Wreaths laid in memory of Simpson
Artemis Racing observed the memory of the late Andrew Simpson during an emotional wreath-laying ceremony in the Great Sound on Saturday.
Team members as well as members of Oracle Team USA, the America’s Cup defender, attended the private ceremony, which also included a minute of silence to mark the second anniversary of Mr Simpson’s death. After the ceremony, Artemis team members lectured youth sailors from the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Sailing Academy to carry on where Mr Simpson left off.
Mr Simpson, who won the 2008 Argo Group Gold Cup sailing with Sir Ben Ainslie shortly after winning Olympic gold in the Star class at the Beijing Games, lost his life in a accident in the lead-up to the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay in 2013 while training with Artemis in the wing-sail foiling AC72 catamaran.
The 72ft catamaran capsized, trapping Mr Simpson under the hull, and attempts to resuscitate him proved unsuccessful. After the accident, Artemis forfeited their round-robin matches in the 2013 challenger series but returned for the semi-final, where they were soundly defeated by Luna Rossa, the Italian challenger.
Mr Simpson, affably known as “Bart” from the popular Simpsons sitcom, is survived by a wife and two sons, and was someone whom many turned to for guidance.
Supporting the next generation of sailors was what he is said to be extremely passionate about.
It is this legacy that continues via the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, which was founded in 2013.
Money raised from the Bart’s Bash go to the foundation whose mandate is to transform the lives of young people through sailing.
Billed as the largest sailing event in the world, last year’s Bart’s Bash involved more than 30,000 participants, who helped to raise in excess of $550,000 for the foundation.
This year’s Bart’s Bash will be held on September 20 at 195 venues in 26 countries, including Bermuda.