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The Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran, an America's Cup entry from Sweden, lies capsized near the Bay Bridge after turning over during training in San Francisco Bay on Thursday, May 9, 2013, in San Francisco. Artemis Racing said Andrew "Bart" Simpson, an Olympic gold medalist from England, died after the capsized boat's platform trapped him underwater for about 10 minutes. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
America’s Cup boat nosedived, broke into pieces
Sailing » Change-of-direction maneuver cause of fatal sailing accident.
First Published May 10 2013 01:27 pm • Last Updated May 11 2013 12:16 am

San Francisco • The America’s Cup catamaran that capsized in San Francisco Bay, killing an Olympic gold medalist, nosedived during a difficult maneuver and broke into many pieces, an official said Friday.

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The Artemis was conducting a maneuver that required it to change direction when it capsized on Thursday, America’s Cup Regatta Director Iain Murray said.

The boat was practicing with the Oracle team.

"Artemis and Oracle were out there training in what they had been doing for months," Murray said. "And looking frankly quite good."

Murray said the maneuver involved changing direction and wind flow across the boat. Though difficult, it was normal, he said.


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Coast Guard Lt. Jeannie Crump has said Coast Guard officials weren’t sure what caused the boat to capsize. San Francisco police said they will lead the investigation.

Andrew "Bart" Simpson, 36, was submerged underwater for more than 10 minutes when the vessel capsized. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Murray said Simpson was on a trampoline on the windward side of the yacht with crew members and got trapped under some of the solid sections of the yacht, out of site to those on board who were looking for him.

"How he got to where he got to we do not know," Murray said.

Simpson had collected an Olympic gold medal in sailing in 2008 and a silver medal at last year’s games when Artemis Racing came calling with a chance to win yachting’s top prize — the America’s Cup.

"Moving the family to San Fran for 6 months is pretty hectic!!!," Simpson tweeted in March. "The cup should be fun though!!"

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