Inquest into sailor's death to open

Ealing Times: Olympic sailor Andrew Simpson died in an accident in San Fransisco Olympic sailor Andrew Simpson died in an accident in San Fransisco

An inquest into the death of Olympic sailing gold medallist Andrew "Bart" Simpson MBE will take place this afternoon.

The world of sailing was left in shock when Simpson, of Sherborne in Dorset, was killed in San Francisco Bay on May 9 2013.

Simpson, 36, respected both at home and abroad as a talented but fierce competitor, died while training for the America's Cup with Artemis Racing.

The father of two was trapped under his super fast AC72 catamaran when it nosedived, capsized and broke into pieces.

An inquest into his death will be heard at Dorset Coroner's Court in Bournemouth at 2pm today.

Speaking after Simpson's death, his wife Leah - mother to their sons Freddie and Hamish - paid tribute to him.

"Andrew was a wonderful person. He was a loving husband and a devoted father to our two boys," she said.

"He will be forever in our thoughts and hearts."

Simpson won gold alongside his best friend, Iain Percy OBE, at the Beijing 2008 Games and silver at the London 2012 Olympics in the Star discipline.

Simpson, Percy and four-time Olympic sailing champion Sir Ben Ainslie had been part of Sir Keith Mills' Team Origin campaign to try and build a British challenger to compete for the America's Cup.

Sir Keith later pulled Team Origin out of the event.

Following Mr Simpson's death, a foundation was established by Mr Percy, along with Sir Ben Ainslie and Leah.

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation aims to encourage youngsters into sailing and officially opened the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre earlier this month.

Simpson's sons Freddie and Hamish cut the ribbon at the centre, based at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

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