Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Bid to tighten America's Cup safety

Olympic gold medal-winning sailor Andrew Simpson died trapped underneath his Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran
Olympic gold medal-winning sailor Andrew Simpson died trapped underneath his Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran

Sailing experts have made 37 recommendations they say will increase safety in the America's Cup, following the death of British Olympic sailing champion Andrew Simpson.

Led by regatta director Iain Murray, the group unveiled the proposals, nearly two weeks after a training run turned deadly.

Among the recommendations are equipping crews with body armour, hands-free breathing apparatus and high-visibility helmets. The group also suggests a flexible start time for the race, based on wind and projected tidal flows, wind limits and a safe buffer zones around course boundaries and obstructions.

The event will take place on the wind-raked San Francisco Bay this summer.

Simpson, 36, nicknamed Bart, died trapped underneath his Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran after the vessel overturned in San Francisco Bay on May 9.

The father of two from Sherborne, Dorset, and 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallist was one of 11 people on board the catamaran.

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