America’s Cup will go on in wake of sailor Andrew Simpson’s death

SAN FRANCISCO — The America’s Cup will go on as planned after the death of a sailor during a training run last week on San Francisco Bay, officials said on Tuesday.

America’s Cup officials made the announcement at a news conference in San Francisco. The officials also said they expected all four entrants to compete, including Artemis Racing.

One of Artemis‘ two boats was badly damaged when it capsized and broke into pieces Thursday. Strategist Andrew “Bart” Simpson was trapped under the wreckage for more than 10 minutes and was pronounced dead shortly after the accident.

The 72-foot catamaran was attempting to change direction and turn downwind when it capsized, officials have said. Though difficult, the maneuver was considered normal.

One hull snapped. Investigators will have to determine whether a structural problem caused the catamaran to flip, or if the capsize broke the boat. Last fall, Artemis said the front beam of the catamaran was damaged during structural tests, delaying the boat’s christening.

Oracle Racing won the last America’s Cup in 2010 in Spain, and its owner, billionaire Larry Ellison, picked the San Francisco Bay to defend the cup. Three teams have signed up to challenge and are scheduled to begin racing one another in July to determine who will take on Oracle. The finals against Oracle begin in August.

 

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