America's Cup review underway following death of Artemis Racing's Andrew Simpson

Artemis Racing on the water in November 2012 in Alameda, USA. (Picture © Sander van der Bor.)
Artemis Racing on the water in November 2012 in Alameda, USA. (Picture © Sander van der Bor.)

Swedish team Artemis Racing's catamaran capsized during training in San Francisco Bay on 9 May in winds of 18-20 knots. The boat broke apart and Simpson, a British double Olympic medalist, became trapped. He was pronounced dead approximately 30 minutes after the incident.

Murray is a veteran ocean racer and America’s Cup sailor, having been part of four America’s Cup campaigns. He declined to speculate on the causes, or prejudge the results of the review.

The AC72 catamaran

The AC72 is a new class of America's Cup yacht that is designed to a 'box rule' which sets tight limits on parameters such as length, beam, weight and wingsail area. Teams develop their own designs.

The hull is 72 ft (22 m) long and the mast height 131 ft (40 m). The vessels are constructed from carbon fibre composites and powered with a solid wing instead of a soft sail. They have a crew of 11 people.

The Oracle Team USA AC72 capsized in training in October 2012 and some industry commentators have raised concerns about the safety of the boats.

“All we know is that the boat ended up capsized, the hulls upside down, broken in half,” said Murray at a 10 May press conference to announce the review.

“The split seconds from when the boat was sailing upwind to the pictures that we’ve all seen (of the boat turned upside down and broken apart), there’s a gap in there and that’s what we need to fill in and find out what happened.”

As a first step, Murray has scheduled a formal meeting with all four teams competing in the 34th America's Cup – ORACLE TEAM USA, Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, and Luna Rossa Challenge

No timetable has been placed on completing the review. The San Francisco Police Department is also conducting its own review.

Artemis statement

On 11 Mary, Artemis Racing announced that it is also conducting a thorough analysis of the accident.

The team also asked for an end to the speculation surrounding the cause of the capsize, in a statement which said: "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 rumour."