SAN FRANCISCO – A day after tragedy marred the run-up to this summer’s America’s Cup, questions about safety — and even the storied event’s future — were swirling after a celebrated sailor was killed when the Swedish Artemis team’s 72-foot catamaran capsized in a training run during a mild day on San Francisco Bay.

But America’s Cup officials, visibly shaken at a Friday morning news conference, said it was too early to say what caused the boat to nose-dive and turn upside down, trapping former British Olympian Andrew “Bart” Simpson underwater.

“We need to conduct the review to find out what happened,” said Stephen Barclay, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority. “Only after that’s done will we be able to decide what if anything needs to be done to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”

Just two months before the regatta is set to begin, the host Oracle Team USA agreed to keep its boat out of the water until Monday as investigators look for clues into what happened to the Artemis boat. Artemis’ team was in seclusion Friday. The two other teams competing this summer — Emirates Team New Zealand and Italy’s Luna Rossa — recently arrived in San Francisco but are still getting their boats ready for the water.

America’s Cup officials refused to say whether Simpson’s death — and the uncertainty over the stability of the high-tech, cutting-edge boats — could lead them to alter the boats’ design — or even cancel the America’s Cup.

“Nothing is off the table,” Barclay said. “We will look at what happens from the review process.”

When asked whether Artemis had dropped out of the race, Barclay said “absolutely not.”

Simpson, 36, sailed in the Olympics for Great Britain and won gold in 2008 and silver in 2012.


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