Tributes paid to sailor Andrew Simpson on anniversary of death
by Risa Merl
On the two-year anniversary of his untimely death, the sailing world has paid tribute to the legendary sailor Andrew “Bart” Simpson, who died when his team’s AC72 capsized during an America's Cup training exercise in San Francisco bay, trapping him under the boat for 10 minutes.
Celebrations were held in the UK and Bermuda for Andrew Simpson, known as Bart to friends, who was an Olympic gold medalist and professional America’s Cup sailor, training with Swedish team Artemis Racing. He was just 36 years old when he died.
America's Cup teams pay tribute to Andrew Simpson in Bermuda
Artemis Racing held a touching tribute for their fallen teammate in a private ceremony held on Bermuda’s Great Sound. In a show of camaraderie, they were joined by members of Oracle Team USA – any thoughts of the competition for the America’s Cup 2017 dropped for the day.
The video below shows the teams laying a wreath on the race course of the 35th America’s Cup, which will take place in Bermuda. This is followed by footage of Andrew Simpson’s greatest yachting moments, including him taking the podium for Great Britain during the Beijing and London Olympics.
Tributes paid on Twitter
Artemis Racing joined many in paying tribute to Simpson with posts on Twitter. The hashtag #sailonbart was used by many who wanted to commemorate the anniversary of his death with their own personal comments.
Party held to celebrate Andrew Simpson's life and legacy
The Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre in Weymouth and Portland was founded after his death by Artemis Racing teammate Iain Percy, Ben Ainslie, Paul Goodison and Simpson’s wife and children. A fully accredited RYA Training Centre, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre was set up with the mission of introducing more young people to and supporting their development in the sport of sailing.
Coinciding with the not-for-profit sailing centre’s first anniversary, the centre threw a huge party in memoriam of Andrew Simpson. Along with celebrations on shore, hundreds of the local community members were invited to sailing tasters, and a cardboard race boat was held as well.
The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation is organising a racing event called Bart’s Bash, set for September 20, 2015. Last year’s event rallied 30,000 across the world to race in thousands of different boats, all raising money for the foundation. It has officially been named the largest sailing race in the world by Guinness World Records. There are already 198 venues in 26 countries signed up to participate in the 2015 event.