Picture: Noah Berger / AP
The America's Cup event officials announced 2 days ago that the summer's most popular racing will go on as scheduled despite the tragic drowning of Andrew Simpson, a 36-year-old British sailor and Olympic gold medalist when the 72-foot America‚Äôs Cup yacht owned by the Swedish team Artemis Racing, capsized during training in San Francisco Bay.
The decision was made after a meeting among the four teams competing in the event, including host Oracle Team USA and Sweden's Artemis. "We have every reason to believe all four teams will be continuing," according to Tom Ehman, vice commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, which is hosting the event.
An investigation is underway to determine why the Artemis boat capsized but in the meantime, the Swedish team had already been building a second boat for months. That boat is scheduled to set sail in early June. An expert review panel has been assembled to review not only last week's accident, but the capsize of Oracle's 72-foot catamaran last fall.
The America's Cup round robin series begins the week of July 4 with challengers Artemis, Emirates Team New Zealand and Italy's Luna Rossa competing to win the Louis Vuitton Cup. The winner will take on defender Oracle, the America's Cup winner in 2010, in September. Oracle is expected to put its 72-footer on the bay for practice on Thursday. Luna Rossa plans to launch their boat by the end of the week which has just been re-assembled in Alameda after training for months with the Kiwis in New Zealand. The New Zealand boat is expected to begin training on the bay sometime next week.
We wish them all well and safe sailing and we hope to see an unforgettable summer of sailing with the America's Cup!