Questions linger about the safety of the AC72

America’s Cup death: Super-fast boat sparks safety concerns – latimes.com

By Kate Mather and Andrew Blankstein | May 10, 2013, 9:24 a.m.

The death of a British Olympic gold medalist during an America’s Cup sailing practice on Thursday has prompted new concerns about the high-speed catamaran that capsized in the San Francisco Bay.

Andrew “Bart” Simpson was part of an 11-man crew aboard Artemis Racing’s AC72 vessel when the boat flipped northwest of Treasure Island about 1 p.m., officials said. Simpson, 36, served as the Swedish team’s strategist.

An America’s Cup chase boat pulled the sailors from the water, but Simpson was trapped under the 72-foot catamaran for up to 15 minutes before he was reached, San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

The incident comes about seven months after a similar yacht owned by the Oracle USA team capsized in October, also while training in San Francisco Bay. No injuries were reported, but the vessel was damaged.

The AC72 is capable of speeds in excess of twice the windspeed.

Read more via America’s Cup death: Super-fast boat sparks safety concerns – latimes.com.

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