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how it went down

We’ll keep this space open Friday to report anything new from Artemis, and to remind you to enjoy life like Bart did; stop off at your local pub and have a pint in his honor.  In the meantime, our pals at Wired Mag already put together a solid report of what happened and we’ve confirmed it’s accurate from sources inside the team; here’s Wired’s take:

Preliminary reports indicate Artemis’s boat didn’t capsize because the sailors were pushing too hard or made a mistake, as was the case with Team Oracle. The problem was with the boat itself, either faulty engineering or faulty construction. The boat simply broke apart under sail, folded, then flipped. The Artemis boat has had a history of cracking and problems with the carbon fiber used in the twin “beams” — the two girders that lash the two narrow hulls together.

The boat had been in and out of the shed numerous times in an attempt to correct those problems. Today, however, the forward beam — the girder in front of the sail — gave way during a practice run. The two hulls, no longer connected, began sailing in slightly different directions. This caused one hull to snap just forward of the aft beam, and the mast, held up by high-tension rigging connected to the front of the hulls, simply fell over. The boat began to cartwheel, ultimately trapping Simpson underneath and drowning him.  Read on.


May 9th, 2013

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Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.