of this review, Artemis Racing is sharing and exchanging data and information with concurrent work being performed by America's Cup and the San Francisco Police Department. Until this process is complete, any conclusions being made about the events that led to the boat's capsizing and its tragic outcome are pure speculation. Out of respect for Bart's memory and his family, we ask that the broader sailing community and others reserve judgment until all the facts are known, and not persist in unnecessary rumor. We again thank everyone for their continued support and thoughts during this difficult time."

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Life Made Sweder

Andrew “Bart” Simpson
Have you ever read an obituary or heard a eulogy and wished you had met the deceased? That was my case with Andrew Simpson, known to his friends as Bart, after the television character. Like any closely bonded sports fraternity or sorority, where the masters at the top of their game are known and respected by all competitors, Bart was not merely respected but actually beloved. He and his partner, Iain Percy, in the Olympics and lately both on the Artemis team, had grown up together competing and collaborating, winning Gold in the Star class in Beijing, and expected to repeat in London, but graciously accepting Silver when they were edged out by the Swedes.
Born in Chertsey, Surrey, England and raised in Sherborne, Dorset, he is survived by his wife, Leah, and their two young sons. Simpson was taught to sail at age 4 or 5 by his father while visiting his grandparents. He attended Pangbourne College, originally a nautical college, where his talent brought him to the attention of the Britain’s Royal Yachting Association. Beginning competitive sailing in the Laser class, he then switched to the heavier Finn class, in which he took Bronze in 2003 ISAF Sailing World Championships and trained with Ben Ainslie. He graduated from University College London with a degree in economics, where he was an excellent soccer player, and became a businessman. When he moved to the two-man Star class, he partnered with lifelong friend Iain Percy, with whom he won Gold in 2008 Summer Olympics. In 2009 he became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Both he and Percy had been on the TeamORIGIN afterguard for the 2010 America’s Cup. Later that year they won the Star World Championships in Rio de Janeiro. Throughout 2012 they were always medalists in ISAF Sailing World Cup meets as they were in the 2012 Olympics.
The Star class of boats was being discontinued in future Olympics, when the duo joined Artemis in the spring, Percy as Sailing Team Director and Tactician, Simpson as Strategist.
“Yesterday I lost my closest friend of over 25 years, the friendliest, kindest man I have ever met. I cannot believe he is no longer with us. Now all our thoughts should be with his wife and two amazing boys who meant the world to him. Andrew has more friends than anyone and we will continue to support his family with all our hearts,” Percy remarked through his grief.
Another Briton, Ben Ainsley, the winningest Olympic sailor, now on Oracle’s team, who grew up sailing with Simpson, his training partner in Ainslie’s 2004 Athens Olympics campaign, sorrowfully stated, “This is such a tragedy. Andrew was such a wonderful husband, father, friend and one of the nicest people you could ever meet. The only solace I can find is that he died doing something he loved. I have such fond memories of growing up sailing together as kids and then as adults. I will miss him so much.”
All three Britons (Ainslie, Percy and Simpson) had been knighted by Queen Elizabeth in recognition of their distinguished careers.

And the Australian CEO of the America’s Cup and Regatta Director for this year’s 34th America’s Cup, also a fellow racer in the Star class, fondly remembered his companion at a press conference in which with great difficulty and dignity he haltingly reminded the world that his very good friend and “larger than life character,” Andrew was “used to doing everything in life to the fullest and to the highest level he could.”
Uniformly friends and acquaintances remembered the characteristics which distinguished Simpson: like his namesake, “Bart” was both a comic and a character, one who used his humor to bond with people, encouraging and inspiring them to greater effort. He loved sailing, was superbly disciplined and a fierce competitor who gave his all and gave no quarter to others but by their accomplishments. Yet while being a world-class professional, he was recognized by novices, competitors, and the media alike as being unpretentious, kind, generous and affable. For example with a crowd of friends and well-wishers, after winning his Olympic medal, he posed with them, placing his medal on them.
So it was that all four of the Cup teams gathered on the bay several days later to quietly share their grief and compassion for their mate, in a simple, private ceremony, which concluded by casting a wreath upon the waters to commemorate Simpson. For such a hero, his character and accomplishments now become legendary.

America’s Cup Inquiry Committee
Later the day of the accident, the America’s Cup officials announced the fatal capsize. Within the week America’s Cup held a second press briefing by Tom Ehman, vice commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club (host/defender of the Cup) and Iain Murry, regatta director of the Cup. They announced that the Cup Authority had assembled a Committee of Inquiry, consisting of seven world-class sailing safety authorities, which concurrently would work on their own report and would collaborate with the San Francisco Police Department’s investigation of the accident. Murray said the resulting wreck was one of the most unusual he had seen, but that the damage was at the same level of severity as Oracle’s, which they were able to repair at great cost and subsequently continue sailing. Without being rushed and without any preliminary speculation as to causality or correlation, both the Cup and the police hoped to be able to report in a couple of weeks.
The press conference announced the appointment and purpose of this committee, whose review of this and other incidents during all 34th Cup races will result in their report. That document will focus on how to make the practice and competition for this year’s concluding races as safe as possible. These recommendations will likely be released after that of the police investigation, to benefit from any of its findings. This Cup Inquiry report is designed to allow the races to continue as safely as possible, acknowledging “No report or recommendation will ever eliminate risk of injury or death in competitive sailing.”
At the time of this press briefing it was announced that all four teams were expected to compete in the Cup races. However, it was also admitted that the German Sailing Federation, citing safety concerns, had pulled funding for its Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team, to be held during the first week of September. Still, after checking with all candidate teams for that race, Ehman and Murray assured everyone that all others were still competing to substitute for the Germans and that the team itself wanted to race, possibly under different sponsorship.
As this article went to press, Patrizio Bertelli, head of Prada, which sponsor’s Italy’s Luna Rossa team, had flown to San Francisco to consult with his team about whether they wished to continue. It was reported that he had required revolutionary new body armor and stronger helmets as well as proposed new safety plans, which emphasized enhanced rescue capabilities for emergencies. It was not clear whether these were recommendations or conditions for Luna Rossa’s participation.
The next weeks will tell. The America’s Cup will be held as scheduled, improved by the recommendations in this report. The Cup competition continues to be the fastest boats, the best sailors and an extremely athletic competition.

by Ted Olsson, San Francisco