Emsworth star’s sailing partner killed in America’s Cup training tragedy

TRAINING Great Britain's Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (left) competing in the first race of the day in the Star class.

TRAINING Great Britain's Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (left) competing in the first race of the day in the Star class.

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The Team GB sailing partner of Emsworth’s Iain Percy has died after a catamaran capsized during a training session for the America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay.

Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson - a double Olympic medallist with Percy - was one of an 11-man crew on board the Artemis Racing catamaran, according to the team website.

Mr Simpson, who is 36 and from Sherborne in Dorset, was trapped under the boat and efforts to revive him failed.

Artemis is a Swedish team due to take part in the America’s Cup.

Artemis Racing said: “It is with immense sadness that Artemis Racing confirms the tragic death of crew member Andrew “Bart” Simpson today in San Francisco.”

At a news conference by the Bay, Artemis chief executive Paul Cayard said it was a ‘tragic day’ for the crew.

Mr Simpson won the Olympic Star class gold with Percy - his Artemis team boss - in Beijing in 2008 and they took silver at their home Games in 2012.

Artemis said that doctors afloat with the team tried unsuccessfully to revive the British sailor after he was freed from the wreckage.

Percy and Simpson won huge praise after adding to the sailing team’s medal haul at Weymouth last year. They were agonising close to taking their second successive gold medal.

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