British officials have ruled the death of America’s Cup and Olympic sailor Andrew “Bart” Simpson an accident.
Simpson died while training on a high-performance catamaran on May 9 last year for the America’s Cup races in San Francisco. The vessel capsized and he was trapped underneath for 10 minutes, suffering injuries to his head, neck and chest, according to a story in the UK’s The Guardian newspaper.
Simpson, 36, was performing a “bear away” manoeuvre – turning downwind – when the catamaran’s hull dug into the water, causing it to capsize, The Guardian reported.
San Francisco police described the water as choppy, with waves up to 4 feet and winds gusting up to 25 mph.
Adam May, a member of Artemis Racing team, was in the chase boat behind Simpson’s catamaran.
“He saw Simpson’s vessel conducting a bear-away manoeuvre when the port side hull dug into the water and failed structurally,” said Mark Monpas of San Francisco police department. “This hull failure caused the vessel to capsize.”