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Full report: Andrew Simpson funeral

by Duncan Sleightholme

The funeral has taken place of the Olympic Gold medal-winning sailor Andrew Simpson. Some of the best known names in the sport were there to pay tribute to him - among them Sir Ben Ainslie.

Nicknamed 'Bart', Andrew Simpson lived in Sherborne in Dorset with his wife and two children. He drowned when a catamaran he was racing in California capsized earlier this month.

Sir Ben Ainslie leads tributes for Andrew Simpson

We are all devastated by Andrew's loss and it has been a very difficult period for all of us as we come to terms with his passing. The fact that so many people have come here from all over the world speaks volumes of the kind of person Bart was. This is a fitting tribute to the person who gave so much."

– Sir Ben Ainslie, Olympic Sailor and friend

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

– Andrew Simpson's sister Amanda

Sir Ben was a pallbearer at the funeral, along with sailing greats Nick Harrison, Chris Brittle, Paul Goodison MBE, Anthony Nossiter, and Iain Percy OBE, Simpson's sailing partner, best friend and best man at his wedding.

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Andrew's hometown to be dressed with bunting

Sherborne has been dressed with red, white and blue bunting as it bids farewell to one of its greatest sporting heroes.

I am so extremely proud of all his 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."

– Andrew Simpson's sister Amanda

His numerous achievements are a credit to the extraordinary effort which he dedicated to his sport. Andrew will be greatly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends today."

– Jan Paterson, Deputy Chef de Mission at London 2012, British Olympic Association

Funeral of Olympic sailor due to take place in Dorset

Olympic gold medallist Andrew "Bart" Simpson

The funeral of Olympic sailing champion Andrew Simpson will take place in his home town in Dorset today.

The 36-year-old died after his yacht capsized off the Californian coast earlier this month. He was training for the America's Cup.

A service at Sherborne Abbey will be followed by a celebration of Andrew's life at the town's castle.

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America's Cup to go ahead

The America's Cup will go ahead this year despite the death of the Dorset based Olympian Andrew Simpson.

The 36-year-old sailor died after being trapped under water when his Artemis yacht capsized and broke up last Thursday.

Race organisers announced on Wednesday they had appointed a review committee to look into the tragedy.

The 34th America's Cup is set to begin on September the 7th in San Francisco Bay.

Ainslie pays tribute to Andrew Simpson

Four-time Olympic champion Sir Ben Ainslie has paid tribute to Andrew Simpson.

Simpson, who became an Olympic Champion in 2008, died after being trapped under his AC72 catamaran when it nosedived, capsized and broke into pieces. He had been training with the Artemis Racing team in San Francisco Bay.

Simpson recently turned his attention to the America's Cup - a trophy he admitted was his biggest goal - and had been working as a strategist for Swedish team Artemis Racing.

Ainslie, who is helmsman with defending champions Oracle Team USA, released a statement on his website.

This is such a tragedy. Andrew was such a wonderful husband, father, friend and one of the nicest people you would ever meet. The only solace I can find is that he died doing something which he loved.

I have such fond memories of growing up sailing together as kids and then as adults. I will miss him so much.

My thoughts and prayers are with Leah, their two boys and their family.

– Sir Ben Ainslie
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