Lower wind speeds and body armour: America’s Cup recommends 37 items for safety enhancement

Thu May 23 2013, 16:12 PM

The Review Committee issues recommendations for the "Summer of Sailing" following the death of sailor Andrew Simpson aboard an AC72 catamaran

The Review Committee of the America’s Cup has issued 37 recommendations to increase safety during the Louis Vuitton and America’s Cup next summer. The committee was formed following the death of British sailor Andrew Simpson aboard Artemis Racing’s AC72 catamaran.

The recommendations follow structural reviews of the AC72 boats and wings. They include a 10-knot lower wind limit (23 knots maximum) and enhanced sailor safety equipment. The equipment is designed to increase the personal safety of the sailors. They include buoyancy aids, body armour, crew locator devices, hands-free breathing apparatus and high visibility helmets.

Regatta director Iain Murray, who chaired the Review Committee with six other experts, presented his "2013 America's Cup Regatta Director Recommendations" at a meeting with the four competing teams and the America's Cup Event Authority yesterday in San Francisco.

The Review Committee interviewed 25 sailors and other members of the racing teams. Murray said he will now form different task forces to bring in experts to define additional technical recommendations for specific safety items such as protective gear for sailors.

“All four competing America’s Cup teams have cooperated in an open, helpful and constructive way,” said Murray in a statement. “The Review Committee noted there is a clear desire on the part of the teams to ensure the safety of the America’s Cup as much as possible.”