The Maritime Report: Thinking of Artemis

The Maritime Report: Thinking of Artemis

Dave Bloch

Photo courtesy of Artemis Racing.

It's been about 24 hours since I heard about the capsize of the Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran and death of strategist Andrew "Bart" Simpson. All Thursday afternoon people kept asking, "Dave, did you hear...?"

I attended the press briefing Artemis held at 5 p.m. Thursday. CEO Paul Cayard, a Bay Area native, spoke for less than a minute, expressing his shock and sorrow. All the San Francisco media were there, and articles on websites around the world picked up and spread the word. The British press in particular did a fine job; Andrew Simpson was a UK citizen.

This morning, the America's Cup Events Authority held a press conference, with the Coast Guard and San Francisco Police Department also at the table. There really is no new information at this point; the accident will be thoroughly investigated. At this point late Friday afternoon, we did not even know whether the boat broke before the capsize or as a result of it. (The Cup folks, who said late Friday they'll be investigating the incident, said the boat "broke apart" Thursday.) The participants, including the CEOs of both the ACEA and America's Cup Race Management, would not speculate on whether the fatal accident would lead to any changes in plans for the summer races.

Sometimes you just feel like you have to do something, so I bought some flowers and a card and drove out to Artemis' hangar. Two team members were in the driveway by Artemis' other big catamaran, and I asked where I could drop off the bouquet. They pointed me back to the white tent by the docks; the location of the press briefing the day before. I drove over there and it looked deserted. But I saw there is a place by the fence where people are leaving things. There were several bouquets of flowers (and a teddy bear); now there is one more.

But what really hit me as I drove back there: The hangar next to Artemis is leased by an exhibit production company called GroupDelphi. High up on their wall, facing Artemis, is a new sign — a huge Swedish flag with the caption “TODAY ALL OF US ARE SWEDISH.” I kicked myself for not having my camera or phone with me, but it turned out that Artemis Tweeted a photo, the one at the top of this article. Their accompanying Tweet reads, "Amazing amount of support from our friends at #groupdelphi continued thoughts to Bart and his family."


Flower may be left in the Artemis Racing office, west of Group Delphi on Alameda Point. The chapel on the USS Hornet will have prayers for Simpson at 11 a.m. Sunday.