British gold Olympic sailor dies

British Olympic champion Andrew 'Bart' Simpson, who won a gold medal at the 2008 games and a silver in 2012, has died after his yacht capsized off the California coast during training for the America's Cup race.

Live updates

London 2012 executive pulls out of honours ceremony

A yachting boss and senior London 2012 executive has pulled out of an honours ceremony at Buckingham Palace today following the death of Olympic gold medal-winning sailor Andrew Simpson.

Sir Keith Mills, the deputy chairman of Locog (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) was due to be made a Knight Grand Cross - the highest grade of knighthood.

A London 2012 spokesman said: "We are all deeply saddened by the news of Andrew's death and, as a result of this tragic accident, Sir Keith will no longer be attending his investiture at Buckingham Palace today."

  1. Meridian

Fast & furious - the 'super' catamarans bidding for America's Cup glory

This footage from the America's Cup official website illustrates just how challenging it can be to sail the boats taking part in the America's Cup series. It's the oldest sporting event in the world, having taking place off the Isle of Wight for the first time in 1851.

The type of craft Andrew Simpson was sailing on is the new AC72 super catamaran. It is 72 feet long and powered by a huge wingsail. This design of yachts are contesting the America's Cup for the first time. They are faster and harder to sail than the monohulls used in previous contests.

The catamarans needly a highly skilled sailing team to keep the power under control. In the choppy waters of San Francisco bay the crew have to try to stop the catamaran's pitch-polling. This happens when the bow digs into a wave and the yachts tip over.


Olympians praise 'incredible' Andrew Simpson

Members of Team GB have paid tribute to Andrew Simpson, who died after his yacht capsized off the California coast during training for the America's Cup race.

Long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford said that Simpson was a "true gent".

Andrew Simpson 'will be sorely missed'

Former America's Cup sailor Andy Green has said that Andrew Simpson was questioning whether he wanted to continue sailing.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Green said: "He was questioning whether he wanted to continue sailing, but because his friend Iain Percy was at Artemis he went over there in February and started racing with them as a valuable asset.

"He will be sorely missed by them.

"It's particularly poignant for a British audience that this tragedy has happened because of his history in the Olympics, but I can only hope that Britain goes on to get involved in the America's Cup and win it back, with this very firmly in mind."

Sailing community pays tribute to 'true legend'

Members of the sailing community have paid tribute to Andrew Simpson today.

The British Sonar Sailing Team describing him as "a true sailing legend".


Fire service tried to resuscitate Andrew 'Bart' Simpson

Iain Percy (top) and Andrew Simpson as Andrew Simpson has died after his yacht capsized off the coast of California, his team said. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge confirmed to Press Association Sport that Andrew 'Bart' Simpson was taken to St Francis Yacht Club on the shore where paramedics performed emergency resuscitation, but he was pronounced dead.

She said another sailor suffered minor injuries.

Andrew 'Bart' Simpson was 'trapped for 10 minutes'

Sailor Andrew 'Bart' Simpson was trapped underneath the boat and, despite attempts by doctors afloat and subsequently ashore, he was unable to be saved.

He was trapped under the platform for an estimated 10 minutes.

Simpson represented Great Britain at two Olympic Games, sailing in the Star class alongside Iain Percy.

The pair took gold at the Beijing 2008 Games and last year were close to topping the podium once more, only to be bumped down to silver in the medal race.

Before last summer's Olympics, Simpson admitted that winning the America's Cup was his biggest goal.

He had hoped that dream would come true as strategist for challenger Artemis Racing, whose sailing team director and tactician is close friend Percy.

Load more updates Back to top