The world of sailing said goodbye to one of its biggest stars today as the funeral of Olympic Gold medalist Andrew Simpson was held in his home town of Sherborne in Dorset.
Andrew's family were joined by hundreds of mourners, including Sir Ben Ainslie and sailing partner Iain Percy.
The 36-year-old who had two children died during training for the America's Cup in San Francisco Bay earlier this month.
It was announced at his funeral that a children's sailing charity will be set-up in his memory. Sally Simmonds reports and speaks to Sir Ben Ainslie, Olympic silver medalist Luke Patience and Stephen Park, RYA Olympic Manager.
Andrew Simpson's coffin has entered Sherborne Abbey, carried by six pall bearers, including his crew mate Iain Percy and his GB team mate, Sir Ben Ainslie. Both are due to participate in the service with Sir Ben doing a reading and Iain Percy paying tribute to Andrew Simpson.
The organisers of the America's Cup have announced that all teams have been asked to suspend sailing following the death of the Dorset sailor, Andrew Simpson, last week. The America's Cup Review Committee made the decision at its first meeting last night.
The teams have been asked to suspend sailing in the AC72 and smaller AC45 catamarans until the middle of next week. The committee will meet with the teams in San Francisco, California later today.
At a press conference in San Francisco the organisers of the America's Cup outlined the steps they plan to take following the death of the Olympic sailor, Andrew Simpson, from Selbourne in Dorset, last week.
The members of the Review Committee have relevant experience in the sport at its highest levels. Read their biographies here. Iain Murray, the Regatta Director, will chair and lead the Review Committee comprised of:
• Iain Murray (AUS, Chair)• Sally Lindsay Honey (USA, Deputy Chair)• John Craig (USA)• Chuck Hawley (USA)• Vincent Lauriot-Prévost (FRA)• Jim Farmer QC (NZL)
The U.S. Coast Guard has supported the committee's approach and has offered to assist as appropriate. Tom Ehman, the Vice Commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club (the America’s Cup Trustee), said:
“The Committee brings immense experience and expertise to this Review. At a meeting in San Francisco this morning, the teams expressed unanimous support for this Committee and this process.”
The Review Committee will report as soon as possible, given that racing starts in seven weeks.
The death of Dorset sailor, Andrew Simpson, in San Francisco on Thursday has raised questions over the £6.5 million AC72 boat he was sailing. The Artemis team has released this statement:
"Artemis Racing is in the process of conducting a thorough review and analysis of this week’s accident.
As a part of this review, Artemis Racing is sharing and exchanging data and information with concurrent work being performed by America’s Cup and the San Francisco Police Department."
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. We again thank everyone for their continued support and thoughts during this difficult time.