British Olympian Dies in Artemis Racing AC72 Capsize Practicing for the America’s Cup

artemis-capsizeAndrew Simpson, a British double Olympic medalist and a sailor with the Swedish Artemis Racing team, has died in the capsize of an AC72 catamaran while practicing in San Francisco Bay for the upcoming America’s Cup races. One other sailor is reported to be seriously injured There were 11 crew on the boat when it capsized.  The boat is reported to have been completely destroyed in the crash.

The AC72 catamarans are 72′ on the waterline with a beam of 45′ and a rigid wing sail 13 stories high, or roughly the length of a 747 wing.  Each boat is estimated to cost roughly $10 million. The Artemis is the second AC72 to have capsized.  An Oracle AC72 crashed and capsized last October, though no one was injured.  Both the Oracle and Artemis teams have been practicing sailing the huge catamarans on hydrofoils, which lifts both hulls out of the water.  “Foiling” as it is called, can increase boat speed but is also considered to be very dangerous.

Crewman dies in Artemis America’s Cup accident

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4 Responses to British Olympian Dies in Artemis Racing AC72 Capsize Practicing for the America’s Cup

  1. Diego says:

    I am getting really worried about these boats. We’ve had two bad accidents, though the first capsize last fall merely totaled an expensive machine with no major injuries. Sailing at the cutting edge of the performance envelope is inherently dangerous so I hope the crews and race committee observe caution. San Francisco Bay is a tough locale and we don’t want a repeat of the San Diego Cup race from the ’90s when the Aussie boat sank. In that case they really should have called for a weather delay.

    Some might say they should go back to mono hulls and I agree that there’d be less chance of a disastrous turtling, but I don’t think they need to sacrifice the excitement of fast multihulls in order to make things safer. I say scale down to the AC 42s, because they seemed more managable and it appears a capsize would be a bit more survivable. Plus they’re cheaper which would open up the playing field more. So maybe that’s something to consider for the future.

  2. Rick Spilman says:

    You are not alone in your concerns. See our post this morning.

    Is the AC72 the Boat That Could Sink the America’s Cup?

  3. robert stewart says:

    whatever happened to the old days when they sailed boats that looked like boats and didn’t cost $10 million dollars?

  4. Scott says:

    C’mon guys, move with the times.

    All I ask is that you watch youtube footage of the old single hulls and compare to now.

    I’m a longtime sailor and have always enjoyed the Americas Cup, however I nearly fell asleep looking back at the days gone by…