Andrew 'Bart' Simpson funeral

Family, friends and fellow sporting champions have gathered today in a final farewell to Olympic sailing gold medallist Andrew 'Bart' Simpson.

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Ainslie and crew pay tribute to Simpson with record

Sir Ben Ainslie and his crew have paid further tribute to close friend Andrew 'Bart' Simpson, a day after attending his funeral, as they set a new record in a race around the Isle of Wight.

Sir Ben Ainslie (second left) and crew celebrate victory in the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The group wore black armbands and a ribbon motif with Simpson's name on their back during the Round The Island Race.

The crew broke out the champagne after smashing the race record by 16 minutes. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Simpson, a double Olympic medal winning sailor, tragically died when his Artemis America's Cup catamaran capsized and broke up in a training accident in San Francisco.

The race was the first time Sir Ben had raced on home waters since he claimed his fourth Olympic gold in Weymouth last year. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

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Family and friends gather for funeral of Olympic sailor

Family and friends have gathered today in a final farewell to Olympic sailing gold medallist Andrew 'Bart' Simpson.

Olympic gold medal-winning sailor Andrew Simpson. Credit: PA

Hundreds of mourners - including fellow sporting champions - are attending the service in Simpson's home town of Sherborne in Dorset.

Sir Ben Ainslie paid a poignant tribute to the Olympic sailing gold medallist.

The four-time Olympic sailing champion spoke outside Sherborne Abbey ahead of Simpson's funeral, and described the father-of-two as "a friend to us all".

Simpson, respected at home and abroad as a talented but fierce competitor, was killed while training for the America's Cup in San Francisco Bay on May 9.

He died after being trapped under his super fast AC72 catamaran when it nosedived, capsized and broke into pieces while training with Artemis Racing.

The father-of-two won gold alongside Percy at the Beijing 2008 Games and silver at the London 2012 Olympics in the Star discipline.

Sister: Extremely proud of Andrew's achievements

The sister of Olympic Gold medallist Andrew Simpson, who died in a sailing accident in San Francisco on May 9, said she was "extremely proud of all [Andrew's] achievements".

As many people have told me in the last few weeks Andy has accomplished more in his 36 years than most people do in their lifetime.

We have been deeply moved by all the beautiful tributes received during this immensely sad time.

Andrews's presence will be greatly missed by our whole family and we look forward to setting up the charity to carry on inspiring grass roots sailing in Andrew's memory.

– Amanda Simpson, Andrew Simpson's sister

Funeral for Olympic sailor Andrew 'Bart' Simpson

The funeral of Olympic sailing gold medallist Andrew 'Bart' Simpson will take place today.

Thirty-six-year-old Simpson died after being trapped under his super fast AC72 catamaran when it nosedived, capsized and broke into pieces while training for the America's Cup in San Francisco.

Olympic sailing gold medallist Andrew 'Bart' Simpson Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Simpson's hometown of Sherborne has been dressed with red, white and blue bunting as the Dorset town bids farewell to one of its greatest sporting heroes.

The father-of-two won gold alongside his best friend Iain Percy at the Beijing 2008 and silver at the London 2012 Olympics in the Star discipline.

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