11 May 2013

Briton dies, NZ sailor hurt in America's Cup training

5:40 am on 11 May 2013

A New Zealand sailor is reported to be in a San Francisco hospital following an America's Cup training accident in which a British crew member died.

Veteran New Zealand grinder Craig Monk was reportedly injured when the catamaran sailed by Sweden's Artemis Racing capsized, trapping Olympian Andrew Simpson underneath for about 10 minutes at about 1pm (local time) on Thursday.

Doctors attempted to revive Simpson, 36, a double Olympic medallist, but he was pronounced dead after returning to shore.

Monk is reported to have a cut to his neck and his condition is not thought to be life-threatening.

Coastguard Lieutenant Joshua Dykman said it is not yet known why the yacht capsized, but noted there were high afternoon winds on the bay.

Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton said the team extends its condolences to the Swedish team and Simpson's family.

The Artemis Racing team of 12 crew, including four New Zealanders, were preparing in San Francisco Bay for the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series in July when they will race against Emirates Team New Zealand and Italy's Luna Rossa.

The winner will take on a US boat Oracle Racing in the 34th America's Cup, beginning in September.