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America's Cup will go on, despite sailor's death

By Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 8:11 PM EDT, Tue May 14, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Andrew "Bart" Simpson died after a 72-foot catamaran capsized in San Francisco Bay
  • He and his fellow crew members had been training for the upcoming America's Cup
  • America's Cup organizers say the race will go on
  • They detail who's part of a safety committee that will review training and racing

(CNN) -- Five days after a British sailor died training in San Francisco Bay, America's Cup organizers announced Tuesday that the historic race will go on.

The affirmation that racing will proceed, as planned, follows the death Thursday of 36-year-old Andrew "Bart" Simpson.

Attempts were made to revive the British Olympic sailor at sea and on land after his 72-foot Artemis Racing boat capsized in the waters off northern California. The other 10 members of the boat's crew were all safely rescued, Sweden's Artemis Racing said.

The incident brought into question what would happen with the America's Cup, a yacht race that began in 1851 off the English coast. Its website bills the competition as a quest for the "oldest trophy in international sport."

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On that website, America's Cup organizers "confirmed that this summer's events remain on track." That means no change in the start time of the Louis Vuitton Cup -- the America's Cup Challenger Series -- set for July 7 and the America's Cup Finals scheduled to begin on September 7 off San Francisco.

"The America's Cup will go ahead this summer," said Tom Ehman, vice commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club. "We will see the world's best sailors racing at the highest level."

Yet the aftermath of Simpson's death was still part of the race's news release and a related news conference.

Specifically, race organizers on Tuesday detailed who will be on a safety review committee that's been created in the past few days.

Among others, the group will include two-time U.S. Sailing Yachtswoman of the Year Sally Lindsay Honey, race executive and former Canadian Olympic coach John Craig and French boat designer Vincent Lauriot Prevost. Lt. Jon Lane, a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, will serve as a liaison to the group.

A day earlier, the America's Cup explained that the panel will "review all aspects and training of AC72 yachts." AC72s are a class of boat -- specifically 72-foot catamarans, like the one Simpson was on -- that are set to compete in the upcoming America's Cup.

The committee will issue its report "as soon as possible," mindful of the start of racing in seven weeks, according to the America's Cup website.

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