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America’s Cup boat nosedived, broke into pieces
Sailing » Change-of-direction maneuver cause of fatal sailing accident.


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As the strategist for the Swedish team, he was involved in all decision-making on the boat and participated in trimming the sails.

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"The entire Artemis team is devastated by what happened," CEO Paul Cayard said in a statement on the team’s website. "Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew’s wife and family."

Cayard didn’t take questions during a brief news conference Thursday evening and didn’t return telephone calls.

The British Olympic Association described Simpson as a "treasured and accomplished member" of its teams.

"Andrew Simpson was a hugely accomplished sailor and Olympian," International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, a former Olympic sailor from Belgium, said in a statement to The Associated Press. "He died pursuing his sporting passion."


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British newspapers reported that Simpson is survived by a wife and an infant child.

Artemis Racing said doctors "afloat" with the team and on shore were unable to revive Simpson after he was freed from the wreckage. Another sailor suffered minor injuries, and the rest of the crew of about 11 people was accounted for and taken back to their dock in Alameda.

Officials said winds were blowing between 15 and 20 knots (17 to 23 mph) when the boat capsized. The National Weather Service later issued a small-craft advisory, warning inexperienced mariners to stay off the bay and indicating winds of between 21 knots and 33 knots.

Simpson and the unidentified injured sailor were brought to shore at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, where paramedics performed CPR on Simpson.

It was the second time a sailor has died during training for the America’s Cup. In 1999, Martin Wizner of the Spanish Challenge died almost instantly when he was hit in the head by a broken piece of equipment.

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