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Thursday, May 9, 2013

A tragedy on San Francisco Bay :(

Just yesterday I watched in awe as two of the 72-foot racing catamarans competing in this year's America's Cup sailed across the San Francisco Bay.

My nephew Josh had wanted to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge while he was in town on a visit. We were happy to oblige him and the weather was perfect, not too hot or windy. I was surprised to see the catamarans out on the water. I'm not a racing or sailing fan but thought they were beautiful. Compared to the other boats on the water they were huge, fast, and very elegant.

I was going to include these pictures in a later post about crossing the bridge but sadly, I decided to post them today as a tribute to Andrew "Bart" Simpson, a member of the Swedish team who died this afternoon when the Artemis flipped, trapping him beneath the water for 10 minutes. It was shocking to just read about the accident in the news and all the more sobering to learn that he was a two-time, sailing, Olympic medalist (one gold and one silver) from Britain.

It's an all too real reminder that life is often too short for many of us.

The other vessel on the water yesterday was Oracle's. Their team suffered its own mishap last year when its catamaran also capsized in The Bay. Thankfully, no one was hurt in that incident.

As the catamarans crossed the bay, often coming near the Golden Gate Bridge but not passing beneath it, lots of smaller motor boats chased them in pursuit following them back and forth across the water all afternoon.

That's Alcatraz Island in the background. It's hard to believe I just saw the Artemis sailing gracefully past it just over 24 hours ago and now a sailor has died.

To Andrew "Bart" Simpson may you rest in peace. Condolences to your family, friends, team and fans. Just watching your team yesterday made a fan of me. After seeing the Artemis on the water I'd already decided to head up to the city when the racing begins in earnest this summer.

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