America's Cup News:
2nd Quarter 2013


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Archive of America's Cup News Stories and Features:
April-May-June 2013
 

More America's Cup News:

June 29: BBC's Top Gear to feature Ben Ainslie and AC45 cat, June 30 in UK, July 8 in US: Preview at YouTube

June 27: Artemis pushing forward with Boat #2, comments from Cayard and Peyron: NY Times

June 25: Oracle to sail their two AC72's together today, a first for any team: On Instagram

June 25: Golden Gate YC pleased by Appellate Court Ruling in ADM case:
GGYC Press Release

June 15: Exhibition of paintings by Jim DeWitt, artist for 2013 America's Cup: Jim DeWitt's Site

June 14: The Deer Isle boys, undefeated America's Cup crews from Down East Main: History Press

June 10: Russian Challenger for next America's Cup?  St. Petersburg YC said to sign sponsor: SportsProMedia

June 4: Teams meet today to set new schedule, Dalton: Artemis may not race until LVC Semi-Finals: NZ Herald

June 1: Impressionists, Sails, and Water ... Fine Art Exhibition at SF Legion of Honor: Famsf.org

May 30: Oracle Team USA brings in new wing: Team Photo via Instagram


America's Cup on TV:
Recommended
New America's Cup 2010 documentary airing on PBS Stations: Details at Wind Gods Movie Site and Preview (2:28)


Notes in memory of Andrew Simpson: Online Memorial Site

May 17: Luna Rossa CEO Patrizio Bertelli says team will continue, but seeks safety reforms: USA Today

May 17: Review Panel meets with teams, sailing hoped to resume soon: Update from ACEA

May 17: General audience story on safety and AC72 cats at NPR's All Things Considered:
Listen (3:55)

May 16: Accident Review Panel requests teams stand down from sailing until next week: Americascup.com

May 15: Luna Rossa load-testing their AC72, ready for first sail in SF: Photos in Pressure-Drop forums

May 13: German Youth Team withdraws from RBYAC over safety concerns: TradeOnlyToday

May 11: Accident Investigation Begins - Teams to Meet Tuesday: ACEA Press Release

May 11: Luna Rossa CEO Patrizio Bertelli will consult his sailors on continuing Challenge: telegraph.co.uk

May 10: Official site posts condolences received for Andrew Simpson: Americascup.com

May 8: ACEA's Stephen Barclay discusses television arrangements for America's Cup 2013: Sail-World

Apr 30: Shrouded Artemis AC72 #2 leaves Valencia headed for San Francisco: Photos at juanpanews

Apr 23: Photo Galleries from Oracle Team USA second AC72 launch: Guilain Grenier | Chuck Lantz

Apr 23: ETNZ sending more than 70 shipping containers to SF for America's Cup effort. Team will be ready to sail May 23:
tvnz.co.nz

Apr 21: Sneak peek at Oracle's new AC72, in advance of Tuesday's unveiling: Oracle AC72 Cat#2

Apr 20: Happy birthday to Bob Fisher! Photos through the years at Sail-World.com

Apr 19: Oracle Team USA's 3rd wing sail arrives at Pier 80: Team photo on Instagram

Apr 16: Measuring ETNZ's impact on New Zealand marine industry: stuff.co.nz

Apr 11: Oracle Team USA's second AC72 to debut in media event April 23

Apr 6: Jack Sutphen, veteran of seven America's Cup campaigns with Dennis Conner, dies at the age of 95:
U-T San Diego

Apr 3: Selling fast: Single-Race tickets for America's Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup are on sale: Press Release

Apr 1: Emirates Team New Zealand reveals secret weapon in Cup campaign: ETNZ YouTube channel


ETNZ Confirms They Will Protest Rules Change, But Not Go to Court

(June 27) Emirates Team New Zealand said in a statement today that the team will file a protest with the America's Cup Jury over one of the rules changes in the 37-point safety recommendations adopted by the Regatta Director, concerning changes to rudder configurations.

However, the team also points out that they consider the Jury's decision to be binding and final, per the terms of the Protocol, and that under the Protocol, they also have agreed not to resort to court to settle disputes.

Read ETNZ Team Statement
 


Oracle Sails Two AC72's Together


Click image to enlarge.
Photo:2012 Guilain Grenier/Oracle Team USA

(June 26) Two boat testing by one team for the 2013 America's Cup began Wednesday as Oracle Team USA sailed both of their AC72's side-by-side, a first for any of the 2013 teams.

Read Oracle Team USA Press Release


Opening Ceremony Tickets on Sale

(June 17) This July 4 will be the date for the opening ceremonies of the 2013 America's Cup.  The America's Cup Park on Piers 27/29 will welcome the public for celebrations, interactive family activities, and cultural programs from the participating teams.  Tickets for the pavilion are $10, with 90% of that fee going to the Healthy Ocean project.  Also kicking off that day in the cruise ship building is the America's Cup Sports Bar, serving food and beverages daily throughout the summer.

Read more from America's Cup Event Authority
 


Barclay Asks Corrections to Reports

(June 14) Stephen Barclay, CEO America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA), has taken the step of writing to the New Zealand Herald asking that they correct reporting that Barclay says is not accurate.  The NZ Herald has run several stories recently that characterize disagreement over how to modify the Louis Vuitton Cup schedule as dismissive and obstructive on the part of Artemis Racing. 

In general the Herald appears to have been presenting opinions sympathetic to hometown challenger Emirates Team New Zealand.  Barclay points out that the schedule adopted so far was repeatedly supported by ETNZ in meetings between all teams, and that other proposals, unaccepted by multiple parties, would lead more or less directly to Artemis being eliminated from competition.  ACEA has also published the text of Barclay's letter on Americascup.com
 


Regatta Director Asks Teams to Supply Structural Data

(June 14) As part of the response to safety issues, Iain Murray, Regatta Director for the 2013 America's Cup, has issued a request that teams provide America's Cup Race Management (ACRM) by Monday June 17 with documentation of design load assumptions, structural testing results, and measurements of actual loads during service for both the AC72 platforms and wings.  Also sought are details of maintaining ongoing structural integrity, and the reliability of the systems that control daggerboard rake to manage angle of attack.  ACRM will have the data reviewed.

Details: Read Regatta Notice 185 (pdf)
 


ACEA Refunds Some Tickets in Consideration of Modified Schedule

(June 10) The America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) will refund grandstand tickets purchased for July 5 to August 5 in light of the schedule modifications adopted last week as a result of the Artemis Racing accident.  Fewer races are planned for the Rounds Robin, and despite a schedule published last week that showed pairings with Artemis included, the Swedish team announced the same day that they don't expect to be ready to race until late July.

Once a new racing arrangement is confirmed, some ticket buyers will have priority to re-purchase for the Louis Vuitton Cup Semifinals.

Read ACEA Press Release
 


Schedule Revised, Plans Disputed

(June 7) ACRM has published a revised schedule for the Louis Vuitton Cup, reducing the planned races in the Rounds Robin, and slightly changing the Semifinal schedule.  The reduced schedule responds to team input that they need a better balance of maintenance time to racing time, one of the safety recommendations in the wake of the Artemis Racing accident last month.

Artemis Racing reiterated that they will have their new boat launched next month, but not in time to participate in the early racing, meaning that they will miss most of the LVC Rounds Robin races against Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand.

See Modified Schedule and Read ACRM Press Release

Grant Dalton, CEO of ETNZ, is unhappy with the arrangement, favoring a different schedule and believing that the situation is playing out unfairly for his team and Luna Rossa, and not in the best interests of the event.

Grant Dalton, talking to the NZ Herald: "We haven't lost sight of the tragedy and we have said we are in favor of the safety recommendations but Artemis can get away with this because there are not enough teams in the America's Cup.  If there were five teams, they'd be goners; they wouldn't be here.  But because there aren't enough, the regatta will have to meet their needs and Luna Rossa are paying the price."

Read more at NZ Herald
 


Heritage: Last of the Wooden 12-M's

(June 1) Charley Morgan is one of the few people to design, build, and sail his own boat in America's Cup racing.   The last wooden US 12-Meter yacht built for the America's Cup, his 1970 design Heritage is also one of the largest, longest, and heaviest Twelves ever launched, and a memorable sight in any harbor, double-planked in Sitka spruce set off against a mahogany sheerstrake.  With her generous width on deck and long waterline, Olin Stephens told Morgan, "Charley, that's a horse of boat," a quote all the more remarkable considering Stephens' own 1970 boat, Valiant, was even heavier.

Morgan crewed on Columbia, and after defending the Cup in 1958, and being eliminated by Weatherly in 1962, he was bitten by the Cup bug.  His enthusiasm led him to field his own defender candidate, building Heritage at his company in Tampa, Florida, before she was sailed to Newport on her own bottom.

In the June issue of WoodenBoat magazine, Charley Morgan, now 83 years of age, talks about designing his first 12M without any 12M lines plans for reference; the decision taken by the teams to go big; surviving a near catastrophe at launching when the crane nearly fell over; and lessons learned in the pursuit of the Cup that year. 

 Though Heritage, Valiant, and Weatherly lost out in 1970 defender selection to Intrepid, by the end of the season Morgan's boat was matching up favorably with Intrepid in both light and fresh wind.  Intrepid went on to defend the Cup 4-1 against Australia's Gretel II, though the challenger is widely believed to have actually been the faster boat that year.

In the next match, aluminum became the material of choice for 12-Meters, and the wood boats found it harder to compete.  Heritage spent years as one of the best-looking fixtures on the racing scene in Chicago and San Diego before returning to Newport in the 1990s, where she currently races against the classic 12 fleet and hosts charters.  The article does not appear to be online for free, but the digital issue can be purchased at Woodenboat.com or in hardcopy on the newsstand.
 


ETNZ First Sail in SF


Click image to enlarge and see more.
Photo:2013 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

(May 23) The Louis Vuitton Cup is coming soon, and what more exciting evidence than to see Emirates Team New Zealand's AC72 sailing for the first time on San Francisco Bay, joining Luna Rossa at times.  The big cat regatta on the bay is really going to happen, and the two Oracle Team USA boats, and the pending launch of Artemis' second yacht, will make five America's Cup boats tuning up this June.

Grant Dalton, CEO of ETNZ: "It was perfect.  Oracle was out there; Luna Rossa was out there.  The boys got straight into it foiling across the face of the Golden Gate Bridge something we have had in mind for a couple of years. So now we get into it properly tomorrow."

See photos from Chris Cameron
Also: Read ETNZ Press Release plus
Watch Video at YouTube (3:36)
 


Rare Starling Burgess Drawings to Auction

(May 21) Somewhere in-between making seaplanes and introducing Olin Stephens to the creation of J-Class yachts, prolific America's Cup yacht designer and all-around genius W. Starling Burgess collaborated with R. Buckminster Fuller to design the ultra-modern Dymaxion automobile prototype in the 1930s.  The car never made it into production, only one original survives, but a replica was recently commissioned by British architect Sir Norman Foster.  A rare set of blueprints for the Dymaxion have been discovered, apparently forgotten in a Connecticut attic for the last 80 years, and will make their way to auction on June 6. 

Read more at Hemming Motor News Blog
 


Luna Rossa First Sail on SF Bay

(May 18) Italian America's Cup challenger Luna Rossa took their AC72 yacht out onto San Francisco Bay for the first time ever Saturday.  The cat, the team's only yacht for the 2013 America's Cup, has sailed previously in Auckland, NZ.  Conditions are described as being the lighter end of the scale, which Luna Rossa felt was ideal for a shakedown outing.  The team also cited the psychological need to get sailing again.

Read more and see photos at Luna Rossa site
 


Expert Panel to Review Artemis Accident

Report Likely in Weeks, Racing on Track as Planned

Update, May 14: Iain Murray, Race Director and CEO of the Americas Cup Race Management organization, and Tom Ehman, Vice Commodore of Golden Gate YC and longtime senior official with Oracles yacht racing campaigns, worked today to help clarify the status of the Americas Cup and the investigation into the fatal accident that claimed the life of Artemis Racing crew member Andrew Simpson last week.

Read Report from CupInfo
 


Press Conference on Review Panel

(May 14) The America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) will today name an independent investigation panel for the Artemis Racing accident, and better define the inquiry's scope of work: Read More

A Press Conference on the matter was streamed live online today beginning at 2:00 pm PT from the America's Cup site.  A reply can be seen here
 


Nathan Outteridge: Reports Attributed to Father Don't Represent What Happened

(May 13, 5:00 pm PT) From Nathan Outteridge, via Artemis Racing: "The description of the accident in the Newcastle Herald while quoting my father is not correct and does not reflect the facts.  Unfortunately it has been relayed by other media.  Right now, we are all still mourning and working to understand what happened.  I hope everyone can respect this and I thank all those who have expressed support."
 


Artemis Statement on Accident Investigation

(May 11) Statement from the Team: "Artemis Racing is in the process of conducting a thorough review and analysis of this week's accident. 

"As a part of this review, Artemis Racing is sharing and exchanging data and information with concurrent work being performed by America's Cup and the San Francisco Police Department.

"Until this process is complete, any conclusions being made about the events that led to the boat's capsizing and its tragic outcome are pure speculation. 

"Out of respect for Bart's memory and his family, we ask that the broader sailing community and others reserve judgment until all the facts are known, and not persist in unnecessary rumor.  We again thank everyone for their continued support and thoughts during this difficult time."
 


Iain Murray to Lead Investigation

(May 10) Iain Murray, Regatta Director of the 2013 America's Cup, will lead an investigation into the circumstances of the tragic events that claimed the life of Artemis Racing's Andrew Simpson on Thursday.  In addition to his current role conducting the racing side of the event, Murray was an America's Cup skipper, head designer, and team leader himself while still in his 20's.  Murray will be chief liaison to the San Francisco Police Department, who are investigating under their own jurisdiction, and the US Coast Guard.

Read ACEA/ACRM Press Release
 


Statements on Artemis Racing Capsize

(May 9) From Paul Cayard, CEO Artemis Racing:
It is with immense sadness that Artemis Racing confirms the tragic death of crewmember Andrew Bart Simpson today in San Francisco.  Andrew, a British double Olympic medalist, was one of the 11 man crew aboard Artemis Racings AC72 catamaran which capsized during training on San Francisco Bay ahead of this summers Americas Cup.  All other crew are accounted for. Simpson however was trapped underneath the boat and despite attempts to revive him, by doctors afloat and subsequently ashore, his life was lost.

The entire Artemis Racing team is devastated by what happened, said CEO Paul Cayard. Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrews wife and family. --statement ends

Cayard spoke to the media at 5:00 pm PT, adding: Our prayers are with Andrew Simpsons family, his wife and kids, and also the rest of my teammates.  Its a shocking experience to go through, and we have a lot to deal with in the next few days in terms of assuring everybodys well being." 

Additional Statements:

From Oracle Team USA:
"Today is a sad day for all of us in the sailing community. Andrew Simpson was a great person, a terrific sailor, and a good friend to all of our team.  Our thoughts are with his family and the entire Artemis team.  He will be dearly missed."

From the America's Cup organization:
"The thoughts of everyone involved with the Americas Cup are with the family of Andrew Simpson and the members of Artemis Racing.

"Andrew was an immensely popular and respected member of the sailing community, and his two Olympic medals were testament to his talent.  His easy-going personality made him loved by many; always friendly, always smiling and always supportive of others."

From CupInfo:
It was with great sadness we learned of the death of Andrew Simpson of Artemis Racing.  Sincere condolences from all of us at CupInfo to Andrew's family, friends, and teammates.  The Cup family is lessened by this loss.
 



 

Jewett, Robins, and Simmer Named to Hall of Fame

(May 8) Lucy Jewett, Noel Robins, and Grant Simmer have been named to the America's Cup Hall of Fame Class of 2013.  An induction ceremony and celebration dinner will take place August 5th in San Francisco, as the Louis Vuitton Cup semi-finals begin.

Jewett was a key organizer and sponsor for the Cup campaigns of Dennis Conner and then Paul Cayard, and now serves on the San Francisco America's Cup Organizing Committee.  Robins sailed and coached in multiple Australian challenges that culminated in Australia II's 1983 victory, and then managed preparations for the 1987 America's Cup in Fremantle.  Simmer, to date a three-time Cup-winner -- once as navigator on Australia II in 1983, twice as Design Team Coordinator/Managing Director for Team Alinghi -- is now General Manager of Oracle Team USA for their 2013 Defense.

Read America's Cup Hall of Fame Press Release
 


Catching up with Tom Slingsby

(May 3) Tom Slingsby took the helm of Oracle Team USA's AC45 in the recent Naples regatta, stepping in where James Spithill, Russell Coutts, and Darren Bundock have been at work previously.  Writer Michelle Slade chatted with Tom, a six-time World Champion, about his Naples experience and his role with the Defender for the America's Cup this summer:

Question: Oracle now has three excellent helmsman--how do you feel about being the bridesmaid and not the bride when clearly youre capable?

Tom Slingsby: "Its OK--I was given an amazing opportunity. I was hired as a tactician with the strongest team in the Americas Cup, and Im still pretty young and going to run with it. I know I wasnt hired as a helmsman, but Ive now had a lot of support since Naples. People now know that Im there if Ben or Jimmy gets injured or sick, I can fill in."

Read interview at Sailing World
 


Book: Oracle and Golden Gate YC Teaming Up to Win the Cup

(April 29) The Billionaire and the Mechanic, a new book from author Julian Guthrie, tells the story of Larry Ellison's Oracle racing efforts in partnership with Norbert Barjurin and the Golden Gate Yacht Club, to be published in late May.  Guthrie, who had inside access to the team for her writing, recounts the sage of Ellison's America's Cup challenges of 2003, 2007, and 2010, portraying the sailors and designers as they chase yachting most famous trophy.

Bob Fisher, America's Cup Journalist:  "This is one helluva great read.  Larry and Norbert -- beautiful dreamers both, men with faith in their ability to convert them to reality.  This book is fascinating; it informs, educates and entertains about the longest continuously contested trophy in all sports."

Julian Guthrie, Author: "I am now completely in love with this race.  I find the sailors to be wonderful and down to earth, though as intense as a team of Navy SEALS.  I find the engineers and builders to be brilliant, obsessive, and perfectionists.  The sport is visually stunning, with breathtaking backdrops and cutting-edge boats.  I also love it that for the first time in 160-plus years, the Americas Cup is going to be accessible to all."

Read Q-and-A with the Author

Order at Powells Books Also: Barnes&Noble and Amazon and Independent Bookstores


Regatta Director Responds to Complaints

(July 3) Iain Murray, Regatta Director, made several points in response to recent criticism of some aspects of the Safety Recommendations he has implemented for the 2013 America's Cup.  The teams not only agreed in principle to the changes last May, but had recently requested similar changes on their own initiative.  Questions about whether ETNZ and Luna Rossa would be eligible to race in current form were addressed, as well.

From the Press Release: Murray also states plainly that claims saying that the Italian and Kiwi boats would not measure as AC72s and are thus ineligible to race are false.  He says the official measurers have informed him that both Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand are fully able to comply with the AC72 Class Rule. 

They can race on the first day, Sunday, June 7, with their equipment as it is now because it already meets the minimum requirements set out in my Safety Rules, he said.  So this isnt about teams not being able to comply.  This is about two teams trying to gain an advantage from changes Ive implemented to make all of our racing safer.

On the issue that seems to be most contentious to some of the teams, the requirement to have deeper rudders with larger winglets, Murray says these are important Safety Rules. 

This is to give crews more control.  The new Safety Rules allows the angle of the rudder winglets to be adjusted up to five minutes before a race instead of by 8:00 am on race days.

Read ACRM/ACEA Press Release
 


Regatta Permit Received, ACRM Issues Safety Changes to AC72 Class Rule

Sailing Instructions Also Issued

(June 28) With the US Coast Guard permit for the event now received, Iain Murray, Regatta Director and CEO of America's Cup Race Management, has issued a notice to competitors that the 37 recommendations of the Review Panel are to apply to the yachts of the regatta.  Though most of the recommendations have not generated conflict, the issue that the recommendations modify aspects of the AC72 Class Rule will now come to a head.  Emirates Team New Zealand in particular objects to changes in permitted rudder design, and to the process by which those changes are now permitted. 

The AC72 Class Rule would normally require the unanimous agreement of all current teams in order to be amended.  In the interest of safety, the Regatta Director submitted the additional requirements as part of the USCG application, and cites provisions of the Protocol that require compliance with applicable laws and regulations as the source of authority to empower the changes in the Rule.

ETNZ has objected on material and procedural grounds, believing that the Protocol expressly does not give the Regatta Director the power to amend the documents that ACRM enforces.  ETNZ is bringing the case before the America's Cup Jury, who will weigh a decision.  The NZ team has said in advance that they will abide by the Jury's decision, and that under the Protocol, will not resort to outside legal action despite recent reports that such a scenario might be feasible in some expert analysis.

Read:
ACRM Press Release "Event Permit Issued"

Supporting Documents:
From ACRM: Regatta Notice 189 (pdf) includes background and comment from the Regatta director on the changes.

Also:
Permit: Event Permit Issued June 28, 2013 (4.6M pdf)
From ACRM: Redline of AC72 Class Rule showing changes (5.4M pdf)

Sailing Instructions:
Sailing Instructions for the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup (800k pdf)
 


Running the Races: PRO John Craig

(June 27) John Craig serves as the Principal Race Officer for the America's Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup this summer.  His job entails setting up the race course, getting countless moving parts in position, and running the races on time, safely, and fairly.  Michelle Slade talked with Craig and some fellow Cup staff about how they are adjusting to the needs of racing AC72 yachts as the regatta approaches.

"Working through what these new boats have created has probably been the most challenging aspect of my job," said Craig.... "We were thinking they'd do 33-35 knots and they're now doing 45-46 knots."

Read more at Marin Independent Journal
 


Artemis Preparing

(June 26) Nathan Outteridge, Skipper, Artemis Racing, spoke with Scuttlebutt Sailing about how the team is proceeding with getting ready to sail their second AC72 yacht:

Question: Once you begin sailing the new boat, what are the differences that will require the greatest focus?

Nathan Outteridge: "The new wing will be quite similar, so we will adjust to that quite easily, and have high confidence in its reliability.  The main area that will be our focus is the board control system.  Once you start foiling, the whole boat revolves around that system.  How well you can control the board rake relates to how hard you can push the boat and how safely you can sail it.

"We learned a lot on the AC45 with the foiling package, and are now testing the AC72 rake control system inside the shed to learn about the friction that is involved and the loads that are going through it.  So though we are not currently sailing, we are recreating the sailing environment inside the shed to insure that by the time we hit the water the system is working well."

Read more at Scuttlebutt Sailing
 


No Agreement In Mediation Efforts

(June 23) Bryan Willis, a member of the America's Cup Jury acting as a mediator seeking agreement between the teams and America's Cup Race Management on adopting the Safety Recommendations created last month by the Review Panel, characterized the four days spent this past week on the effort as a "positive exercise that ended with only a few points unresolved."

Iain Murray, Regatta Director and CEO of America's Cup Race Management, said that regardless of the result, all 37 recommendations would be part of the event plan submitted to the US Coast Guard, and put into practice.

Read ACEA Press Release


AC72 Lines


Lines of Oracle Team USA boat #2. Click image to view more.
Image:2013 Francois Chevalier

(June 20) Franois Chevalier and Jacques Taglang have new drawings of the latest AC72's from ETNZ and Oracle, and part one of a comparison between the first and second generation of America's Cup cats on their blog.  Luna Rossa and Artemis to follow.


America's Cup Jury to Address Schedule Issues

(June 14) The America's Cup Jury will hear discussions from the teams on the issue of how the July and August racing schedule should be adapted.  Modifications sought in the name of safety, along with recognition that Artemis Racing doesn't expect to have their boat ready in time for the planned start of the regatta, have generated friction among the teams, whose interests naturally conflict to some degree.

June 19th and 20th will see the teams gather for mediation sessions, in hopes of finding the resolution most acceptable to everyone.  If that doesn't solve the questions, then the America's Cup jury may have to decide.

Contrary to some alarmist headlines (and the articles below them), it's not unexpected that America's Cup teams might not agree on schedule changes, especially those made at late dates.  Team leaders are more than aware of how their statements play out in the press, and there's been a long tradition of calling out perceived inequities early and loudly, sometimes as much to deter future behavior as to reverse any current decisions.  It's a match race off the water as much as on it.  The motivation for the Jury's existence is to have a process to solve these conflicts at arm's length from the interests of any one team, independent of the Defender or a Challenger.

Read story at stuff.co.nz
 


Andrew Simpson Laid to Rest

(May 31) Andrew "Bart" Simpson was remembered in a  funeral service Friday at Sherborne Abbey in Dorset, England.  Sir Ben Ainslie spoke at the service, also serving as a pallbearer along with Nick Harrison, Chris Brittle, Paul Goodison MBE, Anthony Nossiter, and Iain Percy OBE.  Mourners included fellow sailors offering their respects to Simpson's family, including his wife and two young sons.

Read more at BBC News and Mail Online
 


Accident Panel Issues Proposed Changes for AC72 Safety

(May 22) The Review Panel assessing AC72 safety following the fatal accident on May 9th that killed Andrew Simpson has issued a draft of proposed steps to decrease the risks of sailing the yachts in this summer's racing as well as the independent testing over the next several weeks leading up to the competition.

Recommendations include substantially lowering the wind limits for racing, making start times flexible in response to wind and current conditions, eliminating the onboard guest during racing, restraints for crew during sailing, locator devices of a kind still to-be-determined for crew in the water, and larger support and rescue staff among 37 specific points laid out.  The list was discussed in a meeting with the teams today, who reportedly are supportive.  Additional technical aspects of the recommendations are being fleshed out as quickly as possible.

Changes to the Round Robin schedule are proposed to increase maintenance opportunities.  The mark boats currently planned are suggested to be replaced with soft marks, and changes to the Racing Rules for the America's Cup and the starting procedures are to be explored in the interests of anticipating and avoiding unnecessarily hazardous scenarios.  Perhaps most notably, third-party review of the structural integrity of each yacht design will be sought.

Read ACEA Press Release and Read Draft Recommendations (pdf, 146K)
 


Artemis AC72 Capsize

(May 9) Artemis Racing's AC72 catamaran capsized in SF Bay just after 1:00 pm PT with tragic consequences.  The San Francisco Fire Department says that crew member Andrew Simpson was underwater for ten minutes.  Rescuers took him to shore near the St. Francis Yacht Club, where CPR was performed, but he could not be revived and was pronounced dead at 1:43 pm.  The rest of the crew is said to be safe, though Craig Monk was hospitalized.  A husband and father, the 36-year-old Simpson was also twice an Olympic Medalist, winning Gold and Silver with teammate Iain Percy in the Star Class in 2008 and 2012.

 A SF Police Department boat was one of the first responders to the scene, along with the Artemis team support boats that normally accompany the AC72 when sailing.  Oracle Team USA, Luna Rossa, and Emirates Team New Zealand also sent their chase boats to the scene to offer assistance.

Winds are the time of the incident are reported to have been in the middle 20-knot range with gusts to 33 knots.  This is the second time in the modern era that a crew member has been killed in training on an America's Cup boat.  In 1999 Martin Wizner died after being struck in the head when a block failed on the Spanish yacht ESP-56, a more conventional America's Cup Class monohull in use at the time.  One other recorded death was a sailor swept overboard and drowned in 1903 after Shamrock III was dismasted during training in the UK.

 The Artemis boat involved, the first of the two AC72's they are permitted to build, was launched last fall, first sailing on November 13 after apparent damage during towing tests delayed the christening ceremony.  The team recently pulled the catamaran off the water for several weeks of modifications in February and March.  Today marked the 36th official sailing day for the Swedish boat.  Photos of the aftermath show the port hull broken apart just forward of the aft crossbeam, and the forward crossbeam broken as well, though there are conflicting reports from observers as to the sequence that might have occurred and what is cause versus effect.  Tony Outteridge, after speaking with his son Nathan who was skippering the boat at the time, told Australia's NBN news that the boat was breaking up as the capsize began, raising the possibility that the incident is traceable as much to structural collapse as to capsize.  [Edit: Monday May 13, Artemis Racing issued a statement from Nathan Outteridge saying that the description his father gave does not reflect the facts.]  The team's second boat arrived in the US within the past week and was due to be launched soon.

Stories and Images:
Local: Video and photos at ABC-TV station KGO and NBC Bay Area and KTVU TV

Read more stories at New York Times and San Jose Mercury News; AP story at USA Today and Photos;
Condolences Pour In: LA Times

Simpson on his Olympic success: "You win a gold medal with your best friend and you're on the podium and the national anthem is played and you've just had a really tough regatta -- it's not like we won it easy, it was a real war."  Read tribute at Guardian.co.uk

From 2011: Sailing the Star with Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson: Mail Online

Simpson was one of three Olympic athletes who joined Artemis last February, with Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis, saying at the time: These young sailors bring talent and enthusiasm to our team.  They are the future of the Americas Cup.

AC72 Background:
Oracle Team USA pitchpoled their first AC72 yacht last October, damaging the boat, but without serious injury to the crew.  CupInfo's Diane Swintal spoke with members of the America's Cup teams before and after the incident about safety and preparations for responding when an 72-foot catamaran capsizes:
AC72 Capsize Preparations (Dec 3)
Oracle Lesson Learned (Oct 16)
 


America's Cup World Series Naples 2013

Luna Rossa Swordfish and Oracle Slingsby in the Match Race Final, Sunday. Photo:2013 Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi
Luna Rossa Swordfish and Oracle Slingsby in the Match Race Final, Sunday. Click image to enlarge.

At CupInfo: Naples 2013 Main Page
Schedule | Results and Standings

Daily Reports:
Thursday (Day 1) | Friday (Day 2)
Saturday (Day 3) | Sunday (Day 4)

Team Statements:
 Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Also:
See All Previous America's Cup World Series Events
 


Three Wings And Counting

Wing sails of Oracle ETNZ and Artemis. Image 2013 Franois Chevalier
Image: 2013 Franois Chevalier

(Apr 10) As America's Cup 2013 approaches, variations in thinking are apparent.  Franois Chevalier and Jacques Taglang compare wing sail designs for the AC72's.
Read more at Chevalier-Taglang Blog

 

Also see news archives of:

 2013: 2nd Q | 1st Q  2012: 4th Q | 3rd Q | 2nd Q | 1st Q  2011: 3rd-4th Q | 2nd Q | 1st Q 
 2010: 4th Q | 1st-2nd-3rd Q  2009: 3rd-4th Q | 1st-2nd   2008: 3rd-4th Q | 1st-2nd Q
 2007: 3rd-4th Q2nd Q | 1st Q   2006: 4th Q | 2nd-3rd Q | 1st Q   2005: 4th Q

 

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