Hampshire Olympic sailing heroes launch sailing foundation in memory of Andrew Simpson (From Daily Echo)
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Hampshire Olympic sailing heroes launch sailing foundation in memory of Andrew Simpson
6:00am Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Sport
The Beijing Olympic gold medallist tragically died back in May as he trained for the 34th America’s Cup.
As his 72ft catamaran toppled over, the 36-year-old became trapped underneath the Artemis boat, which was preparing for competitive action in the qualifier to the 162-year-old trophy in San Francisco Bay.
Southampton-born Percy, who was also amongst the crew on the Swedish vessel, founded the foundation with Ainslie, who is currently racing for the Oracle USA boat at the America’s Cup, and Simpson’s widow, Leah.
The intention is to support the next generation of sailors – something that Simpson felt passionately about. The eventual plan is to have a sailing team named after Simpson and assist youngsters into employment in the sailing community.
Simpson’s death raised huge question marks over the safety of the AC72 boats.
The reasons why the Artemis craft shattered into pieces are still unknown.
Nonetheless, the America’s Cup is under way with the Emirates New Zealand team currently 3-1 up against Ainslie’s Oracle team in the best of 17 races competition.
Simpson, sailing with Percy, won a silver medal at London 2012 to go with his gold from Beijing. He also won World and European Championship medals as well as receiving an MBE in 2009 for his services to sailing.
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