After the tragic passing of Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson last week during a training session with Artemis Racing’s AC72 on San Francisco Bay, there has been some speculation about both the America’s Cup and the Youth America’s Cup. Objective Australia, Australia’s entry in the inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, has reaffirmed that the team is proceeding as planned for the September event in San Francisco.
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Team Principal and Objective Corporation CEO Tony Walls said: 'Firstly, on behalf of the Objective Australia team, I would like to extend our condolences to Andrew’s wife and family. We also know many of his teammates and hope they too are finding strength at this time'.
'The safety of all the sailing athletes is of paramount importance and we have every confidence that the America’s Cup Event Authority and the America’s Cup Race Management will redouble their efforts to ensure that these regattas are as safe as reasonably possible.'
'Whilst the One Design AC45’s being used for the Youth America’s Cup are at the leading edge of sailing and are very demanding on their crews, they have been extensively race proven over the past three years without serious incident. Prior to us having access to these boats again in August, they will have undergone rigorous safety checks by the event organisers to ensure they are 100% good to go'.
'You can’t live your life in your sock draw, and in our eyes, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup has already established itself as a ‘safety first’ event. Our team sailed the AC45’s in the February selection series when we qualified for the main event. The focus by event management on the preparation and proper training of the athletes in handling these boats has impressed us all. They wouldn’t let us near the AC45s until we proved that we knew what we were doing and even then we had Russell Coutts and Darren Bundock personally ensuring that we learned how to handle the boats properly. When we go back in August we will have to go through some of the basics all over again'.
Currently, most of the Objective Australia team members are competing in championship regattas in Europe, amassing experience and recognition toward selection onto Australia’s Olympic Sailing Team for Brazil in 2016. They will join together again as a complete team in the first week of August in San Francisco to begin intense preparations for the inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. Bring it on.
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