Olympian drowns in America's Cup training
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SAN FRANCISCO -- A 72-foot-long Swedish sailboat capsized yesterday in San Francisco Bay while practicing for the upcoming America's Cup races, killing an Olympic gold medalist from the United Kingdom and injuring another sailor, authorities said.
Artemis Racing said Andrew "Bart" Simpson died after the capsized boat's platform trapped him underwater for about 10 minutes.
Simpson served as the Swedish team's strategist. He had won an Olympic gold medal and a silver medal. He was 36 years old, according to San Francisco Fire Department officials.
Artemis said doctors "afloat" with the team and on shore couldn't revive Simpson after he was freed from the wreckage.
"The entire Artemis team is devastated by what happened," CEO Paul Canyard said on the team's website.
The Artemis Racing catamaran capsized near Treasure Island, a former naval station in the bay, fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.
Simpson and the other sailor were brought to shore and taken to the St. Francis Yacht Club, where paramedics performed CPR on Simpson. He was pronounced dead a short time later, fire officials said.
The sailor suffered minor injuries, and the rest of the crew of 13 was accounted for and taken back to their dock in Alameda.
The Swedish-based team and two other yacht clubs are scheduled to compete for the honor of challenging Team Oracle for the America's Cup, sailing's most prestigious trophy.
The boat that capsized is a specially built catamaran that can reach speeds of 45 mph. Coast Guard Lt. Jeannie Crump said the agency did not know the extent of the damage to the boat. Crump added that Coast Guard officials weren't sure what caused the boat to capsize.
The America's Cup race is scheduled to run from July through September, and the teams are training in the bay.