America's Cup teams to meet, discuss fatal accident

May 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday with the four teams in the America's Cup to discuss Thursday's tragedy on San Francisco Bay.

Teams from the U.S., Italy, Sweden and New Zealand will be in San Francisco this week. They will decide what steps, if any, to take in the wake of the catamaran accident that killed British Olympic medalist Andrew Simpson.

There's a lot of talk in the sailing community as to what caused the catamaran to capsize. Speculation is growing that a flaw in the carbon body of the sailboat may have been the root of the problem.

A father of one of the sailor's on the Artemis Racing team says his son told him that he heard a loud cracking noise and then the boat went on its side.

The Newcastle Herald reports that according to crew members, the racing yacht folded "like a taco shell"

The America's Cup Regatta Director is putting a panel of experts that will investigate Thursday's accident. The panel is expected to be announced Tuesday.

Until then, experts are weighing in. Bob Naber, President of the Bay Area Multihull Association, says the crack and folding motion suggests that one of the carbon crossbeams connecting the two floats may have snapped.

"At what point was the loud cracking sound, and was it related to or not related to the failure of the structure," Naber said.

"We need to understand how did the capsize happen," America's Cup CEO Stephen Barclay said. "There are many theories around the place, some different theories conflict with each other. So we need to find the facts, and I think that's what we're really focused on now."

Simpson died after being trapped beneath the catamaran's wreckage for approximately 10 minutes. His funeral is scheduled for some time next week in England, his home country. The 36-year-old sailor leaves behind a wife and toddler son.


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